Paul Nicholas Headshot

Paul Nicholas

Get Paul Nicholas Email Alerts

Be the first to get news, photos, videos & more.

Paul Nicholas BIO

Nicholas began his pop career as early as 1960. Adopting the stage name Paul Dean, he formed Paul Dean & The Dreamers who were booked to support The Savages, the backing band for the British rocker Screaming Lord Sutch.

It was here that Sutch first noticed the young Nicholas, who was soon to become vocalist and pianist with The Savages. Still using the name Paul Dean, he released two solo singles in 1965–66. After taking a new stage name, Oscar, he began a long association with the Australian-born entrepreneur, Robert Stigwood. In 1966, Nicholas signed with Stigwood's Reaction Records label and his first single under his new name, "Club of Lights", scraped into the lower reaches of the Radio London Fab Forty chart.

The second Oscar single was a version of a Pete Townshend song "Join My Gang", which The Who never recorded. His third single, a novelty song called "Over the Wall We Go" (1967) is notable for being written and produced by a young David Bowie (Nicholas at this time was managing the band The Sweet and recommended them to record producer Phil Wainman whom he worked with at Mellin Music Publishing). After settling on the stage name Paul Nicholas, he found success in the UK in musicals, beginning with the leading role of Claude in Hair (which Stigwood produced) before winning the title role in the original London production of Jesus Christ Superstar. The part of Danny to Elaine Paige's Sandy made them the first British couple to play the leads in Grease.

Paul Nicholas as Jesus Christ, 1972.
Nicholas in Jesus Christ Superstar, 1972
He joined The Young Vic under Frank Dunlop and played Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing and appeared in Crete and Sgt. Pepper by John Antrobus. He appeared as the Bully of the Boulevard in Richard O’Brien’s T-Zee at London's Royal Court Theatre. He performed in Prospect Theatre Company's Carl Davies musical Pilgrim. While touring with O'Brien in Hair in 1970 he first heard songs from the yet to be produced Rocky Horror Show.

Nicholas' film career began in 1970 in Cannabis. He followed this with See No Evil (1971) and What Became of Jack and Jill? (1972). He then appeared in Stardust (1974), and Three for All (1975). In 1975, he played "Cousin Kevin", Tommy's vicious cousin, in Tommy, and portrayed Richard Wagner in Lisztomania (1975).

In 1976, he embarked on a short-lived but high-profile pop career, with three Top 20 hits in the UK Singles Chart "Reggae Like It Used To Be", "Dancing with the Captain", and "Grandma's Party", the last two of which reached the Top 10. He released the single "Heaven On The 7th Floor" in 1977. This only just reached the UK Top 40, but reached number No. 1 in New Zealand. In the US, the song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 5 in Cashbox listings, giving Nicholas a gold record. He followed this with "On The Strip" which entered the Billboard Hot 100 No. 67 but failed to enter the UK chart. In the mid-1970s he hosted his own children's television pop show, Paul.

In 1978, he appeared in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as Dougie Shears. Further films followed including The World Is Full of Married Men (1979), Yesterday's Hero (1979), the loutish punk singer in The Jazz Singer (1980), the romantic lead in Invitation to the Wedding (1983), and Nutcracker (1983).

Having done a workshop with Andrew Lloyd Webber, he returned to West End theatre in 1981 to create the role of Rum Tum Tugger in Lloyd Webber's musical Cats. He then originated the title role in Blondel by Sir Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver. That same year, he starred in Two Up, Two Down, a short-lived sitcom co-starring Su Pollard. In 1983, he got his first high-profile television role as Vince Pinner in Just Good Friends. The show, for which Nicholas also sang the theme tune, was a success. He was also nominated for a BAFTA.

Nicholas later returned to the stage, playing numerous roles on screen in both movie and television projects. In 1986 Nicholas continued to star in musicals including ‘Jekyll and Hyde’’, Fiddler On The Roof’' and 42nd Street’' which was directed by the shows author Mark Bramble. He starred as The Pirate King in Joseph Papp's version of The Pirates of Penzance at the London Palladium and the Manchester Opera House, touring again in the same role in the late 1990s. He starred in Barnum in the first national tour and followed this with a highly successful season at The Dominion Theatre in the West End. At the end of 1991, while touring with Barnum, Nicholas was the subject of This Is Your Life. For his services to show business and charity, Nicholas was awarded a Silver Heart from the Variety Club of Great Britain and a Gold Badge Award from BASCA. Nicholas then starred in the national tour of Singin' in the Rain, which was directed by Tommy Steele.

In June 1996, Nicholas played the role of King Arthur in the Covent Garden Festival's production of Camelot. He repeated his role of King Arthur in a BBC Radio 2 production of Camelot. Other radio work included Bert in BBC Radio 4's Gracie. He hosted two series of BBC Radio 2's Mad About Musical', as well as his own hour-long TV special, Paul and Friends, for Thames Television. Nicholas fronted the Radio 4 children's series Cat's Whiskers during the 1980s.

In 1997, he starred as the anti-hero of Karoline Leach's The Mysterious Mr. Love at the Comedy Theatre in London's West End. He continued to appear as the lead in numerous straight roles thereafter: Simon Gray's Stagestruck, a national tour of Michael Cooney's The Dark Side, Catch Me if You Can, and two plays by Eric Chappell: Mixed Feelings, in which he played a transsexual, and Snakes and Ladders. He starred as John Smith in the original production of Caught in the Net. In 1998, he co-produced, with Bill Kenwright, a new musical based on Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities, starring as Sidney Carton. The musical played Windsor with a Christmas season in Birmingham.

In 2000, Nicholas appeared in the BBC television comedy drama Sunburn, playing David Janus, owner of the self-titled holiday company around which the series was centered. He Ronnie Buchan in the new police drama series Burnside. Further television work included parts in The Bill and Holby City.

He then played the title role in the national tour of Doctor Dolittle and followed this with the role of Tevye in UK Productions' national tour of Fiddler on the Roof. In the summer of 2006, he was a celebrity showjumper in the BBC's Sport Relief event Only Fools on Horses, as well as appearing in Doctors, Heartbeat and Holby City. That autumn, Nicholas was attached to star in the British film Cash and Curry, and that year he co-produced and starred in Jekyll & Hyde in a UK national tour.

In 2008, Nicholas played Alan Boon in BBC Four's Consuming Passions – a hundred years of Mills and Boon. He also directed and produced A Tale of Two Cities at Upstairs at the Gatehouse. In 2009, Nicholas played Jack Point in The Yeomen of the Guard for the Carl Rosa Opera Company at the Tower of London Festival. In November 2010, Nicholas opened in The Haunting. He also directed the musical version of Tale of Two Cities at Charing Cross Theatre in April–May 2012.

In 2014, Nicholas produced and starred in Blockbuster, a musical. In 2015, he appeared as Judge Wargrave in And Then There Were None. In the summer of 2015 he directed a new production of Tommy at Blackpool's Opera House. In June 2015 while touring in And Then There Were None, Nicholas was cast as Gavin Sullivan on EastEnders. He then starred as Scrooge in the Alan Menken musical, A Christmas Carol. In 2016, he was cast as Neville Chamberlain in the film Masaryk. He appeared as himself in The Real Marigold Hotel shown on BBC One in March 2017.In 2018 Nicholas toured the UK. In 2018 toured Ronald Harwood’s’’Quartet’In 2019 Nicholas played Father Merrin in the ‘Exorcist’.In 2021 Nicholas published ‘Musicals Marigolds & Me’and his 3 CD Boxset ‘Paul Nicholas Gold’.In 2022 he played Pickering in ‘Pygmalion’ at the Theatre Royal Windsor.

In 2023 Nicholas resumed a UK tour of ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ prior to a West End run. He also released an audio book of his biography ‘Musicals Marigolds & Me’


[West End]
Charing Cross Theatre Production, 2013

[West End]
London Revival, 1986
Joe Studholme

[West End]
Original London Production, 1983

[West End]
Original London Production, 1981
Rum Tum Tugger

[West End]
London Production, 1972

[West End]
London Production, 1968

[UK Tour]
Touring Revival, 2004
Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde

Paul Nicholas Productions

[Broadway, 2007]
[West End, 2007]
[West End, 1998]
[West End, 1995] [Replacement]
[West End, 1993]


Paul Nicholas Awards and Nominations

Tony Awards - 2008 - Best Revival of a Musical

Paul Nicholas, Grease

Paul Nicholas Videos

Paul Nicholas News

John Cleese's FAWLTY TOWERS Will Make West End Premiere

Fifty years since it was first recorded at BBC Television Centre in 1974, the “greatest British sitcom of all time” (Radio Times) Fawlty Towers, has been adapted for the West End stage by comedy legend John Cleese and will premiere at London’s Apollo Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue on Wednesday 15 May.

World Premiere Adaptation of JANE EYRE Comes to Philadelphia Artists' Collective

Philadelphia Artists' Collective presents a World Premiere Adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece Jane Eyre, adapted by Jessica Bedford, Kathryn MacMillan, Charlotte Northeast and Meghan Winch, and directed by Kathryn MacMillan.

Review: THE LIGHT at Theatre Exile

Directed by J. Paul Nicholas and starring Abdul Sesay and Angela Bey, The Light centers on the hot-and-cold engagement night of two youngish Chicagoans as they wind up reliving their romantic pinnacles alongside their separate, secreted traumas around sexual assault.

BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL Comes to Milton Keynes Theatre in January

Milton Keynes Theatre welcomes brand-new stage adaptation of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to the city 24 - 28 Jan 2023. Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, Whistle Down the Wind) Paul Nicholas (Jesus Christ Superstar, BBC 1's Just Good Friends, Eastenders and Rula Lenska, (ITV's Rock Follies, Coronation Street, Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother will star in this feel-good tale of love, adventure, and starting-over. 

Milton Keynes Theatre Announces Spring 2023 Season Featuring THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL & More

As 2022 draws to a close with sensational panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Milton Keynes Theatre has announced a sensational Spring season jam-packed with glittering musicals, thrilling dramas and unmissable comedy.

Cast Announced For Second Leg of THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL UK and Ireland Tour

The latest additions have been announced to the cast of the box office sensation The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Learn more about the new cast members here!

Leeds Playhouse Announces Spring/Summer 2023 Season, LORD OF THE FLIES, IN DREAMS, and More!

Leeds Playhouse – named the UK's Most Welcoming Theatre at the recent UK Theatre Awards – has announced its Spring/Summer 2023 season of major, state-of-the-world stories, produced with freshness and urgency, and each epic in their own distinctive way.

WaterTower Theatre Announces the Cast and Creatives for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Casting and creative details have been announced JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, the blockbuster rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.  This is the first production of WaterTower’s 27th Season.

Photo: Hayley Mills, Rula Lenska, Paul Nicholas and THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL Company Arrive in Brighton

Celebrated stars of stage and screen Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, Whistle Down the Wind) Paul Nicholas and Rula Lenska star in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, opening at Theatre Royal Brighton from Tuesday 20 September to Saturday 24 September 2022. See a photo of the cast arriving in Brighton here!

Full Casting Confirmed For The World Premiere Stage Adaptation of THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL UK Tour

The full cast has been announced for Deborah Moggach's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which opens at Richmond Theatre on Monday 5th  September 2022.

Andy de la Tour, Marlene Sidaway & Rekha John-Cheriyan Join the Cast of THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

Andy de la Tour (Plenty, Notting Hill), Marlene Sidaway (ITV’s Coronation Street, BBC 1’s Pride and Prejudice) and Rekha John-Cheriyan (Kerbs, Tomb Raider, Dream Horse) will join the cast of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel when it begins its first-ever tour this Autumn, coming to Theatre Royal Brighton from Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24 September 2022.

Rula Lenska Joins Hayley Mills & Paul Nicholas Led THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL UK Tour

Another of the UK’s best-loved actors, Rula Lenska, (ITV’s Rock Follies, Coronation Street, Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother) is the latest cast member to be confirmed for the upcoming tour of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Disney Icon Hayley Mills to Lead THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL Stage Adaptation

Hayley Mills, best known for her memorable performances in Disney's The Parent Trap and Pollyanna, has signed on to lead the upcoming stage adaptation of the acclaimed film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Get the scoop on the show including tour dates and tickets.

Florida Studio Theatre to Present Collection of Plays Inspired by Children, THE GRANDMA THAT EATS EVERYTHING & OTHER WINNING PLAYS

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is set to present The Grandma That Eats Everything & Other Winning Plays, a collection of plays inspired by the imaginations of children in sixth grade and below. This production is presented as part of FST’s WRITE A PLAY program, an award-winning arts-in-education initiative that provides students with the example, the inspiration, and the skills to write their own original plays.

Sarasota Orchestra Announces February Concerts

Sarasota Orchestra’s February programs include two Masterworks concerts featuring Grammy Award-winning performers and richly orchestrated, dazzlingly popular works from the 19th century through today. The fourth installment of the Great Escapes series brings Valentine’s Day-themed fare, and a Chamber Soirée entitled “Voices of Color” offers an opportunity to explore music by several Black composers.

Sarasota Orchestra Announces January 2022 Concerts

Sarasota Orchestra's January programs include a Masterworks concert featuring towering giant of the classical piano world, Garrick Ohlsson, and a Pops concert tribute to one of the legendary giants of 20th century rock, The Beatles.

Sarasota Orchestra Announces November 2021 Concerts

November brings Sarasota Orchestra to the Van Wezel for its first Masterworks program since March 2020. The Orchestra also presents its third Chamber Soirée.


La ópera rock de Andrew Lloyd Webber alzó el telón en el Palace Theatre de Londres con Paul Nicholas, Stephen Tate y Dana Gillespie como protagonistas

FST Announces Staged Reading Festival of New Plays in August

Subscription packages and single tickets are now on sale. Learn more about the festival and how to purchase tickets here!

Florida Studio Theatre Welcomes J Paul Nicholas as New Associate Artist

Florida Studio Theatre has announced that J Paul Nicholas will join its Artistic Team beginning March 1, 2021. As an Associate Artist, Nicholas will bring his talent to FST’s stages as an actor and director, will help advance FST’s robust New Play Development program, and will lead classes at the FST School. 


How many Broadway shows has Paul Nicholas been in?

Paul Nicholas has not appeared on Broadway.

How many West End shows has Paul Nicholas been in?

Paul Nicholas has appeared on London's West End in 6 shows.

What was Paul Nicholas's first West End show?

Paul Nicholas's first West End show was Hair which opened in 1968

What awards has Paul Nicholas been nominated for?

Paul Nicholas has been nominated for the Best Revival of a Musical at the Tony Awards for "Grease."

How many shows has Paul Nicholas written?

Paul Nicholas has written 1 shows including Saturday Night Fever (Bookwriter).

Get Paul Nicholas Email Alerts

Be the first to get news, photos, videos & more.