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Russell Watson lends voice to West End Les Mis?

'The Voice' is planning to make his West End debut as Jean Valjean next year

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Russell Watson (centre) with Les Mis composers Alain Boublil (left) and Claude-Michel Schonberg (right)

Russell Watson is rumoured to be set to make his West End acting debut in Les Miserables.

Watson, who collaborated with the show's composers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg on his recent album Only One Man, told the Evening Standard he has his eye on the iconic role of Jean Valjean.

"I went to see Cameron Mackintosh about doing Les Miserables," he said. "We've had a good chat about that. It's something I'd like to do. It would give me a huge amount of satisfaction to play a role like Valjean. I would do it in the West End, towards the end of 2014."

The 46 year-old tenor, self-styled as 'The Voice', rose to fame after being discovered singing in a working men's club. He made a comeback in 2010 after recovering from a brain tumour.

He added: "Claude-Michel keeps saying, ‘When are you going to do Valjean?' He said I'd be perfect because I now have the life experience to draw on. Valjean is a tortured soul."

Jean Valjean was created on stage by Colm Wilkinson (see our recent interview) and was played in the recent Oscar-winning film version by Hugh Jackman.

The current West End cast includes Daniel Koek in the role, alongside Tam Mutu as Javert and Carrie Hope Fletcher as Eponine.