Fame Academy - Sorry


Abominable Snowman
Aug 16, 2001
From: http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/t/45409/b4e74ecc2f1cbf01afc498f146f4b55bds.html


Unlike most of the country, some of us have been following the BBC's £4.5 million (1) Big Brother-meets-Pop Idol flop Fame Academy.

But apart from wondering what on earth cost all that license-payers' money, we'd also like to know why the cash seems to have been used to promote undisclosed commercial interests.

Back in August, the Beeb announced they were holding auditions across the country to find "new talent" (2). Over 10,000 aspiring musicians were whittled down to just 12 "students". And every week for the last nine weeks, the Academy's "headmaster" Richard Park has judged the students' performances, and along with the other teachers, has picked the weakest three to "sing for survival" on Friday night. The losing student leaves. Now there are just three students left – Sinead Quinn, David Sneddon and Lemar Obika – and on Friday the public will decide which of them will win "the biggest prize in showbiz history" – including a "million pound record deal" with Mercury Records, part of Universal Music.

So why has it only now been revealed that, as soon as the show finishes, Richard Park will set up his own record label - in conjunction with none other than Universal Music? (3) You know, the company giving the prize away? The company that has also had four of its artists appear on the show – Shania Twain, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey and Ronan Keating. Is Universal sponsoring this programme? If so, why not get the MD of the company to decide who wins it, and rename this Universal Academy!

And that's not all.

Far from being "new talent", three of the students – Marli Buck, Ainslie Henderson and Lemar – had record deals before. London soul maestro Lemar's single, Got Me Saying Ooh, was released last year, and had Redman rapping on one of the remixes (4). Yes, the bloke who was also rapping on the number one song in the UK last week, Christina Aguilera's Dirrty. Lemar also supported Destiny's Child and Usher, and was about to go on a UK tour before the label he was on went bust (5). We thought this was Fame Academy – not Here, Have Another Chance At Fame Academy!

But there's more.

Lemar's label, E-mancipated, was a subsidiary of BMG (6). The head of BMG Europe at the time was Richard Griffiths. He left to set up the London office of the massive talent agency The Firm, who manage Enrique Iglesias, Limp Bizkit, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio and loads more (7). Now one of the prizes of Fame Academy is being managed by The Firm. So Lemar's old boss is now going to manage him. Just by beating those 10,000 people onto the show, Lemar's profile has been raised massively – a clear undeclared vested interest for Griffiths, who now takes over his career again.

Come on, Mr Dyke! Is this the way to spend four and a half million pounds of our money? We thought the BBC was meant to be "independent of advertisers and other commercial pressures" (8). Fame Academy? More like Farce Academy!"


Justified & Ancient
Mar 17, 2002
We thought the BBC was meant to be "independent of advertisers and other commercial pressures"
i jus heard them on chris moyles' show plugging the associated products - Album, Board Game, Mugs......:confused: