Tue, 24 Apr 2007
Stars of the movie and music world including Bono, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley and Gwen Stefani are to appear on a charity edition of 'American Idol', which will raise funds for children.
The show, to be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will also feature the likes of recent Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, Terry Hatcher from 'Desperate Housewives' and pop star Pink.
'American Idol Gives Back' will be aired live in the United States on Wednesday night, benefiting child relief programs and children in extreme poverty.
Charities to be supported include those working in New Orleans to address the destruction following Hurricane Katrina, as well as organisations based in Africa.
The stars will encourage viewers of the two-hour show to donate money to the organisations.
U2 singer and aid campaigner Bono will discuss his ONE campaign which intends to make poverty history, while the six Idols finalists will sing 'American Prayer', a song about Africa's Aids emergency, written by the Irish singer and the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart.
"Maybe some people don’t want to spend two hours watching poverty and people suffering," said FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz.
"But we’re going to try to do it in a way that gives them great entertainment but raises awareness for people who are very poor, and children in particular, in the United States and Africa."
So apart from featuring performances from the stage of 'Idols', the show will have DeGeneres, the Oscars host, overseeing a series of events at Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Some of the big names appearing also include comedy star Jack Black, Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox, legendary producer Quincy Jones, country stars Rascal Flatts, warbler Celine Dion, operatic boy band Il Divo, crooner Josh Groban, Oscar winner Helen Mirren, and the original 'American Idol' Kelly Clarkson.
Richard Curtis, the writer-director behind 'Love, Actually' and 'Notting Hill', worked on the 'Idol' charity show in conjunction with the series' creator Simon Fuller.
Curtis, who is a co-founder of the Red Nose Day charity, used the annual British event as a template for the 'Idols' show.
On Tuesday night's performance show, the six 'Idols' finalists will sing "life anthems". Viewers will then vote for their favourite as usual, but for each vote money will be donated to organisations like the Global Fund, UNICEF and Save The Children by several corporate sponsors.
On the Wednesday night telethon, the stars will encourage viewers to make their own donations to organisations like Malaria No More; Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Nothing But Nets; and America’s Second Harvest: The Nation’s Food Bank Network.
(Courtesy of entertainment.iafrica.com)