TV presenter Graham Norton has defended BBC talent shows in the wake of criticism from Kevin Spacey.

The actor stated that shows such I'D DO ANYTHING and ANY DREAM WILL DO are a "13-week promotion for a musical" and suggested that more attention should be devoted to plays.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1 at a reception for BAFTA nominees, Graham, who presents I'D DO ANYTHING, said: "In the end, he is right, we are promoting the fact that Oliver is going to be on in the West End.

"But equally every week we feature lots of musicals on the show."

He added that he sympathised with Spacey's sadness that more people do not go to watch plays, adding: "Maybe he should put a musical on and people will go to see that."

I'D DO ANYTHING sees contestant trying to win the parts of Nancy and Oliver in the hit West End musical Oliver, which is being produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh.

The Mirror recently reported that DIY SOS star Nick Knowles will play Bill Sykes in the production, despite the fact that he has no real acting experience.

11/04/2008 14:33:16