BBC bosses have extended talent search show Any Dream Will Do by a week in a move that will see its final go head to head with ITV rival Grease is the Word.
Any Dream Will Do, which is searching for a lead to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, was meant to end on June 2, but will now run until the following Saturday.
It means it will be in direct competition with the last show of ITV’s hunt for a new Sandy and Danny to star in a West End production of Grease.
BBC bosses are said to have been pleased with Any Dream Will Do’s success, with BBC1 controller Peter Fincham even reported to have wanted to continue it for longer.
A spokeswoman for the Corporation said Fincham was keen to keep the series running, but said it could only be extended by one show because any more would infringe on rehearsal time for the new production.
An extra episode means there will be no need for a double eviction to take place in the next couple of weeks, with one of the six remaining contests due to leave each week before the final three Josephs battle it out on June 9 to walk away with a West End role.
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell, whose production company Syco makes Grease is the Word with Talkback Thames, has revealed the show is “not going as well” as he had hoped.
He told Broadcast magazine: “It has been slaughtered by the critics and rightly so. It is far too similar to our other formats.”