Over The Rainbow


*Danielle Hope was crowned Over the Rainbow winnter* He's found a Maria, Joseph and Nancy for the West End stage - now Andrew Lloyd Webber is on the hunt for someone to play Dorothy in his new production of The Wizard of Oz. Graham Norton returns as host but this time he's joined by three new judges: Charlotte Church, Sheila Hancock and EastEnders actor John Partridge, who'll be offering their expert opinions on those hoping for a chance to fill Judy Garland's ruby red slippers. Thousands have already auditioned in Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester and London to try and prove they have what it takes to play Dorothy, with the 54 most talented hopefuls being sent to a Dorothy Farm boot camp. As the selection process continues, the first Saturday edition will showcase the final 20 Dorothys in a studio-based'sing-off'judged by the panel and Andrew, who will choose the final 10 to appear on the live shows, which kick off on Saturday April 3. But there's still hope for one of the unlucky 10 that doesn't make it - viewers will be invited to save one of these girls as a'wildcard'to return the following week and complete the line-up for the live shows. From that point on, all the hopefuls will have to impress the judges, Andrew and the viewers at home who will be voting for their favourite Dorothy. The two contestants with the least amount of votes will find themselves in the sing-off with Andrew deciding which contestant he wants to stay in the competition."We want our Dorothy to have a modern edge,” says host Graham."On stage she is going to have to cope with men in costumes, Munchkins and flying monkeys, so she will need to have presence. As prizes go, winning this is a really tough prize. It is incredibly hard work."In an added twist, Jodie Prenger - winner of 2008's I'd Do Anything - will lead the search for Dorothy's canine companion Toto at two audition days in April. Viewers will be able to follow the dogs'progress across the series, with the winning pup to be announced in the final show. To find out which Dorothy gets to follow the Yellow Brick Road to their dreams, keep logging onto whatsontv.co.uk.


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