Tuesday, July 15, 2003

THE RETURN OF THE KIDS FROM FAME: Police have called off their search for David Sneddon. The young man was last seen winning the finals of Fame Academy, the pop show which combined all the excitement of school with the talents of Pop Idol. He has since sunk without trace.

Meanwhile, attention turns to the new series of Fame Academy, which seems to have been resurrected more due to the success of the celeb version than the original thing. This time, though, they're making ch-cha-changes which will make it even more electric than the first time round. For example, they've brought in Robin Gibb as a judge. Robin, known worldwide for his sense of humour, laid back attitude and ability to laugh at himself will add a cheerfull puckish quality to the judging role which would otherwise be filled by a grumpy, self-important bore. And rather than just line up a bunch of Sophie Websters in crop tops, the audition process has involved researchers going to churches and folk clubs, to find people who can actually sing. And look good in a crop top. [Remember, by the way, LushFest 03 is still seeking entrants for our Only Honest Talent Competition, where we'll not pretend to judge you on skills but vote on looks and looks alone - to enter, send an URL and/or jpg, plus a brief intro, to i_am_a_glorious_creature@yahoo.co.uk. The overall winner will grace the No Rock masthead throughout September]

There's a possibility that Fame Academy will be going head to head with Pop Idol, which might suggest that it's all a careful plan on the part of the BBC to kill off the New Faces meets The Long And Winding Road format stone dead by Christmas.

Having said which, at least Fame Academy does something more than create dimwitted clone bands to keep I {heart} Pop's poster pages full. Taking the cash raked in from the votes last time round, they've established two bursaries, to buy music and support young artists. Which is more use than just funding new trousers for Simon Cowell.

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