The BBC and Comic Relief today announced 12 of the 13 celebrities
who go head-to-head in the ultimate celebrity singing competition that
asks stars to go one step further to raise money for Red Nose Day 2005.
The launch show kicks off on Saturday 26 February at 6.15pm and from
Wednesday 2 March there will be nightly shows and expulsions until the
final on Friday 11 March live from BBC Television Centre on BBC ONE.
The students are:
Edith Bowman (Radio 1 DJ, TV presenter)
Christopher Colquhoun (actor, Casualty)
Jon Culshaw (comedian)
Jenny Éclair (writer, comedian)
Adrian Edmondson (actor, comedian)
Nick Knowles (TV presenter)
Kim Medcalf (actress, EastEnders)
Al Murray (comedian, actor)
Dawn Steele (actress, Monarch of The Glen)
Debra Stephenson (actress, Coronation Street)
Gina Yashere (comedian)
Reggie Yates (TV presenter, Top of the Pops, actor)
Cat Deeley and Patrick Kielty present
a new extended series from the all new Academy on the banks of the Thames.
The hopeful stars have to transform themselves into songsters to raise
money as well as their voices and perform live on stage in order to
win a place in the Academy.
Tensions are guaranteed to run high on Saturday's launch show as only
12 will make it through to Wednesday's show.
And following the live show
expulsion on the Wednesday, only 11 will remain to become resident students
under the watchful eyes of coaches Carrie and David
Grant, choreographer Kevin Adams and tutor Jeremy Milnes.
The judges include opera singer and Strictly Come Dancing star Lesley
Garrett and Head Teacher at the Academy, Richard Park.
Voting - each night viewers vote
to save all but three students, the judges then save one and the celebrity
students save another one and one student is expelled.
From Wednesday 2 March to Thursday 10 March, students perform live
from the Academy nightly with one expelled every night until just three
are left for the final on Red Nose Night Live '05.
Kevin Cahill, CEO of Comic Relief, said: "Every time somebody votes
to save their favourite student, Comic Relief will get cash that goes
towards helping bring an end to poverty and social injustice in the
UK and Africa.
"It's a great line-up and I can't wait to see what happens in
the Academy and I hope everybody gets voting!"
BBCi gives fans watching on digital
television the ultimate access to live action from inside the Academy
from 9.00am to midnight every day by pressing the red button.
An additional highlights show is broadcast every hour on the hour for
fans who have missed events from earlier in the day.
The official website - bbc.co.uk/fameacademy
- has video highlights from the Academy, with a rolling news team covering
events as they happen.
There are also photos, profiles and details of how you can win a ticket
to the final night.
Voting will be available on phone lines and text. At least 15p from
each call goes straight to Comic Relief to help the poorest and most
vulnerable people in the UK and Africa.
BBC THREE viewers can turn over
straight after the BBC ONE shows every night until 10 March as Claudia
Winkleman has the exclusive first interview with the expelled
Broadcast live from the Academy, BBC THREE has access all areas, exclusive
interviews and all the latest gossip.
CBBC ONE and the CBBC
Channel are also following the celebrity songsters every day
with a live show presented by Jake Humphrey featuring
special guests and in-depth insights into life at the Academy.
Whether they turn out to have voices of angels or voices that shatter
glass, it doesn't matter because for Comic Relief it's all about just
Comic Relief is produced by Initial (part of Endemol UK) for BBC ONE.
Comic Relief Registered Charity 326568.