The judging panel for the series will be led by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who also judged previous TV casting programs for his productions of The Sound of Music and his own show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as well as Cameron Mackintosh's most recent West End revival of Oliver!, respectively won by Connie Fisher, Lee Mead and Josie Prenger.
Joining Lloyd Webber is celebrated TV comedienne Dawn French and actor/singer Jason Donovan. In a press statement, French commented, "I’m gagging to find Jesus with the help of the Good Lord. I have actually been searching for him my whole life, and I can't believe that inside a few weeks we are going to find him. The fact that he is going to be a Rock God is a massive bonus!"
Donovan, who also assisted Lloyd Webber in the earlier audition stages of the competition, added, "We have unearthed some cracking talent so far and I'm really pleased I've had time to get to know the finalists as we’ve moved through the competition stages. It's an honour to sit by Andrew on the judging panel and I can’t wait for the live shows to start."
Melanie C, who will take on the role of Mary Magdalene in the arena tour, will be supporting the judges and potential Superstars throughout the live shows.
Lloyd Webber, with the assistance of David Grindrod, Melanie C and Jason Donovan, have now finished the nationwide audition tour, and host Amanda Holden has been on hand for all the auditionees. The Jesus Christ Superstar arena tour is a co-production between AEG Live, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group. "Superstar" is an ITV Studios Production for ITV1. The arena tour will begin at London's O2 Arena on Sept. 21, then play dates in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool and Nottingham, before culminating in Sheffield on Oct. 21.
For further details on the TV show, visit http://superstar.itv.com; for the arena tour and booking, visit www.jesuschristsuperstar.com.