O'Connor, who was awarded the CBE in 2008 for his services to entertainment and broadcasting, recently enjoyed a special 80th birthday TV show on ITV. Since making his first TV appearance in 1963, he has starred in his own shows for over 45 years – longer than anyone else anywhere in the world. His most recent titles include the "Des O'Connor Tonight" Specials, the award-winning ITV talk show "Today with Des and Mel" and his interview last year on Piers Morgan's "Life Stories."
He has also produced 36 solo albums, selling over 16 million copies to date, and spending a staggering 117 weeks in the top ten of the charts. On stage, he has also appeared at the MGM Grand Las Vegas and Sydney Opera House, and was most recently seen in the West End as a guest star in Dreamboats and Petticoats at the Playhouse.
He takes over from Russell Grant, and joins a cast that includes Sophie Evans, runner-up in the BBC's "Over the Rainbow" contest as Dorothy, with Edward Baker-Duly as Tin Man, Martin Callaghan as Lion, Paul Keating as Scarecrow, Emily Tierney as Glinda and Marianne Benedict as the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is directed by Jeremy Sams, choreographed by Arlene Phillips, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E Y Harburg, additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, set and costumes designs by Robert Jones, and produced by Bill Kenwright and The Really Useful Group.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 2957, or visit www.wizardofthemusical.com.