Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.
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Earlier this year, the BBC had a somewhat surprising hit in How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? For those with short memories, this was a programme which cast Connie Fisher the lead role in a new stage production of The Sound of Music, through a week-by-week Pop Idol style competition.
Now, the BBC have announced that there is to be a follow-up, Any Dream Will Do. This will follow the same format, but will cast Joseph, a narrator, and a Pharoh for a new stage production of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat.
At the same time, ITV have announced that they are to produce a show looking for a new Danny and Sandy to play the lead roles in a new production of Grease. As with everything on ITV, Simon Cowell will be judging – alongside David Ian, also known as the most infamous judge of, er, the BBC’s How do You Solve a Problem Like Maria. No blatant copying there, then. And certainly nothing like the Strictly Ice Dancing and Dancing on Ice affair.
I understand that faced with this competition, Five are to sign a deal with Equity to ensure that anybody ever case in anything will have to be a member of the public chosen through a piss-poor TV talent contest. There will be a nightly show hosted by a naked Keith Chegwin going up against Deal or No Deal, and the series will only end once everybody in the country has a role in a musical. Everybody, that is, except for professional actors.
The move will then be superceded by 4, who will decide to give their schedules over 24/7 to a Big Brother style continuous musical, complete with resident orchestra, in which the participants must communicate only through singing, or be voted out to return to their singing day job. The winner will receive a traditional bouquet, and a place on the next series of Strictly Come Dancing – where the couples will be required to sing their own backing tracks whilst also ballroom dancing.
Can ITV not just let the BBC have a hit without feeling the need to copy it down to the smallest detail?