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Fame Academy comes to SE1?!

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Monday 13 December 2004 5.07pm
In case you haven't seen the thread of the possible new use for the Tower Bridge Centre, my spies tell me that, in the short term, this building ( the old school just on the sound side of Tower Bridge ), opposite the closed public toilets, is going to become the CELEBRITY FAME ACADEMY building for Comic Relief early in 2005.

So, be prepared for hoards of crowds, road closures, impossible parking, helicopters, D-list Celebs and general mayhem.

BTW - I believe they were not allowed to return to their previous residence in Highgate due to resident complaints of some of the abovenamed mayhem!!

Monday 13 December 2004 5.17pm
I also believe this is true (have seen the Endemol signs on the site, called them, and got fobbed off with something which was not quite a denial).

I don't mind the prospect of Celebrity Fame Academy (1 week - for charidee) so much as the thought that a full-length series might also be filmed there later in the year. If they kit the place out for the celeb version it might make them more likely to go for a 3rd full series (none has been announced yet though) and possibly in the same location.

Do they need planning permission for this?

(Red Nose Day is Mar 11 by the way so it is coming soon!)

Monday 13 December 2004 5.27pm
From the Mirror a couple of weeks ago:


THE producers of BBC's Fame Academy were fined 10,000 yesterday for failing to protect employees against asbestos.

Endemol UK plc, which also makes Big Brother, admitted two health and safety offences.

The 140 production workers were exposed to two types of asbestos in the basement of the Fame Academy set - a large listed building in Highgate, North London - over a seven-month period.

Asbestos fibres from old pipe laggings and vinyl floor tiles were disturbed during sweeping, drilling, sawing, and cable-laying.

One sample take by health and safety experts registered as high risk. Health inspector Emma Brown told City of London magistrates "the risk was not controlled". It was impossible to say who might have been exposed.

Monday 13 December 2004 5.38pm
Neil Wrote:
> I also believe this is true (have seen the Endemol
> signs on the site, called them, and got fobbed off
> with something which was not quite a denial).

Yes, I spoke to the press office on Friday who didn't deny it, but claimed no location had been chosen yet and the production team wouldn't be in place till the New Year.

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Monday 13 December 2004 5.48pm
If it is not true then what are they planning for the site?

I thought there would be an outright denial from them if it wasn't true - the absence of one I thought was telling.

There is a lot of security there now as well - I saw a couple of guards on patrol and they seemed to have a base on the site.

After the problems with Witanhurst Hall (sp?) and David Blaine would they not have been wiser to go for an old pile in the country where there would be no residents to bother?
Thursday 16 December 2004 10.01am
According to the Southwark News today the Council has received a planning application for the site for "television production purposes".
Saturday 18 December 2004 11.52am
If so, then the best way to raise residents' concerns is by objecting. You can either object to the whole thing altogether, or suggest conditions which may be imposed by Southwark without which the proposals should not be allowed, or which may mitigate some of the foreseen problems.

Copy what you send to your councillors, who should represent you and will be your best allies in any decisions made by the council.
Saturday 18 December 2004 8.15pm
I have been invited to a meeting in early January with Endemol, to represent Tooley Street and Tower Bridge Community Association , to discuss their proposed use of the site. You can rest assured that I will do my utmost to prevent any repitition of the David Blaine fiasco and will post a mesage here afterwards on the outcome.
Tuesday 4 January 2005 11.06am
Today's South London Press suggests that Endemol wants to film series 2 of The X Factor on the site.

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Tuesday 4 January 2005 11.31pm
I don't think Endemol has anything to do with X-Factor, which is produced by Simon Cowell's own companies. Endemol make Fame Academy and Big Brother, BB has now moved to Endemol West in Bristol. So South London Press must be confusing the two talent shows!
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