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Andrew Lloyd Webber's ITV 'Jesus Christ Superstar' search confirmed

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The Royal Variety Performance 2011: Lord Lloyd Webber

© Rex Features / Ken McKay/ITV

Andrew Lloyd Webber is to search for the lead role for a touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar on a new ITV1 show.

Superstar, which was first rumoured earlier this month, will see the iconic composer and a team of judges look for a new talent to play the character of Jesus in an upcoming arena tour of the rock opera.

The public will ultimately decide who takes on the starring role in the musical, which was written by Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Lloyd Webber said: "Presenting a new 2012 version of Jesus Christ Superstar for arenas is truly exciting.

"Some of the best performances of this show have been in rock venues and I'm thrilled to see the show return to its roots. ITV is providing the perfect platform for us to find a new British Superstar."

The 63-year-old has previously been involved in BBC musical competitions How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do, I'd Do Anything and Over the Rainbow.

"It is the public who lead the casting process and they've got it absolutely right four times already," he added. "It's been wonderful to see the careers of so many of the contestants blossom, so it will be especially fascinating to see who the public chooses as their Superstar."

Auditions will take place between February and March in London, Dublin, Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, with the most promising applicants going forward to the live shows.

Jesus Christ Superstar will kick off its tour at London's O2 Arena.

> Andrew Lloyd Webber: 'Cancer to blame for flop musical'

Watch a clip from the 1973 film version of Jesus Christ Superstar below:

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