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Donovan and French search for Jesus
Donovan and French search for Jesus

Jason Donovan and Dawn French have been signed up as judges for Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for the lead in his musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden is confirmed as host of the live heats of the British TV series, which launches later this year.

The series, called Superstar, will fill the role of Jesus for an arena tour of the hit musical which also stars Australian comedian Tim Minchin as Judas and ex-Spice Girl Mel C as Mary Magdalene.

Guest performers who are booked for each show will also join the judges to give their opinions about the wannabes.

Vicar of Dibley star French joked about how she was relishing the prospect of joining the panel led by the composer, who has the formal title of Lord Lloyd-Webber.

"I'm gagging to find Jesus with the help of the Good Lord," she said.

"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."

Former Neighbours star Donovan has already been a judge in the early stages of the search and will now continue for the televised heats.

"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," he said.

"It's an honour to sit by Andrew on the judging panel and I can't wait for the live shows to start."

The winner will take the lead role in a national tour, opening at London's O2 arena on September 21.

Lloyd Webber said: "I am thrilled with the finalists I have chosen to put through to the live shows, they could not be a more varied bunch."