TV 'Apprentice' for celeb authors

<p>A new &quot;Apprentice&quot;-style reality TV show will turn one of six celebrities into a crime author, mentored by Minette Walters and published by Pan Macmillan.</p><p>&quot;Murder Most Famous&quot;, which will be broadcast on BBC2 during the week of World Book Day (6th March), is the brainchild of &quot;Strictly Come Dancing&quot; and &quot;Dragons&#39; Den&quot; mastermind Richard Hopkins, m.d. of Fever Media. Hopkins hopes the programme will do for writing what &quot;Strictly Come Dancing&quot; did for ballroom dancing&mdash;making the subject accessible and an &quot;entertaining prospect&quot; as a TV format.</p><p>The series will be broadcast in five daily 45-minute episodes, and pits six celebrities&mdash;dancer Brendan Cole, actresses Sherrie Hewson and Angela Griffin, former tabloid editor Kelvin MacKenzie, presenter Matt Allwright and gardener Diarmuid Gavin&mdash;against each other.</p><p>They will be mentored by Walters, who will set a series of challenges to inspire the celebrities&#39; daily writing tasks. Training will include dog tracking, resisting a violent attack, an autopsy, crime scene investigation, interrogation techniques and rapid pursuit of a suspect. Walters will judge the celebrities&#39; writing efforts and eliminate one candidate each day.</p><p>The winner will turn their plot and central characters into a novel, to be published with Pan as a Quick Read on WBD 2009, in conjunction with the BBC&#39;s adult literacy campaign RaW. The proceeds will go towards BBC Children in Need.</p><p>Pan Macmillan publishing director Maria Rejt, who will edit the winning celebrity&#39;s book, said it would be &quot;a really big, fat challenge&quot;. &quot;Writing crime is really difficult, and they&#39;ve got to do a really good job,&quot; she added.</p><p>The series is being produced by Hopkins&#39; Fever Media, a production company backed by Sony BMG. A website will show examples of the celebrity pupils&#39; writing (as well as Walters&#39; critiques), video diaries and extra footage.</p>