Ed Sheeran and Pixie Lott in Audition Scenes
, 21 Jun 2012
This 9-part 2008 ITV musical drama series was described as a British version of Fame, and followed the lives of a group of students at a performing arts school in London. The main pupils were played by MITCH HEWER (as Danny), SAPPHIRE ELIA (Claudine), MATTHEW JAMES THOMAS (Jez), GEORGINA HAGEN (Lauren), MARCQUELLE WARD (BB) and RANA ROY (Lola). After the first scene-setting episode, subsequent shows tended to focus their storylines on one of the main characters at a time.
Musical numbers were performed by the cast members themselves, and were composed by a top-notch squad of writers, including GARY BARLOW and MARK OWEN from TAKE THAT, JAMES BOURNE from BUSTED and ROBBIE WILLIAMS former collaborator GUY CHAMBERS. ARLENE PHILLIPS devised the series and choreographed the dance routines.
This double disc set contains the first four episodes, along with a wealth of extras. Revisiting this series several years after its screening, there's particular interest in the two-part behind-the-scenes documentary on Disc 1. It looks at the creation and development of the series, and shows many of the unsuccessful auditioners going through their paces for the main roles, among them future stars PIXIE LOTT and 16 year old ED SHEERAN (they both get through to the final 16 during the first round), ASTON MERRYGOLD, later of JLS (only seen briefly in the second round of auditions) and former X-Factor graduate RAY QUINN. GARY BARLOW, MARK OWEN and JAMES BOURNE are seen beavering away in a recording studio, writing songs for the series.
Other extras include video blogs, song rehearsals, dance routine instructions and character profiles.
Sadly, the programme suffered from poor ratings, so wasnt commissioned for a second series. ITV had already started releasing the DVDs before the decision was made, which is why the disc title says 'Series 1', in anticipation of further series.
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