‘I am just so happy and excited’ – Sunderland Superstar Ben Forster loves being Jesus

Tim Minchin (left), who plays Judas Iscariot, and Ben Forster, who plays Jesus, during rehearsals at a secret location in London for Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Tim Minchin (left), who plays Judas Iscariot, and Ben Forster, who plays Jesus, during rehearsals at a secret location in London for Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
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SUPERSTAR Ben Forster is working harder than ever before – and loving every minute of it.

The Millfield actor, who wowed millions of viewers to land the leading role in the upcoming tour of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, said rehearsals are in full swing.

FROM ITV''SUPERSTAR LIVE on Friday 20 July 2012''Picture Shows: Ben''Source: Digital''Photographer: Kieron McCarron ''Picture Publicist: Shane.chapman@itv.com / 020 715 73043''Copyright: ITV

FROM ITV''SUPERSTAR LIVE on Friday 20 July 2012''Picture Shows: Ben''Source: Digital''Photographer: Kieron McCarron ''Picture Publicist: Shane.chapman@itv.com / 020 715 73043''Copyright: ITV

“It is just absolutely fabulous,” he told the Echo in a break between scenes.

“When I get up every morning and go into rehearsals I am just so happy and excited. I feel like I’m a kid again.

“It is so weird because I still can’t believe it is all really happening. I am working with some of the most amazing people.”

Those hoping to see Ben in the traditional robes of Jesus with long hair could be disappointed, because this latest production, directed by Laurence Connor, is set in modern times.

Ben said: “The concept is so fresh and brilliant, it is so exciting. It is a really cutting-edge production.

“It is nothing like the previous ones at all, so it is really lovely as an actor to be part of something so creative. It’s like a whole new show, but with the same music.”

The 31-year-old will begin on the 21-date tour on September 21, when he will star alongside comedian Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, Spice Girl Mel C as Mary Magdalene, and outgoing Radio 1 breakfast show host Chris Moyles.

For Ben, the past few weeks since winning the ITV show Superstar, have been a whirlwind of interviews, rehearsals and offers of work.

He said: “There has been some really interesting stuff been mentioned. Nothing has been confirmed so far, but hopefully next year will be one of fun and interesting things.

“I think the show has highlighted me to a lot of people, which is great.”

The performer said he is interested in all aspects of the industry and would love to do television and film work as well as stage.

He added he would love to perform live at the Sunderland Empire.

Ben, who moved to London when he was 17 to go to stage school, said he is eager to get back to the North East when the tour comes to Newcastle Arena.

He said: “I can’t wait to get up there and see my family and friends again. I know Sunderland was behind me 100 per cent, which was amazing.

“I want to say a massive, massive thank you to everyone who picked up the phone and voted for me because they have made all my dreams come true. It just wouldn’t have happened without them.”

Tickets are on sale through www.jesuschristsuperstar.com, with six extra dates added due to popularity.

Twitter: @sunechoschools