1. ITV Report

Ben Forster to play Jesus after being crowned Superstar

Ben Forster will play Jesus in Lord Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Photo: Michael Clement/PA Wire

Ben Forster will play Jesus Christ on stage after winning ITV's Superstar reality show last night.

The 31-year-old from Sunderland will play the son of God in an arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ Superstar after getting the most public votes in the live final.

Ben, a stage-school graduate who has already appeared in the West End, pipped Rory Taylor to claim the role, with former male model Roger Wright coming third.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber will take the new musical on tour from September. Credit: Press Association

The tearful winner, who won the public vote after a passionate rendition of Queen's 'Who Wants To Live Forever', said he was looking forward to starting work next week.

"I can't believe it, I wasn't expecting this to happen in my lifetime," he said.

"So thank you so much to everyone who voted, I will absolutely do you proud."

Lord Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice's musical goes on tour in September, featuring comic Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod and Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.

Both Lord Lloyd-Webber and Spice Girl Mel C were on the show's judging panel alongside comic Dawn French and singer and DJ Jason Donovan.

Dawn French and Jason Donovan formed part of the judging panel on Superstar. Credit: Press Association

Mel C, who had previously described Ben as her favourite, described his rendition of the Queen song as "utterly astounding".

He had sung his heart out after missing his cue at the start of the song.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said it was "mesmeric", while Donovan said he was a "superstar".

Rory, from the Wirral, had sung Aerosmith's 'I Don't want To Miss A Thing' before Londoner Roger performed Elton John's 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me'.

The three finalists rounded off their battle by coming together to perform Gethsemane, from the musical.

Rory Taylor (left) came second and Roger Wright finished third in the competition. Credit: Michael Clement/PA Wire

There was also a performance by Mel C, who sang 'I Don't Know How To Love Him', also from the musical, with Lord Lloyd-Webber accompanying her on piano.

Earlier in the final, French had raised a laugh by jokingly hitting on Roger, suggesting they go for dinner at London's posh Ivy restaurant.

Rory was lucky to get through to the final, having been chosen last night over 27-year-old David Hunter, from Warrington, after the pair received the lowest number of viewers' votes.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said he picked Rory because he thought he was more suited to the "rock arena tour" that Jesus Christ Superstar is going to be, after the singers went head-to-head in a performance of 'No Matter What' from musical Whistle Down the Wind.

After coming second he said: "It's been the best night even it has been such a pleasure to work with you guys, thank you."