17 Mar 2010
BBC ONE Over the Rainbow JUDGING PANEL ANNOUNCED
Charlotte Church, Sheila Hancock and John Partridge to join Andrew Lloyd Webber in the search for Dorothy and Toto
A new line-up of judges will be helping Andrew Lloyd Webber and the nation to decide who will make the perfect Dorothy in the forthcoming Over the Rainbow for BBC ONE. Charlotte Church, Sheila Hancock and John Partridge (Christian Clarke, EastEnders) are to form the expert panel providing insightful opinions and comments, but ultimately the viewers determine the rightful heir of those famous ruby red slippers.
Over the Rainbow will reunite host Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who, along with the panel of experts and BBC ONE viewers, will choose a Dorothy to perform in the West End production next year. The show will transmit Spring 2010.
Andrew Lloyd Webber commented: "Each member of the panel brings something new and exciting which will take Over the Rainbow even further than the previous shows. We have a fantastic wealth of talent within our judges, and I know they're going to be bringing some incredibly valuable expertise and opinions in our search for Dorothy."
The panel added:
"I’m so looking forward to working with Andrew - he's an icon of the music industry, and a real hero of mine. My career started with Pie Jesu, which was of course written by Andrew, so it feels like I've come full circle!" said Charlotte Church. John Partridge confirmed: "Musical theatre has always been my first love - it's where I began my career - so I'm hugely excited to be joining the panel. I can't wait to work with Andrew again and to see what talent the country has to offer. Dorothy is such an iconic role, for so many reasons!"
Currently appearing in the musical Sister Act in the West End, Sheila Hancock, commented: "I've had an interesting and varied career so now I am looking forward to working with the panel and Andrew to seek out some fantastic new talent. I’m enthusiastic about a TV series which shows the ins and outs of live theatre, and Over the Rainbow will do just that. The Wizard of Oz has to be one of the most well-known and best loved musicals, so it’s lovely to be involved in the process of updating it for new audiences."