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29 October 2014
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Fame Academy returns with £1m bursary for talent around the UK

The BBC is to reopen the doors of its Fame Academy, which hot-housed raw musical talent from all around the UK and in the process raised £1 million for charity.

Once again profit made from phone lines and record sales from this hit entertainment series will be added to the Fame Academy Bursary fund, set up to give thousands of talented performers the chance to pursue their dreams.

Full details on how young people, under the age of 30, can apply for the bursary will be made in the coming month.

Over 14 million phone votes in total were made during the show, with the final ending on a high as 6.9 million viewers voted - making it the highest ever poll for a BBC show.

David Sneddon, the Fame Academy winner, will be advising the Fame Academy Bursary's Board of Trustees.

He said: "As a struggling young singer songwriter, I was desperate for someone to give me the break I needed.

"My chance came through Fame Academy, and I hope thousands of others get the opportunity they need through the £1 million raised so far and whatever we can raise during this second series."

The Fame Academy experience offers students the chance of a lifetime.

It is the ultimate training academy for musical stardom and this year's intake will benefit from the intensive training that put last year's students into the charts and on the route to careers in the music industry.

The most experienced teachers in the business will offer guidance on their musical and song writing skills, and they will be coached and nurtured in their performance style and techniques.

Comic Relief Does Fame Academy proved to be one of the highlights of Red Nose Day, with the phone lines raising over £600,000 for the charity, resulting in the evening becoming the charity's most successful to date.

Students with the raw talent needed to make it into the Academy will be hand-picked from their audition tapes or through talent searches held around the UK including, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

Full details are available by calling 0870 5122200.

Singing ability is a must but producers will also be keeping an eye out for students who can play their own instruments and compose their own music.

The five top students from the last series - David Sneddon, Sinead Quinn, Malachi Cush, Lemar Obika and Ainslie Henderson - have all signed record deals and are in the process of writing, recording and touring all their own new original material.

David Sneddon hit number one with his first single and is currently in the charts at number three with his second single.

Sinead and Ainslie also had top five singles and Malachi's debut album charted in the top 20.

The other students are also using the song-writing, recording and vocal skills that they developed in the Academy to pursue careers in music.

All 12 students have just completed a sell-out Fame Academy tour.

Fame Academy is an Initial Production (part of Endemol UK).

Notes to Editors

Anyone aged 18 to 35, who can really sing, can attend one of the open auditions:

Saturday 17 May at the W5 Odessey, Queen's Quay, Belfast;

Sunday 18 May at the Hippodrome Theatre, Thorpe Street, Birmingham;

Sunday 25 May, Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall, Sauchiehall Street and at Manchester’s New Century House, Corporation Street;

Saturday 31 May, Old Assembly Rooms, Fenkle Street, Newcastle;

Sunday 1 June, the Marriot, Mill Lane, Cardiff;

and London auditions take place on Saturday 7 June at the Novotel, Shortlands in Hammersmith.

Auditions are first-come, first-served basis from 9.00am to 7.00pm.

Hopefuls should be prepared to sing a song of their choice and bring a full-length photo of themselves.

Alternatively they can send a photo and VHS or audio cassette of their singing to Fame Academy, PO Box 32715, London W14 0WT. Tapes must arrive by 24 May. This may save queuing at an audition.

Facts and figures for Fame Academy and Comic Relief Does Fame Academy

Comic Relief Does Fame Academy, on the night of Red Nose Day, was watched by 13.8 million people and earned 53% share of viewing.

Fame Academy - The Final was the top rated entertainment show of 2002 amongst the 16-34 year old age group.

On BBC Choice Fame Academy - The Final was watched by up to 738,000 with 9.7% share across all multichannel homes. This made it the most watched programme on BBC Choice.

Fame Academy on CBBC reached 4.6 million children (50% of all children) over the ten weeks.

The Fame Academy interactive application attracted 1.6 million users, with average time spent on the Live screen at least an hour a day. This was one of BBCi's top five interactive applications since its launch last year.

The Fame Academy website attracted more than 14 million page impression requests since it launched in October. The messageboard was the busiest ever hosted by BBCi.

A selection of Fame Academy releases

Comic Relief Does Fame Academy - Will wins (14.03.03)

Comic Relief Does Fame Academy - celebrity students revealed (03.03.03)

Fame Academy raises £1 million to set up performing arts bursary (23.01.03)

David Sneddon wins Fame Academy (14.12.02)

BBC Fame Academy announces 2002 intake of students (30.09.02)

Fame Academy comes to the BBC (17.09.02)

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 BBC radio networks.



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