Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 18:34 UK

TV plan to find Jade musical star

By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Jade Goody
The musical will feature some of Jade Goody's favourite songs

A TV talent show to find an "ordinary girl" to play Jade Goody in a musical based on her life is being planned, it has been announced.

Goody's ex-business partner Danny Hayward said no deal had been struck with a TV network but that the stage musical would "definitely happen".

Goody's former publicist Max Clifford said it was "a wonderful idea that has got very, very strong potential".

He said he would be a judge on the TV show "if it comes to fruition".

Mr Hayward, who was one of Goody's "best men" at her wedding to Jack Tweed in February, said open auditions would take place across the UK to find hopefuls who will compete in the TV show.

Dates would be announced in three weeks' time, he said.

She was tabloid gold. The people have the right to choose their hero
Danny Hayward, Jade Goody's friend

"Jade was just an ordinary girl and the person who plays her will reflect that," he added.

He said he was hoping to "repeat history" by turning an unknown into a household name, as happened with Goody.

"Her dream as a little girl was to be in a musical, so obviously when she passed away it felt fitting to do something like this."

He said Goody had not known about the project, as the idea had been devised since her death.

Asked if he was concerned people would accuse him of exploiting Goody, Mr Hayward said: "I have nothing to say to those people, really.

Max Clifford
Max Clifford could act as a judge on the TV show

"She was tabloid gold. The people have the right to choose their hero.

"If the show continues to raise awareness about cervical cancer, be a good night out and further her legacy, then it's not really hurting anyone."

He said the production would include some original songs, which would be written by "well-known bands, who wish to remain anonymous" at the moment.

No deal has been struck with a TV network, but he said he hoped to pitch to MTV and ITV2.

Film plan

Meanwhile, Mr Clifford said the project was "nothing more than an idea - we're talking ifs, buts and maybes".

He added: "If it comes to fruition, then yes I will be a judge. It's a wait and see.

"If I'm going to announce something is happening, it's because I know it's going ahead."

Earlier this month, Mr Clifford revealed he had been in talks with several film companies about making a movie based on Goody.

He told Radio 1 Newsbeat that they were "serious discussions" because her "incredible life touched so many people".

Goody, who became famous after appearing in Big Brother, passed away in March after she lost her high-profile battle with cancer.

Thousands of people turned out to see the funeral procession, which travelled through London before reaching Buckhurst Hill in Essex, where the funeral took place.



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