Talent-spotting show Idol is to be launched in the Middle East this year, according to a recent announcement from MBC. The ten year-old programme, which has had huge success in more than 44 different countries, will be launched in the Middle East in December under the name ‘Arab Idol’. The popular show will give young Arabs the chance to let the world know what they can do, and open the door for those with exceptional singing voices. It will appeal to aspiring musicians from as many as 44 Arab states, giving budding enthusiasts the chance to compete for a record deal with production company Platinum Records. The contestants, who will be selected following casting sessions in Cairo and Casablanca this week, will compete on a weekly basis and eliminated based on the judges’ decision. Signed up for the judges panel are renowned producer and composer Hassan El Shafei, and famous Arab singers Ragheb Alama and Ahlam.The ultimate winner will be chosen solely through the viewers’ votes in the final round during the finale of the show. The Idol franchise was a spin-off from the British talent search television series Pop Idol.