Samantha Barks, Sierra Boggess & More to Sing in Andrew Lloyd Webber Easter Special
Andrew Lloyd Webber: 40 Musical Years will give TV viewers the opportunity to share in the stories behind a range of the award-winning composer and producer's most enduring shows. The 90-minute ITV special, hosted by Michael Ball at 6.30pm on Easter Sunday, features a star-studded line up performing some of Andrew's best-loved songs, as Andrew reflects on an unbroken run of 40 years of shows in the West End.
Stars including Nicole Scherzinger, Sierra Boggess, Denise Van Outen, Kimberley Walsh, Melanie C, Myleene Klass, Il Divo, and Tim Minchin, will perform some of Andrew's greatest hits, including songs from Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Tell Me On A Sunday.
Samantha Barks, who was originally a finalist in Andrew's BBC talent-spotting series I'd Do Anything in 2008 (and recently starred as Éponine in the film version of LES MISERABLES) will also be appearing in the dazzling line up.
Andrew says: "I was flattered when ITV approached me about a 90-minute special, but I said I would only do it if it wasn't some po-faced tribute to a bloke who's about to collect his bus pass. I also said it must include the wet sari number from Bombay Dreams! I still don't know what I'm letting myself in for, especially as Simon Cowell has filmed an interview for the show."
Andrew visited Highbury Grove School last year to commend the once-failing school for putting music at the core of its curriculum and inspiring a new generation to fulfil their potential and enjoy the arts.
Andrew was born on March 22, 1948, in London. His father was the director of the London College of Music, his mother was a piano teacher and his younger brother, Julian, is a renowned cellist. Andrew was playing the piano and violin at three and began writing his own music and playing the French horn at six.
At 19 Andrew composed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and at the age of 20 he wrote Jesus Christ Superstar - both of which have been performed all over the world ever since. (Having enjoyed a sell-out arena tour in the UK, Jesus Christ Superstar is soon to tour Australia.)
Andrew also composed The Likes of Us, By Jeeves, Evita, Variations and Tell Me On A Sunday later combined as Song & Dance, Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game (now called The Boys in the Photograph), The Woman in White and Love Never Dies. He composed the film scores of Gumshoe and The Odessa File and a setting of the Latin Requiem mass.
His producer credits include Daisy Pulls It Off, Lend me A Tenor, Shirley Valentine, La Bête, the ground-breaking Bollywood musical, A R Rahman's Bombay Dreams, his smash hit productions of The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium and the films of The Phantom of the Opera and the acclaimed Australian production of Love Never Dies.
In more recent years, Andrew pioneered television casting for musical theatre with the Emmy Award-winning BBC series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
His awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys including Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, two International Emmys, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre and the Kennedy Center Honor.
He currently owns six London theatres, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the London Palladium. He was knighted in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997.