ITV1 at 6:30pm on Sunday 31st March
Our pick of the bunch has to be ITV’s Easter Special “Andrew Lloyd Webber: 40 Musical Years”, which celebrates an unbroken run of 40 years of shows in the West End.
Stars including Nicole Scherzinger, Kimberley Walsh, Melanie C, Myleene Klass, Il Divo, Tim Minchin and Samantha Barks, will perform special versions of some of Andrew’s greatest hits, including songs from Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Tell Me On A Sunday.
Andrew says: “I was flattered when ITV approached me about a 90-minute special, but I said I would only do it if it wasn’t some po-faced tribute to a bloke who’s about to collect his bus pass. I also said it must include the wet sari number from Bombay Dreams! I still don’t know what I’m letting myself in for, especially as Simon Cowell has filmed an interview for the show.”
The special will also feature an eagerly-anticipated world first performance of a track from Andrew’s forthcoming musical, Stephen Ward, by classical guitarist Miloš. This will be an exclusive opportunity for fans to hear new music from Andrew and learn more about his next West End production.
Throughout the show, Andrew will share anecdotes and discuss the evolution and influences behind his biggest music masterpieces – just how did he turn biblical figures, domestic pets and roller-skating trains into global entertainment spectacles? And where did Andrew develop his instinct for spotting star talent?
Cameras will go behind the scenes to provide a glimpse into Andrew’s working life, while speaking to some of his closest friends and colleagues, including Michael Caine and Alex Ferguson.
For the show’s finale Love Changes Everything will be sung by Michael Ball accompanied by a chorus of pupils from London’s Highbury Grove School.
Andrew visited Highbury Grove School last year to commend the once-failing school for putting music at the core of its curriculum and inspiring a new generation to fulfil their potential and enjoy the arts.
John Kaye Cooper, Controller of Entertainment for ITV, said: “Andrew’s contribution to musical theatre is unrivalled and we are delighted to be celebrating his four decades in the West End with an evening that promises some spectacular performances and a deeper insight into the man himself.”