Dawn French and Jason Donovan search for the new Jesus Christ Superstar
Friday 18 May 2012
Dawn French and Jason Donovan have been signed up as judges for
Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for the lead in his musical Jesus Christ
And Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden is confirmed as host of the live heats of the ITV1 programme, which launches this summer.
The series, called Superstar, will fill the role of Jesus for an arena tour of the hit musical which also stars ex-Spice Girl Mel C, Tim Minchin and Radio 1's Chris Moyles.
Guest performers who are booked for each show will also join the judges to give their opinions about the wannabes.
Vicar of Dibley star French joked about how she was relishing the prospect of joining the panel led by the composer, who has the formal title of Lord Lloyd-Webber. She said: "I'm gagging to find Jesus with the help of the Good Lord.
"I have actually been searching for him my whole life, and I can't believe that inside a few weeks we are going to find him.
"The fact that he is going to be a Rock God is a massive bonus."
Donovan has already been a judge in the early stages of the search and will now continue for the televised heats.
He said: "We have unearthed some cracking talent so far and I'm really pleased I've had time to get to know the finalists as we've moved through the competition stages.
"It's an honour to sit by Andrew on the judging panel and I can't wait for the live shows to start."
Holden said: "It's an absolute honour to be working with Andrew on Superstar. We've discovered some wonderful talent for the viewers, I already feel very protective of them, I'm like Mother Hen with all my boys."
The winner will take the lead role in a national tour, opening at London's O2 arena on 21 September.
Moyles is to play Herod, Mel C is Mary Magdalene, while Minchin takes the role of Judas Iscariot.
Lloyd Webber said: "I am thrilled with the finalists I have chosen to put through to the live shows, they could not be a more varied bunch."
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