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Oliver boys won’t face the public vote in BBC’s I’d Do Anything

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Viewers will not get to vote for their favourite Oliver in BBC1’s new talent search show I’d Do Anything, after the Corporation decided it was in the best interests of the children involved not to face a public vote.

Unlike previous shows How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do, where viewers were able to vote for their favourite contestant to star in the resulting West End show, choosing who will play the title role in Cameron Mackintosh’s forthcoming production of Oliver! will be left to Andrew Lloyd Webber and the show’s panel.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “As Oliver is played by a minor, his role will not be open to the public vote. This decision was taken by the BBC following expert advice in providing a duty of care to child contributors.

“We want all the boys to gain as much from this experience as possible, and enable them to learn as much about musical theatre as they can over the course of the series.”

Hundreds of young boys aged nine to 14 auditioned to take part in the show, out of which 12 have been chosen to continue to the live shows.

Each week the Olivers will be set a musical task and also perform as a group, after which the panel and Lloyd Webber will decide who has secured a place on the following week’s show. In all, three boys will be chosen to play Oliver.

Viewers will still be able to vote for an actress to play Nancy, Oliver’s co-star.

Of the 25p charged to cast a vote, 14p will go to the BBC Performing Arts Fund, which gives bursaries to aspiring performers and musicians.

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