Actor Kevin Spacey has criticised the BBC for showing talent shows such as Any Dream Will Do and I'd Do Anything for promoting musicals.

"I felt that was essentially a 13-week promotion for a musical - where's our 13-week programme?" Spacey said in an interview with the BBC.

"I have spoken to your chairman but he has yet to get back to me," the Hollywood star added.

Spacey is artistic director at the Old Vic theatre and is currently starring in David Mamet's play Speed-the-Plow with Jeff Goldblum.

Spacey told the BBC it was "great" people were getting "interested in the West End and theatres", but he thought the BBC's talent shows were "crossing the line" and "unfair".

The BBC denied the shows overly promoted a specific show. "The BBC doesn't have any commercial interest in the subsequent West End production, or any related spin offs such as touring productions," a spokesperson said.

He added: "We're fully aware of the need to ensure that I'd Do Anything is not unduly promotional and will continue to take steps to ensure that the programme meets with all BBC editorial guidelines as with previous productions."

The broadcaster's most recent show, I'd Do Anything, attempts to find actors play the parts of Nancy and Oliver in Lionel Bart's Oliver Twist.

In place of the reality shows, Spacey said he would like to see the return of Play for Today on the BBC, which screened more than 300 plays between 1970 and 1984, in order to get people more interested in theatre.

31/03/2008 16:22:09