How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? was a British television talent series which was broadcast on Saturday evenings on BBC One between 29 July and 16 September 2006. It documented the search for a new, undiscovered musical theatre performer to play the role of Maria von Trapp in the 2006 Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian stage production of The Sound of Music. Presented by Graham Norton and "masterminded" by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the title of the show was derived from a line in the production's song "Maria".
Following a public telephone vote, 23-year-old Connie Fisher was chosen as Maria and performed the role in the West End from November 2006 to February 2008. The series also helped the careers of the other finalists, some of whom later took leading roles in West End shows. Semi-finalist Aoife Mulholland also took up the role of Maria in April 2007 for two shows a week, after Fisher was advised to reduce her performances to six per week.
This was the first programme to allow the public to cast a leading role in a West End show, and it was initially criticised. However, it won International Emmy and Royal Television Society awards and became the first of a series of collaborations between the BBC and Lloyd Webber, including Any Dream Will Do, I'd Do Anything, and Over the Rainbow. The series also led to versions and similar series abroad.
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