‘Bishops Got Talent will bring the Church of England into the 21st century,’ said executive producer Simon Cowell. ‘It’s high time people got to choose their Archbishop according to who can perform the best song and dance routine. I’m no theologian but I’m pretty sure it’s what Jesus would have wanted.’
Bishops from around the country will compete for the coveted title by performing in front of a panel of religious experts: Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and regular ‘grumpy judge’ Professor Richard Dawkins. Poor performing bishops may be ‘buzzed off’ by the panel: each buzzer illuminating a holy cross above the bishop’s head. Three crosses in a row and the bishop will be forcibly dragged off stage by a giant crosier.
Favourites for the title include Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu who will ride around on a unicycle while simultaneously attempting to cut up his dog collar and juggle a number of hot potatoes, including women bishops and gay marriage.
Meanwhile Bishop of London Richard Chartres will perform a break dance routine alongside his crew of street dancing clergy, Ecumenical Diversity. ‘The ability to body pop is crucial for the role,’ said Chartres. ‘Every Archbishop of Canterbury needs to be able to spin on his mitre and perform an endless number of backflips.’
However, many believe that Cowell has already rigged the contest with his own choice, a bishop boy band called One True Path. ‘I think it is only right that young people get a chance to be Archbishop as well,’ said Cowell. ‘The Church of England need some fresh faced young boys at the helm. It would certainly appeal to the teenage market and would probably put a stop to a lot of priests converting to Catholicism.’
Bishops Got Talent begins next week on ITV1 but will be going head to head with a new BBC show, The Holy Voice, in which another group of bishops perform a sermon for Tom Jones. ‘We hope people will stick with Bishops Got Talent,’ said Cowell. ‘Ratings are important and the last thing we want is a schism.’