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One and Only contestants 'not paid'

dusty.jpgOh dear, it was all going so well, too. Makers of BBC1 tribute act talent show The One and Only have got themselves some fresh controversy. Chesney Hawkes has sued them. They've been accused of potentially acting illegally by failing to pay the tribute acts who took part.

If you remember, people who superficially, from a great distance slightly resembled the outlines of Kylie Minogue, Sir Elton John, Madonna, and Robbie Williams competed to win a performing contract in Las Vegas...

Unlike other BBC talent shows like How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, the participants were not even paid the minimum wage. But part of the reason for this is that The One and Only was made by Endemol, not a Beeb production company.

Equity, the actors' union, said contestants on the Saturday night show signed contracts which assigned all their performance rights to Endemol. As a employees of Endemol they should have been paid by the independent production company, Equity said.

Assistant general secretary Andy Prodger said: "Endemol is one of the biggest and most profitable independent TV producers, yet despite numerous approaches by Equity they have refused to pay even the smallest possible fee to the 24 contestants which have made The One And Only such a big hit.

"When the BBC produced their own talent shows, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do, they acted honourably and engaged all the finalists on proper industry-standard contracts with pay rates well above national minimum wage and have agreed to do so again in the forthcoming shows I'd Do Anything, which hopes to cast parts in a forthcoming production of Oliver. Unfortunately Endemol is apparently happy to exploit the dreams of aspiring performers without offering them a penny."

He said: "I am very disappointed that the BBC, which is funded by the licence fee, allows such exploitation and doubt if the viewers who spent good money on telephone voting knew that none of the money would go to the performers who entertained them so well."

Well, what do you think? Would you have voted if you'd known the performers weren't getting a penny of it? Did you even watch the damn show?


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Posted by on March 4, 2008 in The One and Only | Permalink


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