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Monday, 16 September, 2002, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Fame Academy recruits pop stars
Enrique Iglesias
Enrique Iglesias found chart fame with Hero
Pop stars Enrique Iglesias, Anastacia and Shania Twain will be giving masterclasses to contestants seeking stardom on BBC One's new talent search Fame Academy.

The programme, which launches in October, will give 12 wannabe performers the chance to make it big.

The finalists will live together in a mansion as they are put through their paces by a panel of industry experts.

The show follows in the footsteps ITV1 success stories Pop Idol and Popstars: The Rivals.

One of the judges - who will be the Academy's "headteacher" - will be Richard Park, the former head of programming at Capital Radio.

Anastacia hit the charts with I'm Outta Love
The straight-talking Scotsman has been described as the "Alex Ferguson of radio" and producers hope he will become a new Mr Nasty, taking over from the acid-tongued Simon Cowell and Nigel Lythgoe.

Inside the radio industry, he is well-known as the man who created the sounds of pop stations like Capital FM in London and BRMB in Birmingham.

Viewers will be able to vote each week for which hopeful they want to eject from the show, effectively taking away their dreams of becoming a star.

Final details of the format of Fame Academy have yet to be released but it is expected that the eventual winner will receive a record contract and management deal.

The house in Highgate, north London, where the contestants will live has been transformed in a set with a recording studio and dance area, fitted with 35 cameras to catch every moment as the hopefuls are put through their paces.

Top act

They will be subjected to rigorous training, with dance and vocal classes from 0600 to 2300 as well as general fitness and nutrition training.

"We want people to be the very best they can be," Park said.

"To become a top act in the year 2002 you have to be pretty fit - the demands are very heavy indeed."

"If you're out on the road you're doing sometimes 20 hours a day. By the time they leave here they are going to be fitter than they have ever been before," he added.

Around 10,000 people between the ages of 18 and 35 applied to join the show, with the audition process still ongoing.

The show will look at how the final 12 are progressing, with the three thought to be doing less well put on "probation" by their teachers.

Viewers will then have the chance to vote for their favourites, and ultimately picking the winner.

Profits from phone votes will go to Children In Need and setting up a bursary for talented pupils to attend performing arts schools.

BBC controller of entertainment Jane Lush said: "Talent shows have been on television for decades - this is just a very modern way of doing one.

"There are 12 winners - all 12 who come into the academy are going to have the time of their lives."

As well as coverage on BBC One, the show will also feature on BBC Choice and on the Chris Moyles show on Radio 1.

The show is based on a French format, Star Academy, first shown there in 2001.

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