According to The Sun newspaper much-loved comedienne Dawn French has been approached by Andrew Lloyd Webber to be one of the judges on his next TV talent show search. Superstar will see the theatre producer looking for a lead for his upcoming revival of his and Tim Rice's musical Jesus Christ Superstar which is scheduled to open in the O2 prior to a national tour.
Ex Spice Girl Melanie C and Neighbours heartthrob-turned popstar Jason Donovan have already been aiding Lloyd Webber's search during an intensive bootcamp process a few weeks ago. It has not yet been confirmed whether they will be part of the TV judging panel but Britain's Got talent judge and ex Shrek The Musical star Amanda Holden recently seemed to let slip on breakfast show This Morning that she had signed on to present the series. It has been suggested that rather than the usual weekend show structure spread out over a number of weeks, that the upcoming show may be shortened to two weeks but playing out over consecutive nights.
Reality TV puppetmaster Simon Cowell has previously stated his desire to work with French on some kind of show, recognising her broad public appeal, sharp wit and sunny demeanour as a no-brainer for ratings success. It will be a great coup for Lloyd Webber's show if French signs on. Although his four previous talent searches were on the BBC, Superstar is set to screen on ITV this July. French is well known for her long running partnership with Jennifer Saunders, who is currently penning the book for the upcoming Spice Girls musical Viva Forever. As well as numerous BBC comedy sketch series and specials as part of the French & Saunders double act, Dawn is also known for her leading role in Richard Curtis' The Vicar Of Dibley playing unconventional vicar Geraldine Granger. Other TV credits include twisted comedy murder series Murder Most Horrid, Cornish-set Wild West with Catherine Tate, rural Women's Guild-based Jam & Jerusalem alongside Sue Johnston, and recent series Roger and Val Have Just Got In with Alfred Molina.
Lloyd Webber's most recent TV search Over The Rainbow preceded the current West End production of The Wizard Of Oz, currently playing at the London Palladium .
Book Wizard of Oz tickets online now.
[posted by James, 17/04/2012]