ITV rolling out red carpet for movie awards

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ITV will unveil its own movie awards show in September that will see viewers select their choice of winners, director of television Simon Shaps said Thursday.

Announcing the broadcaster's spring-summer schedule, Shaps said ITV will host a nationwide poll across television, newspapers, magazines and online to allow movie watchers to vote for winners in the National Movie Awards program. Theatrical releases for the 12 months to the August 2007 deadline will be eligible for voting.

"I think there is a renewal in the public appetite for movies, particularly in this country," said Shaps, who greenlighted ITV's Oscar winner "The Queen."

"We are in something of a golden age, not just with British movies but with British talent, so there's an opportunity to scale up and reinvent movie awards and bring in a huge public (voting) component."

Highlights of ITV's schedule include the Simon Cowell-fronted variety show "Britain's Got Talent," which sees hopefuls from all fields of entertainment compete for a chance to perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Show.

Fresh from appearing in ITV show "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here," David Gest will be the subject of a documentary and will also be a judge on "Grease Is the Word," which aims to find a Danny and Sandy to take to the boards of London's West End in a reprisal of the '70s musical.

Drama highlights include "Is This Love," about a lothario who falls in love with his best friend's fiancee, and "The Man Who Lost His Head," which sees Martin Clunes as a museum curator who joins a Maori community on the other side of the world.

ITV will screen "The Queen" later this year to mark the 10-year anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. It also will air other Diana-themed programming, including "Diana's Last Day," which promises unseen pictures of the princess and interviews with some of the paparazzi photographers who followed her on the night of her death.
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