Popstars blame fear of hysterical mob for cancelled launch

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The Independent Culture

Hear'Say abandoned plans to launch their first album amid concerns over security measures, in what many people will perceive as the latest in a string of publicity stunts.

Hear'Say abandoned plans to launch their first album amid concerns over security measures, in what many people will perceive as the latest in a string of publicity stunts.

The group were scheduled to make a live appearance in Reading on Monday, but the event was cancelled after concerns over an inadequate level of safety to cope with thousands of hysterical fans.

Thames Valley Police confirmed last night the event had been postponed after the force voiced anxiety over the arrangements, but denied the move was imposed by them.

A spokesman for Polydor, the band's record company, added "We cannot confirm at this time where the band will launch their album. We have not been able to find a venue which would guarantee the safety of the band. There are a number of venues we are still looking at."

The band's phenomenal success on the back of the popular television show Popstars has already seen them mobbed by thousands of youngsters wherever they appear.

ITV hopes to recreate the hype with a new show that will pick on a single performer to be turned into a "mega-star".

The new programme, provisionally entitled Pop Idol, will aim to find a solo performer and propel him or her to musical stardom. Simon Fuller, the former Spice Girls manager who this week found three young men from his S Club 7 protégés in trouble on drugs offences, will join the singer Annie Lennox in leading the national search for the new star.

The expert panel for the new series will be used only to whittle down thousands of performers from open auditions across Britain. Then the viewers will vote on who they think most deserves a chance at pop stardom.

The winner will be signed by 19 Management, Fuller's company, and get a recording contract with RCA. Their career will be launched with a national multi-media campaign.

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