Conley to Succeed Ball in London's Hairspray

News   Conley to Succeed Ball in London's Hairspray
The popular British TV and stage personality Brian Conley will take over as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, currently running at London's Shaftesbury Theatre, according to a report in London's Daily Mail.

Conley will assume the role on July 27, after Michael Ball – who has been playing the role since the show first opened in October 2007 – finally leaves the show, after playing out the longest continuous contract that he has ever performed. Ball has previously stated that the show "has without doubt been one of the happiest and most fulfilling experiences of my professional life."

Conley, who began his career as a holiday camp entertainer for British company Pontin's and then started his television career as a warm-up man for Terry Wogan, Noel Edmonds and Kenny Everett, has appeared on TV in his own series, "Brian Conley: This Way Up" and "The Brian Conley Show," as well as in the sitcom "Time After Time" (awarded the British Comedy Award for Best ITV sitcom), and played Doug "Dynamo" Digby in "The Gimleys." He has also presented "The National Lottery Show Live," provided the voices for the children's computer animated series "Busy Buses," and starred in "An Audience with...," and appeared in many Royal Variety Performances. He was the guest star on Bob Hope's last world tour. He has also appeared in the films "Circus," "Unconditional Love," "Arthur's Dyke" and "Equilibrium."

On stage he was most recently seen in 2008 in Chichester Festival Theatre's production of The Music Man. Other West End roles include taking over in Me and My Girl at the Adelphi Theatre, originating the title role in Jolson at the Victoria Palace Theatre, appearing in David Farr's Elton John's Glasses at the Queen's Theatre, and starring as Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! at the London Palladium, subsequently re-creating the role on national tour. He has recorded three albums, "Stage to Screen," "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Brian Conley Sings."

Amongst his awards, he has won The National Television Award for Most Popular Comedy Performer, Show Business Personality of the Year and Most Popular Performer in the 2004 Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards.

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