Belfast Telegraph

New judging role for Darcey Bussell

Strictly Come Dancing's Darcey Bussell is to become a judge for another TV contest as she joins the panel for BBC Young Dancer 2015.

The former leading ballet star will be a presenter for the television coverage of the talent search but will also join judges for the final to be screened by BBC Two in May.

Also on the panel - searching for leading lights in a number of different dance styles - are choreographers such as Matthew Bourne, Akram Khan and Wayne McGregor.

Darcey, who has worked on Strictly for three series, said she was "delighted" to be involved and said the competition would "encourage and support the next generation of new dance talent".

The competition is part of a new arts emphasis on classical music and dance over the coming months which the BBC is calling The Year Of Song And Dance, much of it on BBC Four and Radio 3.

It will also include a film about French song presented by Petula Clark - Chanson: The Story Of French Music - and Neil Brand's series The Sound Of Song which begins this week and analyses the elements of popular songs for BBC Four.

In another series for the channel, The Golden Age Of Singing, Sir Antonio Pappano from the Royal Opera House will examine the human voice.

Radio 3's forthcoming programmes include a classical voice season to tie in with the BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World competition in June.

BBC Young Dancer 2015 will feature a range of documentaries and behind-the-scenes programming on BBC Four and culminates with a live final from Sadler's Wells in London to be broadcast by BBC Two.

Launching the Year of Song and Dance season today, BBC director-general Tony Hall said: "Over the next twelve months we'll be offering everyone extraordinary access to some of today's great artists and performers. And we'll be working with the very best to inspire new talent right across the country.

"When the BBC gets behind something, working closely with lots of others, we can offer opportunities like no-one else."

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