Mead, who won the role by public vote on the BBC1 reality TV show "Any Dream Will Do," will leave the show on Jan. 10, 2009, at the end of his contract; he will be succeeded by Gates beginning Feb. 9. In the intervening period, the role will be assumed by understudy Ricky Rojas.
Gates, who became Head Chorister at Bradford Cathedral when he was eleven years old, and sang for the Queen at the age of 13, was runner-up in the first ever Pop Idol in 2002. He has since had four number one singles and sold 3.5 million records to date. Earlier this year, Gates appeared in ITV1's "Dancing on Ice" and went on to participate in the Dancing on Ice U.K. tour. More recently, he performed in A Spoonful of Stiles & Drewe, a charity gala celebrating the 25-year writing partnership of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Prior to taking over in Joseph, he will appear as Prince Charming in Cinderella, running at the New Wimbledon Theatre Dec. 5, 2008-Jan. 18, 2009, with a cast that also includes Joanna Page and Alistair McGowan.
In a press statement, Gates said, "I have a lot to thank Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for as it is the reason I first started singing, after being chosen to play the lead in a school production when I was eight years old. Ever since then it's been a dream of mine to appear in a West End musical. I am really honoured to be appearing at the Adelphi, stepping into that famous coat and really can't wait to get stuck in!"
This production, a re-staging of the 1991 London Palladium production that was originally directed by Steven Pimlott, designed by Mark Thompson and choreographed by Anthony van Laast, opened at the Adelphi Theatre on July 17, 2007.
To book tickets, contact the box office at 0870 895 5598 or visit www.josephthemusical.com.