TV bosses have not ruled out casting a woman in the lead role of Jesus Christ Superstar after launching a search for a new musical star.
Impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber will lead the hunt for someone to fill the role in his new ITV show, after four series at the BBC.
Auditions will take place in London, Dublin, Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, with the most promising new talent performing on stage in front of Lloyd Webber and a panel of judges.
The winner will have a lead role in an arena tour of the rock opera, which will open at London's O2 Arena.
A source close to Lloyd Webber said plans to cast a woman in the role first performed by Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan were "being discussed".
The part has been played by singers including Paul Nicholas, John Farnham and Sebastian Bach and has been played by a woman before - US rapper Peaches did a one-woman version of the show in 2010.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more