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Sunderland’s Superstar Ben Forster prays for a great first night as Jesus

(left - right)Tim Minchin, Ben Forster, Melanie C and Chris Moyles during a dress rehearsal for the new production of Jesus Christ Superstar, at the LH2 centre in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 17, 2012. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

(left - right)Tim Minchin, Ben Forster, Melanie C and Chris Moyles during a dress rehearsal for the new production of Jesus Christ Superstar, at the LH2 centre in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 17, 2012. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

SUPERSTAR Ben Forster takes to the stage for the first time tonight as Jesus.

After being crowned the winner of Jesus Christ Superstar in July, Ben, of Millfield, will make his debut at the O2 Arena in London.

The 31-year-old’s dreams came true when he scooped the title in the ITV talent show to find a new Jesus – a new take on Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s 40-year-old rock opera.

Next week, the show heads to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

Among the crowd next Friday will be Ben’s devoted disciples – his family.

There will be a huge clan of relatives there to cheer on their superstar when Ben makes his homecoming performance.

Ben’s cousin Vicky Talbot said the whole family is excited to see Ben in action.

Vicky, 35, from Grangetown, said: “Every one of us has got a ticket. I think we will fill the whole arena.

“We are absolutely ready to burst.”

Ben’s family were a huge support to him throughout the competition and will finally get to see their golden boy as Jesus.

Vicky said: “We have seen little previews on the TV and he looks amazing.

“When I saw it I couldn’t believe it was Ben, it’s fantastic. He actually looks like my dad in the 60s with long hair.”

Playing alongside Ben is an all-star cast.

Former Spice Girl Mel C will take the role of Mary Magdalene, musical comedian Tim Minchin will play Judas Iscariot and former Radio One DJ Chris Moyles will step into the shoes of King Herod.

Chris Moyles said he was glad he could now devote all his time to the musical since finishing at Radio One.

He said: “I’m really lucky that the two things are right next to each other so it’s brilliant that I can finish on the radio and then I’m full time rehearsing for this and then we go on tour Friday.”

He said he was “genuinely really excited” to be doing the show, but “still slightly bemused” about being chosen for the role.

After its star-studded debut tonight, the show will go on a nationwide tour.

Twitter: @sunechohannah

 

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