Any Dream Will Do – the winners’ story

We’re now more half way though ‘I’d Do Anything’, and the pressure is mounting on the remaining contestants… but I have been wondering – is it really an all-or-nothing situation for the girls who are left, or have they already overcome the hardest hurdle by making it this far?

When the BBC was under attack from critics for broadcasting ‘an extended advert for the musical’, some fans (including myself) defended it on the basis that it is likely to help make a career for the majority of the stars of the show. Having written that in my response to Kevin Spacey, I thought I should actually test whether that was true based on previous series…

After a bit of research, I was somewhat surprised by what I discovered – all but one or two of the finalists have made been successful, but it relied massively on Bill Kenwright, the producer who was a judge in the last series…

Who has made it in their own right?

  • Lee Mead is still playing the part of Joseph at the Adelphi Theatre, and has almost certainly guaranteed himself a successful West End career after winning the show
  • Ben James-Ellis and Daniel Boys are the 2 finalists who have made it to the West End without the help of Bill Kenwright, and both appear to have proved that they have what it takes to succeed, despite not even making it to the final 3 in last year’s competition!
  • Ben is now starring in Hairspray, and was seen as the host of one of the Nancy challenges in this series of ‘I’d Do Anything’
  • Daniel is now starring in Avenue Q, having already been in a Fringe hit, I Love You Because and a concert performance of Sweeney Todd at the Royal Festival Hall opposite theatre stars Bryn Terfel, Maria Friedman and Philip Quast.
  • Lewis Bradley is also starring in the West End, but only when Lee Mead is on holiday! Andrew Lloyd Webber has picked him to understudy Lee, so whilst he hasn’t made it yet, he’s on the way…

Who has made it thanks to Bill Kenwright?
Remarkably, 6 of the finalists have been given work by Bill Kenwright since they finished on the show:

  • Craig Chalmers, Keith Jack and Chris Barton are all in Kenwright’s touring production of Joseph – Craig as joseph, Keith as the narrator, and Chris as Benjamin (also understudying Joseph)
  • Chris Crosby (the first Joseph to be eliminated) starred in Bill Kenright’s touring production of Half a Sixpence and then did Cinderella in panto (also BK produced!)
  • Jondeep More has done a few different shows – a small musical at the Landor Theatre (a very well-respected fringe theatre), a touring production of Nevermind the Broadway, and last but not least, Cinderella in panto (the Kenwright factor!)
  • Seamus Cullen has been quiet since the show ended but was recently announced in another Bill Kenwright show – the upcoming touring production of Evita, in which he’ll be playing one of the leading roles – Che

So, who’s left?
If you count up the names I have mentioned so far, you’ll see that there are 10… so, what has happened to the last 2?

  • Anthony Hansen (the youngest finalist as far as I’m aware) was offered the chance to go to a top drama school – Mountview – after the show finished to get some real training. In fact, rumour has it that it was John Barrowman who got him the place. Unfortunately, John is now probably quite frustrated, as Anthony has already dropped out of Mountview after less than a year. Why? To join a boyband – more of that in a moment…
  • Rob McVeigh was last seen on television trying to win the nomination to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest – unfortunately for him, he didn’t make it past the first round. He has also done panto in his hometown, but it looks like he’s still waiting for his big break in the theatre

The boy-band – Dream On
Not content with just casting a number of finalists in his productions, Bill Kenwright also put together a boy-band with 5 of the finalists – Anthony Hansen, Chris Barton, Chris Crosby, Craig Chalmers and Lewis Bradley. In case you’re interested, you can buy their CD on amazon… personally, I WILL NOT!

In conclusion
So, almost all of the finalists are now making a career in theatre – and whilst they are not all in the West End, there’s still time for them to make the jump.

Having seen these fact though, should the final Nancy’s be worried about the fact that there is no producer on the judging panel this time around? Will Bill Kenwright still be keeping his eye on the contestants, with plans to cast them in his shows after the series is finished? They should definitely have their fingers crossed!

The finalists’ websites (the 9 I have found!)
Ben James-Ellis
Chris Barton
Craig Chalmers
Daniel Boys
Jondeep More
Keith Jack
Lee Mead
Lewis Bradley
Seamus Cullen


3 Responses to “Any Dream Will Do – the winners’ story”

  1. 1 Ytsken May 11, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Great article, I liked reading it. Anyway, I just saw this link and felt like sharing:

    Amy, the first Nancy to leave the show, has apparently been cast for a new West End show. I doubt she’ll be the star but she’ll be on the West End, that counts for something, doesn’t it?

  2. 2 crystalvelvet June 2, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    saw bill kenwrights touring production of Joseph in Hull two weeks ago and the narrator was being played by Tara bentham (I’d do anything) craig was still joseph but chris was no longer in it.

  1. 1 I’d Do Anything’s Samantha Barks is Sally Bowles « Coloured Lights Trackback on July 29, 2008 at 8:33 am

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