I see that Saturday’s edition of singing talent show The X-Factor featured a guest appearance by Robbie Williams. And previous episodes have featured appearances by Mariah Carey and Beyonce, with the inevitable ratings-grabbing results.

And a notion occurred to me. One which, I think, might have what the folks in the idea biz call ‘legs’.

Here it is: instead of going through the hassle of hosting regional singing heats, hiring limos and hotel rooms for judges, hiring venues and risking getting into legal trouble by utilising telephone voting for the final rounds, and then the fuss of recording the first album by the winner and promoting it… instead of all that, why not just get established singers to come onto a TV show?

You could make sure that the format works by only selecting popular singers (or even groups), and maybe link their appearance on the show to their relative popularity in some way; maybe using some quantifiable sales thing like how many CDs or downloads they’d sold that week? You could even structure the show with a crescendo aspect, so the most popular singer or band that week plays at the end – saving the biggest star until last, as it were.

Obviously, there are a couple of less positive aspects to this – there’d be less need to use Craig Armstrong’s Film Works 1995-2005 CD for all of the linky bits*, and you’d probably have to make the show a bit shorter (maybe 30 minutes instead of 90 minutes) – but I reckon that you could probably get a pretty good audience with a show like this.

Offhand, I’m not wedded to any ideas of what we’d call such a show, but you want it to be snappy and appealing that sums it up in a few words – maybe something like Hottest Of The Hits? I’m not sure, I’m just spitballing here.

Anyway, if you have an ‘in’ with any TV production people, feel free to float this idea, and see what they think. I know it sounds simple, but often those ideas have the broadest appeal.

*This is a downside as I think Mr Armstrong is a very talented composer, and I want him to be receive the royalties for his work being used. Because week after week after week after week, his music is used.