Id Do Anything

BBC I'd Do Anything - Amy - Ashley - Cleo - Francesca - Jessie - Jodie - Keisha - Niamh - Rachel - Samantha - Sarah - Tara - The Oliver hopefuls

I'd Do Anything - Nancy

Cameron Mackintosh is producing a major new production of Lionel Bart's classic musical Oliver! in London. The role of 'Nancy' is being cast using the Saturday night television series, I'd Do Anything which is being broadcast on Saturday evenings on BBC 1 from 15 March 2008. The hope is that a new musical theatre star will be discovered! In addition the search is also on to find three boys to share the title role of 'Oliver' between them.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is overseeing the selection, said: I find the character of Nancy such an exciting one to cast - it is so real, it is so today. I think she is a rough diamond. We want a street-wise girl. She's got a touch of the 'heart-of-gold' otherwise I think we are going to find that we are in trouble." Cameron Mackintosh added: "What she has to be is completely believeable - a passionate, strong girl"

John Barrow, who is on the Judging Panel, said that "You have to look at Nancy on stage and you have to believe that she is passionate, that she is a little ranchy, a little dirty." Fellow Judging Panel member, Denise van Outen, agreed saying "I think if you are too trained, or too polished, then this year the girl's won't be right for this role. I think we need to find something really raw, a real honesty in their performance, and our Nancy needs a heart." John added finally, "You know what, in the end, when we get down to the final 12 it is the audience that decides - they decide who is going to be Nancy!"

In addition to the role of 'Nancy', the television series will also be looking at the search to find three young boys to share the title role of 'Oliver' on stage.

I'd Do Anything... the story so far...

Sunday 27 April 2008 This week the 'Results Show' opened with the 8 remaining Nancy finalists and the Oliver Finalists reprising from the previous day's programmme, a shortened version of 'You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two' from the musical Oliver!. The Nancy Mission this week featured the finalist's fitness which they had to show by rowing! First the Nancy Finalists had a go on some rowing machines before splitting into two teams of 4 each for a canoe race on the water! The Nancy Finalists where then shown back in the studio singing the Aretha Franklin song 'Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves'. The Olivers, lead by semi-finalist Alexander, sung an ensemble version of 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' from the musical The Lion King. Before Graham Norton announced the results of the public voting, he asked the Judging Panel, based on this week's performances, who they thought was NOT Nancy - Barry and John said Keisha while Denise said Ashley. Graham then announced the results that really mattered - the public telephone votes - to reveal that the finalist with the lowest number of public votes was Keisha who then had to perform in the sing-off with Niamh, who had come second from botton. The sing-off song this week was the Bette Midler song 'The Rose'. Afterwards Andrew Lloyd Webber had the task to save one Nancy: "First, I'm going to say this is a complete and utter travesty, neither of you should be in the bottom two, it's completely wrong and I've been put into a situation that I have never wanted to be and, do you know what, for the first time on any television show, I am angry." But I am going to ave to go now with the majority of my panel and I'm going to save Niamh" - which meant that Keisha was the fifth Nancy Finalist to leave the show. Andrew then told Keisha: "At the end of the day that was an impossible choice for me. I thought that this might happen at one point and it is the first time on this series or any others that this has happened. I thought you were absolutely wonderful. You caught my eye in the last routine I think you have a huge career ahead of you and all I can say is that I'll do anything I can to help you. Bravo!" The television programme then concluded with Keisha saying good-bye by leading the remaining Nancy finalists in an ensemble version of 'Be Back Soon/As Long As He Needs Me'.

Saturday 26 April 2008 This week the fifth Nancy Finalist was eliminated from the competition to play the coveted role of 'Nancy' in a major revival of the Lionel Bart musical Oliver! in London's West End. The show opened with all remaining 8 Nancy Finalists joining the Oliver Finalists to sing an ensemble version of 'You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two' from the musical Oliver!. Following this each of the 8 remaining Nancy finalists sung their solo numbers. Halfway through the programme briefly focused on the Oliver finalists. For their mission this week they where taught stage fighting by professional stunt performers. Having seen how the boys got on, it was down to Cameron Mackintosh to decide who would be next to go through to the semi-finals, and he chose Alexander. After the Oliver Mission they performed an ensemble version of 'Breaking Free' from High School Musical. The remaining Nancy finalists then sung their solo numbers and the programme concluded with a brief recap of all the Nancy hopeful's performances tonight.

Sunday 20 April 2008 This week the 'Results Show' opened with the 9 remaining Nancy finalists reprising from the previous day's programmme, a shortened version of 'Consider Yourself' from the musical Oliver!. The programme then showed the Nancy finalists on this week's mission - this week the Nancy finalists visited hit West End musical Wicked where their mission this week was to perform in front of the audience! Before hand they recieved some coaching from leading lady Kerry Ellis who plays 'Elphaba' in Wicked. She told them: "I know you are all fighting to be a leading lady which is brilliant and is the best job in the world. But it is also really difficult - every night you have to really impress a paying audience, every night has to be like it is your 'first night'". The television programme then showed the Nancy Finalists on stage at the conclusion of the matinee performance of Wicked when they performed the song 'I'm Not That Girl' from Wicked - with the finalists singing their lines solo. Back in the studio the remaining Nancy Finalists sang the Elvis Preseley song 'Viva Las Vegas'. Following this the 12 Oliver Finalists performed an ensemble version of the Jackson 5 song 'I'll Be There', led by Kwayedza along with Gwion, Chester and Arthur - the four Oliver Finalists so far choosen so far to go forward to the Semi-Finals. Before Graham Norton announced the results of the public voting, he asked the Judging Panel, based on this week's performances, who they thought was NOT Nancy - John and Denise said Keisha while Barry said Francesca. Graham then announced the results that really mattered - the public telephone votes - to reveal that the finalist with the lowest number of public votes was Ashley Russell who then had to perform in the sing-off with Francesca Jackson, who had come second from botton. The sing-off song this week was the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Whistle Down The Wind. Afterwards Andrew Lloyd Webber had the task to save one Nancy: "Both of them sang wonderfully and it was extraordinary sing-off. I have to decide really between a fabulous professional actress and then with Ashley and what the panel obviously feel about her and I'm doing it from 5,000 miles away - this is the toughest call I've ever, ever had, and I really mean this. However, thinking about everything, just weighing absolutely everything that the panel have said up - I'm going to save Ashley" - which meant that Francesca was the fouth Nancy Finalist to leave the show. Andrew then told Francesca: "I'm gutted about this because you did it beautifully I just had to really take in mind what the panel said as well but I do feel you have a fantastic career as a professional actress and it is ging to be the begining of a long road for you. I'm sorry to have to do it." The television programme then concluded with Francesca saying good-bye by leading the remaining Nancy finalists in an ensemble version of 'Be Back Soon/As Long As He Needs Me'.

Saturday 19 April 2008 This week the fourth Nancy Finalist was eliminated from the competition to play the coveted role of 'Nancy' in a major revival of the Lionel Bart musical Oliver! in London's West End. The show opened with all remaining 9 Nancy Finalists joining the Oliver Finalists to sing an ensemble version of 'Consider Yourself' from the musical Oliver!. Following this each of the 9 remaining Nancy finalists sung their solo numbers. Andrew Lloyd Webber was in Las Vegas, but he was able to watch make comments on the performances via a live video link. Halfway through the programme briefly focused on the Oliver finalists. For their mission this week to show their bravery, they went to The Castle Climbing Centre, and were faced with the challenge of abseiling down a 100ft spiral staircase in the tower of the Castle! Afterwards Andrew announced that the fourth boy to go through to the Oliver Semi Finals would be Kwayedza. Andrew Lloyd Webber said the Mission "was about acting bravery, not so much about singing. Kwayedza has a problem with his throat, no question about it. We are going to get him to a specialist to see what is going on there, but he gave the best acting performance of the lot." Back in the studio all the 12 Oliver finalists sung an ensemble version of 'I Whistle A Happy Tune' from the musical The King and I. The remaining Nancy finalists then sung their solo numbers and the programme concluded with a brief recap of all the Nancy hopeful's performances tonight.

Sunday 13 April 2008 The third 'Results Show' opened with the 10 remaining Nancy finalists reprising from the previous day's programmme, a shortened version of 'It's A Fine Life' from the musical Oliver!. The programme then showed the Nancy finalists on this week's mission - this week the Nancy finalists visited hit West End musical Hairspray, their mission was to step into the shoes of Hairspray's leading lady Leanne Jones (who play's Tracy Turnblad) and perform a love scene with former Any Dream Will Do Joseph finalists, Ben James Ellis (who play's Link Larkin). There where some surprises guests for the Nancys - their Dads where watching from the wings! Afterwards, back in the studio, the Nancys performed an ensemble version of the song 'Good Morning Baltimore' from Hairspray. The 12 Oliver finalists then performed an ensemble version of the song 'A Whole New World' from the musical Aladdin which featured Gwion, Chester and Arthur - the three Oliver Finalists choosen so far to go forward to the Semi-Finals. Before Graham Norton announced the results of the public voting, he asked the Judging Panel, based on this week's performances, who they thought was NOT Nancy - John Barrowman said: "Because I don't think she has the vocal range, or the stamina for eight shows-a-week, I'm saying Tara." Denise Van Outen said: "Because I haven't seen her act and connect with the words during her song yet, I'm going to say Keisha." Barry Humnphries said: "I'm afraid that, although I enjoy her work very much, it is too modern and I would say Tara." Graham then announced the results that really mattered - the public telephone votes - to reveal that the finalist with the lowest number of public votes was once again Keisha who then had to face the 'sing-off' along with Tara who had come second from bottom. This week the 'sing-off' song was 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' from the musical The Wizard of Oz. Andrew Lloyd Webber then had the task to save one Nancy: "Once again, the most difficult job there really is I think. We have two very talented performers and I have to think about the eight shows-a-week aspect and I want to think about the connection with the material itself - I'm going to save Keisha!" Thus Tara had to leave the competition - Andrew told her: "The lovely, cheeky, poppy Tara. I thought really fantastic. I just worry, I'm afraid I do have to agree with the majority of the panel, I'm just not sure you'd be able to do eight shows-a-week, and we've got to remember that, and I think it would be unfair on you at this stage, but good luck with everything ." Tara said: "I just want to say I've had the most amazing experience I've learnt so much from the most amazing teachers that we've had and I've learnt a lot about myself. I want to thank everyone who voted for me." The television programme then concluded with Tara saying good-bye by leading the remaining Nancy finalists in an ensemble version of 'Be Back Soon/As Long As He Needs Me'.

Saturday 12 April 2008 The third of the 'knock-out' rounds when the third Nancy finalist was eliminated from the competition to play the coveted role of 'Nancy' in a major revival of the Lionel Bart musical Oliver! in London's West End. The show opened with all remaining 10 Nancy finalists singing an ensemble version of 'It's A Fine Life' from the musical Oliver!. Following this each of the 10 remaining Nancy finalists sung their solo numbers which this week focused on musical theatre songs. Halfway through the programme briefly focused on the Oliver finalists who this week where shown visiting Tottenham Hotspurs football club's training ground where the emphasis was team work and stamina. Afterwards Andrew announced that the third boy to go through to the Oliver Semi Finals would be Arthur. Back in the studio all the 12 Oliver finalists sung an ensemble version of 'Teamwork' from the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The remaining Nancy finalists then sung their solo numbers and the programme concluded with a brief recap of all the Nancy hopeful's performances tonight.

Sunday 6 April 2008 The second 'Results Show' opened with the 11 remaining Nancy finalists singing 'Oom Pah Pah' from the musical Oliver!. The programme then showed the Nancy finalists 'stepping back in time' to see what life was like back in Dickens time and getting up close with some rats! Then, playing the role of 'Bill Sykes', actor Stephen Hawkins joined the Nancy finalists, and he played a scene from with each one individually - watched over by Denise Van Outen. Back in the studio the 11 remaining Nancy finalists sung an ensemble version of the Donna Summer/Barbara Streisand song 'Enough Is Enough - No More Tears'. The 12 Oliver finalists then sung an ensemble version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's song 'Pie Jesu'. Before Graham Norton announced the results of the public voting, he asked the Judging Panel, based on this week's performances, who they thought was NOT Nancy - John Barrowman said Samantha while both Denise Van Outen and Barry Humphries said Keisha. Graham then announced the results that really mattered - the public telephone votes - to reveal that the finalist with the lowest number of public votes was Keisha who then had to face the 'sing-off' along with Cleo who had come second from bottom. This week the 'sing-off' song was 'I Know Him So Well' from the musical Chess. Andrew Lloyd Webber then had the task to save one Nancy: "'Nothing is so good it lasts eternally'. Really, really, this is the most difficult descision situation I've had on any of the programmes so far I've done. So I've got to base it really on what I've just heard, and on what I've just heard tonight, I've going to save Keisha." Thus Cleo had to leave the competition - Andrew told her: "I really am sorry, because you where fantastic, but I don't think that tonight was actually the right result and I will say that. I thought you where wonderful and I think there is going to be a real, real place for you in the West End and many, many shows to come - I am really, really, sorry." Cleo said: "I've learnt so much, it has made me grow as a performer, as a singer, as an actress, I want to keep with this energy and do what I need to do to get better and better." The television programme then concluded with Cleo saying good-bye by leading the remaining Nancy finalists in an ensemble version of 'Be Back Soon/As Long As He Needs Me'.

Saturday 5 April 2008 The second of the 'knock-out' rounds when the second Nancy finalist was eliminated from the competition to play the coveted role of 'Nancy' in a major revival of the Lionel Bart musical Oliver! in London's West End. The show opened with all remaining 11 Nancy finalists singing an ensemble version of 'Oom Pah Pah' from the musical Oliver!. Following this each of the 11 remaining Nancy finalists sung their solo numbers. Halfway through the programme briefly focused on the Oliver finalists who this week where shown visiting the Victoria Palace Theatre where the musical Billy Elliot is currently playing. Here they had a go at at acting out one of the scenes from the musical. Unfortunately Laurence had to leave early as he was not well. Back in the studio all 12 Oliver finalists where then shown singing an ensemble version of 'Electricity' from Billy Elliot the Musical. It was then revealed that the second Oliver finalist choosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh to go through to the semi-finals was Chester. The remaining Nancy finalists then sung and the programme concluded with a brief recap of all the Nancy hopeful's performances tonight.

Sunday 30 March 2008: The first 'Results Show' opened with the 12 Nancy finalists singing an ensemble version of 'I'd Do Anything' from the musical Oliver!. The Nancy finalists where given their first mission - to spend some time working on an East End market stall! Back in the television the Nancy finalists sung an ensemble version of the Girl's Aloud song 'Sound of the Underground'. Following this the Oliver finalists, led by Gwion, singing an ensemble version of 'Bright Eyes' from the film Watership Down. Before announcing the public votes, Graham Norton asked the judging panel who, based on this weeks performances only, they thought was NOT Nancy - John Barrowman and Barry Humphreys both said Amy while Denise Van Outen said Tara. When the results of the public votes where announced it was revealed that Amy Booth-Steel had come bottom, and Francesca Jackson has come second from bottom - so they had to both perform in front of Andrew Loyd Webber in the nerve-racking 'sing-off' - this week the song was Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Tell Me On A Sunday' from the musical Song and Dance. Afterwards Andrew chose to save Francesca - which means that Amy is the first to leave the competition, Andrew told her "You've done so well to come this far. Remember how many of our Marias have gone on to do so many other things." The television programme then concluded with Amy saying good-bye by leading the remaining Nancy finalists in an ensemble version of 'Be Back Soon/As Long As He Needs Me'.

Saturday 29 March 2008: The third episode of I'd Do Anything, and the first of the 'knock-out' rounds when the first, out of the remaining 12, will be eliminated from the competition to play the coveted role of 'Nancy'. The show opened with all 12 Nancy finalists joining with the 12 Oliver finalists to sing an ensemble version of 'I'd Do Anything' from the musical Oliver!. The Judging Panel for these live programmes features John Barrowman, Denise Van Outen and Barry Humphries along with John Barrowman. This week the Nancy finalists sung songs that they think showcase their leading lady potential. After each Nancy finalist sang the Studio Judging Panel - John Barrowman, Denise Van Outen and Barry Humphries along with Andrew Lloyd Webber - commented on each Nancy finalist's performance. The first four - Jessie Buckley, Jodie Prenge, Tara Bethan, Ashley Russell - sung their solo songs after which the 12 Oliver finalists sung an ensemble version of 'Food, Glorious Food' from the musical Oliver!. Next, four more Nancy finalists sung their solo numbers - Amy Booth-Steel, Keisha Amponsa-Banson, Francesca Jackson and Rachel Tucker - then the programme returned to the Olivers. During the week the Oliver finalists where taught slight of hand magic tricks by Paul Kieve - Andrew Lloyd Webber then announced that the first Oliver finalist choosen to go through to the semi-finals was Gwion. Back to the search for Nancy, and remaining four finalists - Samantha Barks, Sarah Lark, Cleopatra Royer and Niamh Perry - all sang their solo songs. The programme then concluded with a brief re-cap of each Nancy finalist.

Saturday 22 March 2008: The second episode of I'd Do Anything focused the Nancy Training School which took place at The Mary Ward House in Central London. Out of the original 25,000 'Nancy' hopefuls who auditioned, only 42 made it through to the Nancy Training School, but by time the School finishes, only 12 will remain who will go forward to the live 'knock-out' programmes from next week.
After a day of training with professional teachers - primarily covering vocal skills but also including the acting and dancing aspects of performance. At the end of the day all the Nancy hopefuls where paired up to sung a duet in front of John Barrowman and Densie Van Outen for the first round of eliminations from Nancy Schhol. Unfortuantely, just before this 'concert', the pressure got too much for Alicia who decided that she had had enough and, despite last minute encouragement from both John and Denise, she decided to walk out. Following the performances from the remaining Nancy hopefuls, and after much discussion, John and Denise decided to eliminate around a third of the girls from the competition - leaving just some 29 Nancy hopefuls to come back to the Nancy School the next day.
The actress Sonia Swaby, who played the role of Nancy in Oliver! at The London Palladium in the late 1990's, come to Nancy School to give the remaining girls some encouragement and guidance in their performances. This day at the Nancy School deals mainly with the girls acting ability. At the end of this day, having watched and studied the remaining girls during the day, John and Denise eliminate another third of the girls.
The remaining 18 Nancy hopefuls then rehearse for a special concert before an invited audience at The Theatre Royal Stratford in East London after which 6 will be eliminated and 12 will go forward to the next week's programme. The 'Judging Panel' here comprises of Cameron Mackintosh, Denise Van Outen, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Barry Humphries. John Barrowman in unable to attend this concert as he is in Cardiff filming Torchwood although he later watches it on TV. The remaining 18 Nancy hopefuls and the whole judging panel, including John, travel to Andrew Lloyd Webber's country house Sydmonton Court where the final deliberations are made by the judges and the final 12 Nancy hopefuls, who will be going through to next week's 'knock-out' stage.

Saturday 15 March 2008: The first episode of I'd Do Anything focused on the preliminary auditions which took place around the country. Thousands where auditioned by the experienced West End casting director, David Grinrod, but only around 1 in 600 Nancy hopefuls where selcted to return for the 'call-back' auditions which where going to take place in London. Out of the young boys seen, just 50 where selected to go forward to the next auditions in London.