Are you the UK's Chop Idol?

Young butchers are being given the chance to get themselves declared the UK's 'Chop Idol' with the launch of a new television-based competition.

The BBC is launching a search for the UK's top young talent with a programme called Young Butcher of the Year 2009, which will be appearing on BBC3 later in the year.

The programme makers said the project "celebrates the millions of young British workers whose skills aren't the kind to win them £1m recording contract".

Young Butcher of the Year is part of a new BBC Three series celebrating young trade talent across the country. It has been dubbed 'Chop Idol' and it will celebrate our country's young unsung heroes.

A spokesman for the show said: "There are talent shows for dancers, singers and entertainers, but what about all those who never see the limelight? If you are a talented young butcher, we want to hear from you. Or if you know someone who fits the bill, please get in touch.

"We are looking for someone who can be a true ambassador for their trade, who is aged 16-25 years, up for a challenge and wants to show the world their skills."

News of the programme has been welcomed by the trade. Graham Bidston, chief executive of the National Federation of Meat & Food Traders, said it was great to get recognition from the mainstream media for the sector's skills: "Anything that is going to help identify young butchers and encourage people into the industry has got to be a good thing."

Douglas Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Food & Meat Traders Association, said: "Anything that highlights the individual skills of our craft butchers is of benefit to the industry. Hopefully it will make the industry look a bit sexier - there are a lot of skills that butchers have that I hope are able to be portrayed on the show, so that people understand what it takes to be a butcher."

Butchers wishing to take part in the show can either email the producers via this address,, or contact them at the Casting Team, BBC TVC, room 3136, Wood Lane, London W14 7RJ. Entry deadline is 6 March

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