West End Musical Stars Line Up for Weakest LinkDate: 28 December 2008
Nine West End musical stars have recorded a special edition of the BBC's Weakest Link quiz show, due for broadcast on New Year's eve.
Those taking part were: Ryan Molloy (Jersey Boys), Ben Ellis (Hairspray), Summer Strallen (The Sound of Music), Rachel Tucker (We Will Rock You), Joanna Munro (Mamma Mia!), Simon Bailey (The Phantom of the Opera, pictured), Mark Goldthorp (Avenue Q), Dianne Pilkington (Wicked) and Matt Rawle (Zorro).
All the contestants appeared in character and several of them sang numbers from their respective shows. Acerbic host Anne Robinson was on hand with her usual clutch of put-downs, including asking Birmingham-born Matt Rawle “did you learn your sword skills in Dudley?” And there was no shortage of comic answers - including from one contestant who thought that Stockholm is the capital of Russia - but we won't name names!
Other highlights included current Maria Summer Strallen following in her aunt Bonnie Langford's footsteps by placing her leg behind her head (Langford did this during her winning appearance on the show in 2007). And Simon Bailey, who plays Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera sang a very personal ode to the hostess by adapting the closing lines of his song to “Annie ... that's all I ask of you”.
The programme is due for broadcast on BBC One at 8pm on 31 December 2008.
- By Theo Bosanquet