SHOWS to turn ordinary people into pop stars overnight are ten-a-penny. But Channel 4 bosses are hoping to find the next generation of great songwriters — not singers — in an ambitious primetime series.
Songland will be the channel’s first ever music competition — and a serious threat to ITV’s X Factor — with wannabe writers battling it out to have their song released by a star name. Hopefuls will audition their efforts in front of a panel of the industry’s top producers.
The format has been masterminded by Eurythmics musician Dave Stewart, Mar0on 5’s Adam Levine and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, there is already an NBC US version by currently filming. Auditions for the UK show are set to begin next month.
A telly source said: “The songwriters each perform to a different big music star, and each will choose one song to release as their next song.
Industry insiders believe this is the best show since X Factor.
“There’s real raw talent involved and the opportunity to launch some amazing careers. The show will put them in front of people that they’d otherwise only dream of meeting.
“There will also be the added entertainment of watching the songwriters negotiate with artists who are performing their songs and putting their own stamp on the tune.
“Producers are expecting some diva behaviour from both the potential songwriters and the stars.
“It’s set to be a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes of putting a single together before the big release date.”
The last thing Simon Cowell needs is another music show to split the ratings.
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BIZARRE TV COLUMN
Grand designs goes big
AFTER two decades on the box, Grand Designs is taking on its most ambitious self-build project yet. Spin-off Grand Designs: The Street follows ten families as they build a new road of ten homes from scratch.
A source said: “Filmed just outside of Oxford in Bicester, the series won’t be short of drama. The self-builders suffer injury, structural disasters and physical and financial exhaustion. And the pressures also cause friendships to fail and relationships to break down, with it taking five years to form the new road.”
Kevin McLoud hosts the six-part series, which starts on April 4 at 9pm on Channel 4. He said: “What I loved was the transformation from a bare piece of brownfield land next to a railway into a proper street and community.”
If he could now build me a home too that would be great.
PIERS Morgan and Susanna Reid will go head-to-head as managers of rival teams at this year’s Soccer Aid.
They will be joined by Harry Redknapp, Robbie Williams and Usain Bolt at Stamford Bridge in June.
Sex toys get C4 buzzing
THE world of sex shops will be revealed in a raunchy new Channel 4 series. Currently called Sex Toys R Us, it goes behind the scenes of independent boutiques in Brighton and London. Producers focus on the shop owners and their array of customers.
A TV source said: “Gone are the days when sex shops were seen as smutty and tucked down a dark alley. Now they cater for a cross section of society, rather than just a few, with the sex toy industry booming. This hilarious show gets to know shopkeepers in several independent sex shops and stars their customers, too.”
Hopefully their partners will know about their spending habits. . .
LINE Of Duty’s Rochenda Sandall said the BBC1 drama had to import balaclavas for filming in Belfast due to terror-linked restrictions.
She added: “I had a special, girlie-shaped one, because it’s mainly guys who wear them.”
Crunch time for Paxo
IT’s more universally challenged than University Challenge for Jeremy Paxman during tonight’s episode of The Great Celebrity Bake Off: Stand Up To Cancer.
The quizmaster attempts to make 18 ginger biscuits in the shape of his dog Derek, but forgets to turn his timer on and grapples with the mixer.
He says: “I am a bit alien to baking, in fact I am an alien in the kitchen. I would much rather go and interview some clown like Vladimir Putin.” And comic Joe Wilkinson does his best to rival
Russel Brand’s rude vagina-shaped treats from earlier in the series — by making a cake in the shape of his own buttocks. He even decorates the showstopper with a thong and tattoo that reads “I love gherkins”.
They are joined by reality star Georgia Toffolo and actress Sally Lindsay, who also make some slightly questionable bakes. It’s clear these celebs don’t often cook for themselves . . .
MOST READ IN BIZARRE
MERCEDES prepares to tie the knot for a seventh time in Hollyoaks. Just four months after her last nuptials, she is due to walk down the aisle again to marry cousin Sylver, in a double ceremony with mum Myra and her partner Sally.
However, Liam poses a threat to her happiness as he warns he will go to the police over Sylver’s assault if Mercedes does not leave him at the alter.
In Emmerdale, Rishi and Manpreet leave family and friends stunned by announcing that they got married in Vegas.
Jai does not take the news well – especially as Manpreet’s daughter and former date Aiesha has also arrived to join the family.
WHAT? MasterChef: The Finals, BBC1, 9pm.
WHY? The final five head to the Royal Society in London to cook a five-course menu for Sir Ranulph Fiennes to mark the 40th anniversary of his Transglobe voyage.
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