Miss this series and you'll have nothing to talk about at work or in the pub for ages.

Hard on the heels of the Popstars is a potentially even more ratings-grabbing idea. It's an open audition to join Emmerdale - that's right, missing out on Equity and small parts in The Bill and going straight to the tabloid A-list and into the homes of millions, as part of one of the nations' favourite soaps.

Over the next few weeks, the programme-makers hope to find the TV equivalent of Hear'Say - a talented band of performers with mass appeal whom the public will grow to love. They are even casting a dog!

The 'Nasty Nigel'-type cutting comments might come from scriptwriter Bill Lyons, casting director Paul de Freitas or producer Yvon Grace. (My money's on Yvon - should we trust a woman without the requisite number of letters in her name?)

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