Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has found his next big theatre star, after wannabe singer/actress Jodie Prenger was announced as the winner of British reality show I'd Do Anything.
The curvaceous 28-year-old, from Lancashire, north-west England, won the public vote on Saturday (31May08) to beat runner-up Jessie Buckley, 18, to the role of Nancy in a new London production of Oliver! in the West End.
But while Prenger proved a popular choice with the TV show's viewers, both theatre impressario Webber and Oliver! producer Sir Cameron MACkintosh felt Irish Buckley was more suited to the role.
However, after the results were unveiled, Webber said: "She (Prenger) was the people's Nancy, that was always going to be the people's choice, I thought."
And MACkintosh, who thought Prenger was "too big for the part", added: "I'm thrilled for Jodie, congratulations."
Prenger will begin her six-month stint in the musical in December (08).
Webber's previous TV talent searches have made West End stars out of Lee Mead, who won the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Connie Fisher, who took on the role of Maria on Trapp in The Sound of Music.