Andrew Lloyd Webber has confirmed that he will stage a new BBC1 talent search for stars for his new musical of The Wizard Of Oz – despite reports to the contrary.

The series will involve a hunt for a new star to play the lead role of Dorothy – as well as searching for the perfect canine performer to play Toto.

There had been speculation that Lloyd Webber would take the format to ITV after it clashed with his plans to promote his Phantom Of The Opera sequel Love Never Dies.

Under BBC rules he would not be allowed to promote this at the same time as the show, which was originally due to be aired at the same time as the Phantom sequel launch, scheduled for March.

However the Sun reports that the BBC show will now air later in the spring, to avoid any clashes. Graham Norton is once again being lined up to host.

Lloyd-Webber admitted that the search for a perfect dog star was already causing him some unease.

“Our previous musical talent searches have provided an incredible shot in the arm for musical theatre in Britain and I can’t wait to work with the BBC again in the hunt for Dorothy – an iconic role of course made famous by a young Judy Garland in the film in 1939,” he said.

“But, as a cat man myself, however, I approach casting Toto with considerable trepidation.”