Sugar to be given Jerry Springer opera treatment

Their last offering for television resulted in thousands of complaints, pickets and charges of blasphemy brought at the High Court. By those standards Kombat Opera, the producers of Jerry Springer: The Opera have a tough act to follow with their new series starting on BBC2 later this month.

Six mini-musicals, written and created by Richard Thomas, will feature well-known television actors sending up some of the most successful television formats including documentaries, reality TV and a highbrow arts show.

The series will deliver an operatic take on The Apprentice, Question Time, The South Bank Show, Panorama and Wife Swap.

Each 30-minute show imagines the on- and off-screen lives of presenters and contestants, with fantasy song and dance sequences. The Apprentice becomes The Applicants, with John Thomson taking on the Alan Sugar role. The contestants have to design a new look for the Church of England and risk being told "you're fired" in "spectacular, bloody fashion".

In Spouse Change, a downtrodden Alabama wife swaps her trailer-park home for a life of domestic bliss with a Philadelphian interior designer. In turn, his partner runs the gauntlet of Bible Belt homophobia in the Midwest.

In the spoof documentary based on the BBC's Panorama, Manorama Special presenter Hugh Dennis reports from a night out in Nottingham, with a cameo appearance from Robin Hood, which concludes with the town being swamped by sewerage.

In Question Time Out, Jon Culshaw strives to attract more viewers by broadcasting from a lap-dancing club and an ice-rink.

The final episode features the thinly-disguised South Bragg Show, with spoof presenter Kevin Eldon, who looks at how language has "evolved since" the Stone Age. Primitive villagers are introduced to language by a "Wordbringer" but they find that the innovation leads to strife, throw him out and return to a world in which communication is conducted in grunts.

Jerry Springer: The Opera was written by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, based on the US television show. It was critically acclaimed both at its original outing at the Battersea Arts Centre and at the Edinburgh Festival in 2002. But the musical, which featured a tap-dancing KKK troupe, contained 8,000 obscenities and portrayed Jesus as gay, proved more controversial when the BBC screened last year.

Starring David Soul as Springer, the musical attracted 55,000 complaints before it was even screened on BBC2 and a further 8,000 after broadcast.

The organisation Christian Voice led street protests against the screening at nine BBC offices and announced their intention to bring blasphemy charges, due to the depictions of the Judaeo-Christian characters. The Christian Institute tried to level charges against the BBC, which were rejected by the High Court. Nine theatres originally scheduled to host the show pulled out after Christian Voice threatened to picket them.The Arts Council England later turned down a bid for funding on commercial grounds.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Smart phones, dumb reading: Rebecca and Harry from ‘Teens’
tv
News
people
News
Amazon's drones were unveiled last year.
business
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Life and Style
Worth shelling out for: Atlantic lobsters are especially meaty
food + drink
Sport
Gareth Bale
footballPaul Scholes on how Real Madrid's Welsh winger would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford if he leaves Spain
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Ashdown Group: .NET Developer : ASP.NET , C# , MVC , web development

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits - see advert: Ashdown Group: .N...

Guru Careers: 3D Package Designer / 3D Designer

£25 - 30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an exceptional 3D Package Designer / 3...

Guru Careers: Interior Designer

£Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a strong Middleweight / Senior Inte...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss