Popstar to Operastar judges change
Meat Loaf and Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen have been replaced by Vanessa Mae and Simon Callow on the 'Popstar to Operastar' judging panel
Meat Loaf and Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen have been axed from 'Popstar to Operastar'.
The 'Bat out of Hell' hitmaker and the flamboyant designer have reportedly been replaced on this year's panel by classical violinist Vanessa Mae and actor and theatre director Simon Callow.
The pair will join existing panellists Katherine Jenkins and Rolando Villazon in giving their opinions on the operatic performances of chart stars, including former 'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry, ex-Pussycat Dolls member Melody Thornton, Toploader frontman Joe Washbourne and Steps' Claire Richards.
The quartet will do battle against eighties singers Midge Ure from Ultravox, Erasure's Andy Bell and Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker, as well as US star Jocelyn Brown.
A spokesperson for the show said Meat Loaf and Laurence had stood down from the programme - hosted by Myleene Klass - because of schedule clashes with their other working commitments.
However, Meat Loaf left bosses at ITV fuming last year when he criticised a number of their high-profile shows shortly after his appointment to the panel was announced.
The singer raged at the time: "I was watching this 'Skating with the Stars' thing. I mean, what the f**k is that?
"And that awful 'I'm A Celebrity.' It's just for Ant and Dec to make money."
'Popstar to Operastar' returns on Saturday (04.06.11) with a special programme introducing the contestants, before the show proper starts the following day and the first celebrity will be eliminated in a public vote.
Last year's series was won by 'Pop Idol' finalist Darius Campbell.