Russell Grant to Replace Michael Crawford in Title Role of London's The Wizard Of Oz

Russell Grant, TV astrologer turned reality dance show contestant, is to take over the title role of The Wizard of Oz from Michael Crawford, beginning performances Feb. 14, for a 12-week season.  

He is joined by Sophie Evans, the runner-up in the BBC's "Over the Rainbow" contest, in which the public chose Danielle Hope to play the role of Dorothy.

Grant, who began his career as an actor, appeared on U.K. television regularly through the 1980s and 1990s as an astrologer, but in 2011 he became nationally famous for partnering Flavia Cacace in TV's "Strictly Come Dancing." In a statement, he commented, "I am thrilled to be back where I'm at my happiest — in showbiz! I want to thank the great British public for their kindness in supporting me in 'Strictly': without them, I wouldn't be back in the West End again."

As well as the title role, Russell will also play Professor Marvel.

Aslo in the company are Edward Baker-Duly (Tin Man), Martin Callaghan (Lion), Paul Keating (Scarecrow), Emily Tierney (Glinda) and Marianne Benedict (The Wicked Witch of the West).

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 2957, or visit