IT was standing room only at today’s press launch for new ITV1 drama Rock Rivals.
Former Coronation Street actor Sean Gallagher and ex-EastEnder Michelle Collins play the two lead roles.
That’s husband and wife Mal and Karina Faith, judges on music talent show Rock Rivals.
If images of The X Factor pop into your head, it’s hardly surprising.
Simon Cowell was the script consultant in an eight-part series inspired by the real thing.
It’s made by Shed Productions, the people who gave us Bad Girls and Footballers’ Wives.
Several hacks, me included, turned up at the London venue this morning fearing the worst.
But I have to say that although Rock Rivals is totally daft – it’s also very entertaining.
And it might just give ITV the shot in the arm it needs after the relative flops of recent dramas like The Palace and Honest.
Set to arrive on a screen near you later this month, there’s a full feature in tomorrow’s MEN.
Update: The online version of the feature is here.
With lines like: “Even that Scottish fattie got herself a radio show,” you can guess this is one series that is not aiming for the intellectual high ground.
Episode one sees Michelle’s character drive her husband’s red Ferrari into a swimming pool after he’s cheated on her.
She also trashes some of his precious possessions, including a Hendrix electric guitar.
There are some nice visual jokes, including the interior of the garage at the Faith’s luxury mansion.
It’s filled with luxury cars, sports cars, vintage cars…and a helicopter.
I also took the opportunity today to ask Sean why he left the role of factory boss Paul Connor last summer after less than a year on the cobbles.
He told me: “I don’t think you ever know what it’s going to be like until you do it, a soap.
“It’s a very different process, from beginning to end. I didn’t know what to expect. You kind of realise it’s not for you.
“I’m very pleased to have been in it and feel kind of honoured to have been in it. It’s like it’s a classic show, isn’t it?”
Rock Rivals executive producer Brian Park added: “As a former producer of Coronation Street, I think you always appreciate that there’s going to be a certain actor that’s only going to stay in it for a brief time.
“And there are other ones that are quite happy for it to be their pension. And Sean’s obviously the former.”
Pop Fiction…Or Reality?