Will.i.am, a judge on the BBC's X-Factor rival show The Voice, is reported to have been meeting Simon Cowell to work on a new reality show to find the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.
Will.i.am is a well-known gadget and technology fan, having been made director of creative innovation by Intel in 2011. When launching his own non-profit organisation i.am.angel, to help transform lives through "education, opportunity and inspiration", he said he hoped the scheme would help find a new Bill Gates. Now, with the media mogul Cowell, it seems that search will hit TV screens too.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Will.i.am explained why he had been meeting the creator and star of X-Factor on both sides of the pond. "We’re working on a project called X Factor for Tech - and it’s going to be out of this world," he said.
"Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots.
"It’s about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves — whether that’s in science or mathematics."
There's no guarantee the show will make it on to television, however. Cowell himself has recently announced that he has scrapped an idea to launch a reality show to find a world-class DJ - a project he was working on with Will Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
If his collaboration with Will.i.am does come off, one question will be what to name it (presuming X-Factor for Tech is a working title). We suggest Text-Factor? Or American iPod? How about Britain's Got a Bunch of Geeks and Freaks who Wouldn't get a Break Elsewhere? That'd be right up Syco's alley...