Sting has declared he threw his best friend Jimmy Nail "under the bus" in a desperate effort to save his Broadway musical The Last Ship from closure.

The Police star joined the cast of the sinking stage show in December (14) to boost ticket sales, taking over the role played by British actor/singer Nail.

The move gave producers a slight bump in box office numbers but failed to save the show and the curtain came down for the final time on Saturday (24Jan15).

Sting, who gave an emotional on-stage speech to the audience on closing night, has now opened up about the lengths he went to in a bid to save his precious show, and admits he feels guilty about sacrificing his friend Nail to boost audience numbers.

He tells Britain's The Stage magazine, "Early on in the run we were in such a financial hole that we would have closed immediately, and I didn't want that to happen. The producers said to me, 'You have to go into the show'. I said, 'But there's no part for me'. They said I'd have to take over from Jimmy Nail. That meant I had to throw my best friend under the bus to save the play... Audiences want to see stars. And as soon as I went in - a name - the ticket sales went up and we became viable. We'd stay viable, but I (had) to leave."