How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
The genial host
Fresh from getting the nation on the dance-floor
again with the second series of Strictly Dance Fever, Graham Norton
takes up the role of host and impresario as he guides the viewers through
the auditions and into the live weekly shows.
Throughout the auditions process, Graham has been there to
mop the brows, be a shoulder to cry on and do some serious handholding
as thousands of girls were whittled down to ten finalists.
the girls, the tighter the competition and the higher the emotions
ran and Graham has seen the hopes, fear, excitement, elation, the tantrums
and the tears.
He has met their mums, comforted their families, held their hands and mixed
with the theatrical elite – and gives the viewers his own unique take on
Graham will guide the potential Marias, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the critics and
the viewers to the finale where only one hopeful will take a final bow.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Composer, producer, talent scout...
As legendary composer and theatre producer, Andrew's status as one of leading names in international theatre needs no explanation.
As composer, his musical productions have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, The Beautiful Game, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White amongst many more.
His songs have enchanted and entertained people across generations.
He has produced his own work and other award-winning plays in the West
End and on Broadway and in 2002 presented the groundbreaking A R Rahman
musical Bombay Dreams.
His work has extended into film where he has composed
the scores for classic movies such as The Odessa File and, more recently
in 2004, he produced a film version of The Phantom of the Opera directed
by Joel Schumacher.
With Evita back on the West End and a unique
version of Phantom opening in Las Vegas, Andrew has shown that his
passion for musical theatre is still shared by many across the world.
also owns several London theatres including the Palace and the London
Palladium and his awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys, six Oliviers,
a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and an International Emmy.
He was knighted
in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997.
However, it is Andrew's search for new undiscovered talent that has remained a constant throughout his distinguished 40 year career.
He has always viewed the finding and nurturing of new talent
as an important factor in the ever evolving and much loved world of musical
theatre and this has been shown in many of his West End productions.
casting has proved at times surprising and risk-taking but always
successful whether it be discovering an unknown Sarah Brightman, casting
an entire company of unknown performers for the groundbreaking Bombay Dreams,
plucking Shonagh Daly from obscurity after spotting her at an open audition
for The Beautiful Game in Cork or more recently, in his latest revival
of his own classic Evita, bringing the mesmerising Elena Roger as Eva Peron
to the UK audience.
His continuing search for new talent has given the
West End and the world some memorable and brilliant performances.
Now Andrew hands the casting baton firmly over to the public – he wants the nation to pick the Maria they want.