It’s Katherine Jenkins v. Cheryl Cole

(Daily Mail)

Katherine Jenkins is to follow in the footsteps of Cheryl Cole after landing a six-figure deal to appear as a judge on a new ITV Saturday night talent show. The 29-year-old mezzo-soprano is set to see her profile soar as she advises pop stars how to sing opera.

Miss Jenkins will become the broadcaster’s new face of Saturday night television with the agreement, said to be worth about £100,000. Myleene Klass – who rose to fame in pop band Hear’Say after appearing on ITV1’s Pop Stars – will host the programme, which is yet to be named. Using the now familiar format of Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing On Ice, the show will see celebrities learning how to become opera singers.

However, it is expected that those taking part will be existing pop or musical performers, who already have some proven vocal talent. One source said: “Katherine and the panel will advise singers how to take on opera. Each week someone will be voted off. With her classical background, Myleene is probably the ideal host.”

It is expected that there will be another two judges on the panel – at least one of which will be a man. Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts and tenor Russell Watson are tipped as possible contenders. Watson already appeared as a judge on BBC1 talent contest Last Choir Standing, which also featured Miss Klass as host.

An ITV spokesman confirmed the programme was planned for next year but insisted details had yet to be finalised. It is being earmarked for an early evening time slot but will not occupy the 8pm prime slot the X Factor does. Representatives for Miss Klass and Miss Jenkins confirmed they were in discussions with the broadcaster about the project.

Miss Jenkins has been actively widening her appeal beyond the classical world in recent years. She performed at the X Factor final in 2007 with contestant Rhydian Roberts, and toured the UK with Darcey Bussell with musical show Viva La Diva. Her latest album Believe features cover versions of songs such as the Bob Marley classic No Woman, No Cry and gothic rock band Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life.

Miss Jenkins recently appeared at the BBC’s Children In Need Rocks concert, and is set to sing at this year’s Royal Variety Performance next month.

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