Complaints For Over The Rainbow’s “Blatant Advertising”

March 29, 2010 by  
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Angry viewers have branded new BBC1 series Over The Rainbow “blatant advertising� for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End musicals.

The Beeb received 17 complaints just for the trailers for the new programme in which Lloyd Webber selects a new Dorothy for his production of The Wizard Of Oz.

Scores more are expected following the debut show on Friday which attracted 7 million viewers.

The programme’s timing coincides with the West End opening of Lloyd Webber’s Phantom Of The Opera sequel Love Never Dies.

Actress Jodie Prenger appeared in costume on Saturday night’s show to sing a song from Oliver! (another Lloyd Webber production) – critics claim this was simply “sly promotion�.

Kevin Spacey, the artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre, following Lloyd Webber’s last talent-finding vehicle I’d Do Anything, accused the BBC for promoting musicals at the expense of other West End shows.

Last year the Beeb was accused of providing millions of pounds worth of advertising to U2. The aging band made dozens of appearances across the corporation’s TV and radio channels ahead of an album release, leading many to dub the BBC the Bono Broadcasting Corporation.