Stars including Amanda Holden and Jennifer Saunders turned out to see Chris Moyles make his major stage debut in a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

The DJ plays King Herod in the show, which opens at London's O2 Arena before going on a nationwide tour.

Moyles, who left his Radio 1 breakfast show last Friday, plays the character as a Jeremy Kyle-style TV presenter who confronts Jesus on his chatshow Hark! With Herod.

The updated version of the stage musical, co-written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, also stars comic Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot and former Spice Girl Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.

Ben Forster is in the role of Jesus Christ after receiving the most votes in Superstar, ITV1's hunt for a performer to play the son of God.

Speaking before last night's performance, Holden, who hosted the TV talent show, said Forster had "something special".

"Mel has an outrageously brilliant voice. Chris Moyles, I have no idea, but I think he and Herod probably have a lot in common," she joked.

She urged fans to see the show, adding: "It wasn't written for the theatre. It was written as a rock arena tour, so it's going to be something completely different."

Jason Donovan and Dawn French, who were on the judging panel along with Mel C, were also among the audience for the opening night, as were Arlene Phillips and singer Tyler James.

The cast received a standing ovation at the close of the show, and the cheers grew even louder when Lloyd Webber walked on to the stage.

The composer praised "incredible" performer Forster, and said: "It has been 42 years and this is the Superstar I always hoped it would be - in an arena, in a rock event."

Earlier, Moyles was given a big cheer for his lively performance as Herod in the second half.

The show, which kicked off with scenes of people clashing with riot police and TV news bulletins about the stricken economy, was met with praise from watching celebrities.

Holden said she shed tears during the "outstanding" production, and added: "Obviously I'm biased but it surpassed my wildest imagination.

"It was so relevant. I loved the tweeting and the graphics. I was so moved by Ben's performance and Mel was amazing."
Phillips said Moyles was "very funny".

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