Gareth Gates (pictured), the runner-up on the first Pop Idol and more recently seen on ITV’s Dancing on Ice, will join a roll call of West End stars for the one-off concert celebrating 25 years of the British musical writing partnership of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The charity gala, titled A Spoonful of Stiles & Drewe, takes place at the West End’s Her Majesty’s Theatre on Sunday 6 July 2008.

Gates will perform a preview of material from Soho Cinders, the new musical by Stiles & Drewe, whose writing credits include the Olivier Award winning Honk!, Peter Pan, Just So, and the new material in Mary Poppins.

Gates commented: “I’ve always been into the theatre and going to musicals, and often imagined myself being part of an amazing West End production, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved with A Spoonful of Stiles & Drewe. As well as admiring George Stiles and Anthony Drewe for everything they’ve achieved in the industry, I can’t wait to get a taste of what life in the theatre’s all about.”

Others due to perform on the night include: Olivier Award winners Joanna Riding, Clive Rowe and Leanne Jones – who won this year’s Best Actress in a Musical prize for Hairspray at the both the Oliviers and the Whatsonstage.com Awards – along with Helena Blackman, Daniel Boys and cast members from Wicked and Mary Poppins.

A Spoonful of Stiles & Drewe is produced by Neil Eckersley and Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment with creative direction by Paul Spicer, associate direction by Chris Hocking, musical supervision by George Stiles, musical direction by David Randall, choreography by Lewis Butler, associate choreography by Rebecca Giacopazzi and sound design by Mark Dunne. It’s staged in support of Mercury Musical Developments.

- by Terri Paddock