Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 15:30 UK

Stars compete to lead orchestra

Maestro contestants
Maestro begins on BBC Two in August

Stars including Blur bassist Alex James and DJ Goldie will compete for the chance to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra in a new programme.

Actors David Soul and Jane Asher and newsreader Katie Derham will also feature in the BBC Two programme.

The winner will get to perform in front of a live audience of 30,000 at BBC Proms in the Park, as part of the Last Night celebrations.

Viewers will get to follow the star's progress when Maestro begins in August.

Comedians Bradley Walsh and Sue Perkins complete the student line-up.

'Nerves of steel'

In the first stage of preparation, the celebrities will enter into a week-long "Baton Camp", where they will each be assigned a mentor - all of whom are established professional conductors.

The students will take to the conductor's podium in August where, in front of a judging panel of leading musicians, they will conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra in a weekly show broadcast on BBC Two and presented by Clive Anderson.

At the end of each show the panel and members of the orchestra will decide which student will be voted off and which has the talent, passion and nerves of steel necessary to conduct a full orchestra.

The BBC's Last Night of the Proms is one of the most famous events in the classical music calendar.

Proms in the Park will be held on 13 September in London's Hyde Park.

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