Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed hopefuls are flying in from around the world in a bid to be the lead in the all-new Jesus Christ Superstar.

The musical maestro told ITV1’s Daybreak thousands of people had auditioned and that there was a chance he could cast a woman in the role.

He said: “We had a boy in from New Zealand; a boy from Israel; we had somebody come in from Lithuania. I mean it was extraordinary where people are coming from and I think we’ve had 3,000 people in to audition for the role, including a few girls – one girl who was very, very good and was really terrific.”

The hunt for someone to fill the role will form the basis of a new ITV1 show, after Lord Lloyd Webber had filmed four series for the BBC.

His previous hunts for musical superstars made Connie Fisher, Lee Mead and Jodie Prenger household names.

Auditions are taking place in London, Dublin, Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, with the most promising new talent performing on stage in front of Lord 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.

He also said he was ‘quite pleased’ with the special Diamond Jubilee song he has written with Gary Barlow.

He added: “And Gary’s now going around the world, around the Commonwealth, and therefore around the world, looking for various people who can be a part of it. And we plan to record it in mid April.”