Famed lyricist Sir Tim Rice has slammed his longrunning writing partner Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's decision to hunt for a new lead for their hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar via a TV talent show, dismissing the concept as "tacky".
Webber announced last week (begs16Jan12) he will audition potential new leads on TV for an upcoming global tour of his and Rice's famed production.
The show, which will air in the U.K. later this year (12), will involve viewers voting for their favourite contestants and helping to choose a new Jesus for the musical.
But the project has been blasted by Rice, who insists he finds it "distasteful" and has accused Webber of wanting to constantly "rehash" all their best work.
Rice says, "I've had several meetings with Andrew and said that I don't want this done but now it appears it's been signed and sealed.
"Andrew wants to rehash things all the time but I don't think Superstar needs that tasteless reality television treatment. Those shows are relentlessly downmarket which is fine if the show is a lightweight bit of fluff.
"I am fully behind an arena show but I just don't think you need another television series to do that.
"It opens up a lot of opportunities for spoofs and I think it would be ill-advised to have people voting for who should be Jesus. It's just possible that it might be the most sophisticated, tasteful show hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but I doubt it. It sounds tacky and I really don't think Andrew should do it."