The Independent [London]
By Ciar Byrne

Move over Jerry Springer, the next talk-show host to be immortalised in song could be the Question Time presenter David Dimbleby, as part of a BBC deal to develop six made-for-television operas.
The BBC has commissioned the team behind the award-winning West End musical Jerry Springer ó The Opera to write and produce a series of bespoke comic operas based on different television formats.
Question Time, the long running BBC1 political discussion show hosted by Mr. Dimbleby, is one of the programmes earmarked. BBC2 has also secured the rights to televise Jerry Springer ó The Opera. The show will be broadcast in early January after the 9pm watershed on account of its explicit content.
Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, who created the West End musical, and producer Jon Thoday of Avalon Television, will spend the next year developing the BBC operas, expected to be half an hour in duration.
The deal is part of a modernising process which aims to broaden the BBC's arts output and follows BBC3's popular Flashmob: The Opera event. The unannounced performance of operatic arias was staged on the concourse of London's Paddington station in October, with members of the public invited to attend by text message.
Franny Moyle, head of arts commissioning at the BBC, said the aim was to introduce a new generation to opera. "The new commissions are part of a brief to revive and reinvigorate the arts, to make them more accessible."

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