Brian Luff writes…
So, ITV are helping Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to find Jesus. Not just any Jesus, mind. Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Jesus has to be able to sing like Robert Plant, act like Kenneth Brannagh and look good on a red carpet with an ex- Spice Girl hanging on his arm.
Of course, it’s all a bit trickier than trying to find a Joseph to wear a multi-colour dreamcoat, a Dorothy to skip to Oz or a Maria to dance with the nuns in The Sound of Music.
ITV will have to tread a lot more carefully with this one. After all, they don’t want to upset the Jews, or the Muslims, or the Hindus at teatime on a Saturday night, do they?
Perhaps we should be asking ourselves this rather awkward question: Why haven’t Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber also penned a musical about Allah? Or Jehovah? Why isn’t there a half-decent rock opera about Buddha or Vishnu? In this increasingly PC, media-savvy world, just how balanced is it to hand over a great big chunk of primetime weekend ITV to the Christians? Ofcom must have looked at this very closely. That’s obviously why the word “Superstar” is used so frequently during the programme, as opposed to the word “Christ” or “Jesus”.
As potential Dorothys were ejected from the BBC’s “Over the Rainbow” talent search they had to hand back their sparkly red shoes. Will our evicted Saviours have to tearfully part with their crowns of thorns? In previous similar shows they used to say things like “You might be Joseph,” or “You might Maria.” Are we therefore to be treated this summer to the voice of Andrew Lloyd Webber uttering the immortal phrase “You might be Jesus”? I can’t wait to find out.