Ben Forster will play Jesus Christ on stage after winning ITV’s Superstar reality show.

The 31-year-old from Sunderland will play the son of God in an arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar after getting the most public votes in the live final.

Ben, a stage-school graduate who has already appeared in the West End, pipped Rory Taylor, 24, to claim the role, with former male model Roger Wright, 41, coming third.

The tearful winner, who won the public vote after a passionate rendition of Queen’s Who Wants To Live Forever, said he was looking forward to starting work next week.

“I can’t believe it, I wasn’t expecting this to happen in my lifetime,” he said.

“So thank you so much to everyone who voted, I will absolutely do you proud.”

Lord Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s musical goes on tour in September, featuring comic Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod and Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.

Both Lord Lloyd-Webber and Spice Girl Mel C were on the show’s judging panel alongside comic Dawn French and singer and DJ Jason Donovan.

Mel C, who had previously described Ben as her favourite, described his rendition of the Queen song as ‘utterly astounding’. He had sung his heart out after missing his cue at the start of the song. Lord Lloyd-Webber said it was ‘mesmeric’, while Donovan said he was a ‘superstar’.

Rory, from the Wirral, had sung Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing before Londoner Roger performed Elton John’s Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.