McDonald’s UK is to sponsor ITV show Popstars: The Rivals, the sequel to last year’s Popstars show, which produced the band Hear’Say. The show is due to air in the autumn. It is understood that the fast-food giant is paying between &£2.5m and &£3m for the sponsorship in a deal brokered between Granada Enterprises Commercial Ventures and Starcom Motive.
The original Popstars was sponsored by T&T, in a &£2m deal that helped to launch the soft drink in the UK. Burkitt DDB created a series of break-bumpers that portrayed a number of T&T cans as a successful pop band experiencing the trials and tribulations of stardom. The soft drink, unknown in the UK before the deal, reportedly sold more than 10 million cans in the first two months of the sponsorship.
Popstars: The Rivals is to take a different format to its predecessor, in which contestants were selected by a panel of judges for a place in a five-strong band, on the strength of their singing and dancing skills. Instead, it will show the search for two rival bands – one made up of girls, the other boys – which will then compete to have a number one hit record. It is also thought that the show will offer the audience the chance to vote for their favourite contestants.
There is much speculation about who will host the show, with former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and record producer Pete Waterman – who was a judge for the recent Pop Idol series – being tipped as presenters.