Andrew Lloyd Webber has sprung a suprise by casting Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod in stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
The unlikely casting will see the motormouth making his theatre debut in the production which will tour arenas later this year.
Also in the cast will be former Spice Girl Melanie C and Olivier Award-winning comic and musician Tim Minchin.
Lord Lloyd Webber is searching for a star to play Jesus through his forthcoming ITV1 talent hunt Superstar.
Chris – the self-styled saviour of Radio 1 – said: “To receive a phone call from Andrew is very cool, but then when he asks you to be in his musical that’s pretty amazing and there is only one thing to respond with – and that is yes. Absolutely. My mum’s gonna be well excited.”
The breakfast show DJ has previously put his singing abilities to the test as a contestant on ITV’s X Factor: Battle Of The Stars. And he released his own album of cover versions in 2009, which made the top 20.
He is understood to be aiming to fit his stage commitments around his breakfast show duties, although he might miss some mornings where the distances are too great.
The tour, which begins at London’s O2 Arena on September 21, will see Mel C as Mary Magdalene, with Tim – who was lauded for his songwriting on West End hit Matilda The Musical – playing Judas Iscariot.
Mel C. who has appeared in stage productions such as Blood Brothers, said: “Taking on the role of Mary Magdalene in the incredible Jesus Christ Superstar has to be one of my most exciting challenges to date.”
Tickets will go on sale on Friday at www.jesuschristsuperstar.com, with the reissued album due out on July 16.