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Will Britannia rule the airwaves?

ITV's big new musical drama, Britannia High, will air in a prime-time weekend slot from next month, the broadcaster has confirmed.


ITV launched the show at a special event in London yesterday, where it wheeled out the (very good looking) cast members and its creators, Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips and theatre impresario David Ian.


For those coming late to Britannia High, which follows the fortunes of six students at a performing arts college, the nine-part show mixes music, dance and drama with the series ending with a live spectacular.


Two red-button documentaries on how the cast was chosen will also accompany the show, while DVDs and music downloads aplenty will be thrown in for good measure. The show is being billed as ITV's most ambitious multiplatform project to date, with the first episode airing on ITV.com a week before it hits the small screen.


The outgoing ITV director of entertainment, Paul Jackson, said he had "high hopes" for the show, although he seemed to dampen expectations somewhat when he said it would be placed in a "very competitive schedule where there are no hiding places".


When exactly it will air was not revealed, although ITV refused to rule out pitching the show against Strictly Come Dancing, which airs on both Saturday and Sundays, meaning Phillips' two shows could air against each other.


Phillips told Monkey she didn't see any conflict in appearing on both channels, but said she knew where her heart lay in any battle. You can hear more from Arlene here.

"I love Strictly Come Dancing," she said. "It is the best hobby in the world, but this [Britannia High] is my passion. This is something I have always wanted to do."


Strictly a hobby? Ouch.

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