Off To Be The Wizard: Russell Grant To Be Andrew Lloyd Webber's New Oz

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Russell Grant will star as the Wizard of Oz
Russell Grant will star as the Wizard of Oz

Russell Grant has landed a new West End role, taking the title role in The Wizard Of Oz.

The astrologer and recent star of Strictly Come Dancing will take over from veteran stage actor Michael Crawford in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production.

Russell, who found a new lease of fame on Strictly last year, will take over at the London Palladium on 14 February for a 12-week run.

He will be working with a former judge on the BBC One dance show, Arlene Phillips, who is choreographing his moves for the musical.

The Wizard Of Oz has been revived following a search for stars in the BBC's talent hunt Over The Rainbow.

Runner-up Sophie Evans will star opposite Russell as Dorothy.

The 60-year-old will also play the character of Professor Marvel. He said: "I am thrilled to be back where I'm at my happiest - in showbiz.

"I want to thank the great British public for their kindness in supporting me in Strictly - without them, I wouldn't be back in the West End again."