A Dutch television station has provoked outrage after revealing that a new show will feature three ill contestants competing to receive a kidney.

The television programme will see a terminally ill woman select one of the three for the organ transplant operation.

Political parties have protested against 'The Big Donor Show', which is made by the Dutch company Endemol, the makers of 'Big Brother'.

Joop Atsma, of the Christian Democrat Party, said: "It can't be possible that, in the Netherlands, people vote about who's getting a kidney."

However television network BNN claims that the show is highlighting the shortage of organ donors.

BNN chairperson Laurens Drillich said: "The chance for a kidney for the contestants is 33 per cent."

"This is much higher than that for people on a waiting list. You would expect it to be better but it is worse."

During the show the 37-year-old donor, identified only as Lisa, will be given information on the contestants' history. She will also be allowed to talk to their families and friends.

Viewers can also participate in the decision by sending text messages in to the show during the 80 minutes that it is on air on Friday next.