By Ken Sweeney
NATIONAL auditions will be announced next week for a new talent show on TV based around '80s musical 'Fame'.
Winners of the RTE1 show will go on to star in the theatrical production that will tour Ireland.
Starting in April, and running for eight weeks, the search will help the state broadcaster see off competition from rival station TV3 on Sunday nights.
TV3 ratings soared last season with 'The Apprentice'. The commercial station plans to run a celebrity version of the series in the spring.
RTE management are said to be confident that by incorporating one of the most popular stage musicals of all time, they will have another ratings winner on their hands to match 'The All Ireland Talent Show'. It drew audiences as high as 650,000 on Sunday nights.
Set in the New York High School of Performing Arts, 'Fame' started life as a feature film in 1980. It was later turned into a popular TV series running from 1982 to 1987, and led on to 'Fame The Musical', a touring stage production, which has so far been seen by four million people worldwide.
In the RTE talent search, performers will audition for a celebrity panel of judges, yet to be confirmed, and then placed into a boot camp, with viewers at home asked to decide who lands a role in the musical.
The winners will each spend six months touring the country in the production.
RTE is looking for a racially diverse cross-section of young performers.
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