Andrew Lloyd-Webber quits BBC
- Bang Showbiz
- 6 January 2012
Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber has quit the BBC to front a show for ITV1 for to find a star to appear in a touring production of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'
Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber has quit the BBC to film a new show for ITV.
The musicals supremo will head up the judging panel in a search to find an actor to play Judas in a touring production of rock opera 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and has joined the rival network as his former bosses were uncomfortable with casting roles in the biblical stage show.
A source said: "He has been wanting to get this off the ground for some time but the BBC just didn't want it.
"They had issues about auditioning for Jesus. They feared Christians would get hot under the collar. The Beeb also kept getting flak for effectively promoting Andrew's commercial interests.
"ITV chief Peter Fincham is close to Andrew's people and has been desperate to do something with him for ages. Now it's finally happening."
However, the new show has already run into problems as composer Tim Rice - who wrote the lyrics for the original production - is not said to be keen on the idea.
The source added to The Sun newspaper: "He is not a massive fan of TV musical shows, he's old school. It could be a sticking point."
ITV have ventured into similar shows just once before, but the 2007 programme 'Grease Is The Word' failed to impress viewers and was panned by critics.
Co-producer Simon Cowell said at the time: "'Grease Is The Word' is not going as well as I had hoped.
"It's been slaughtered by critics and rightly so."
Lord Lloyd-Webber has previously hunted for cast members for his productions of 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat', 'The Sound of Music', 'Oliver!' and 'Wizard of Oz'.