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ANY DREAM WILL DO
Originally from Southend-on-Sea, Lee Mead is a professional actor and musical theatre star, well known internationally as the winner of BBC's "Any Dream Will Do", Andrew Lloyd Webber's 2007 search for the newest Joseph to star in his revival of the ever-popular 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat'.
At the time, Lee had worked his way through chorus and tour productions to an understudy role in Phantom of the Opera in the West End. This was an extremely important reward for years of hard work, but, as he says, "As amazing as being an understudy is, you can't really beat having your own lead role - I'm always the guy waiting for somebody to go sick, and waiting to go on stage."
And so Lee took the huge gamble and began the audition process to become the next Joseph. In his words at the time, "I feel I should be Joseph as this is something I truly want. I am passionate about this character and believe I can give the public and the show the Joseph they know and love but with a new, fresh, individual stamp", adding that "I 100% believe that I can be Joseph, and what I am hoping is people aren't going to judge me just because I'm a professional. I've worked hard to get to where I am, and I want to be given the same opportunity as anybody else because I want this as much as anybody else, if not more . . . Opportunities like this don't come along very often, and that is why I am here, and that is why I want the part of Joseph - it is my dream."
Following is a summary of ADWD with links to clips of Lee's performances.
Although the original live show aired in the UK in 2007,
it was re-broadcast at various later dates in other countries.
The dates listed below are the original live show dates. Enjoy!
31 March 2007: 1st BBC show
Click on the Images
to watch clips
For his first audition.
Lee sang 'Why God Why?' from 'Miss Saigon'
- a show in which he had understudied on tour.
This clip was not in the show as aired on TV,
but was on the BBC website as extra footage.
He has later said that he was told at this point he was through to the next week of auditions and Joseph School, but that Andrew Lloyd Webber was in the studio and they would like him to audition for Lloyd Webber as well so it could be filmed for TV.
Scary, but he did it - and after he announced he would sing "Anthem" realized that Tim Rice (the song's lyricist) was also in the room. Double scary. :)
Of course he was called back before the judges panel
and blew them all away with "When You Say Nothing At All"
7 April 2007: 2nd BBC show
14 April 2007: 1st BBC Live show
Audition week 2 - Joseph School.
Lee was a bit camera shy at Joseph school so there are only fleeting glimpses of him in these edited videos from the program.
Then a trip to ALW's Irish castle.
Finally the news that he was through to the live elimination shows.
21 April 2007: 2nd BBC Live show
The first of the BBC’s live elimination shows
opened with all the Joseph hopefuls singing, appropriately, 'Any Dream Will Do'
Lee was second on the bill with a stand-out performance of the
Bobby Darin classic 'Mack the Knife.'
And he continued to stand out in the group number
'Luck Be a Lady'
The second of BBC’s ‘Any Dream Will Do’ live shows began with the group singing 'Joseph's Coat'
And then Lee Mead schooled the other boys in the art of acting with his performance of the Daniel Powter song 'Bad Day'.
Another group performance, this time the Who's 'Pinball Wizard'.
28 April 2007: 3rd BBC Live show
This third week resulted in the elimination of not one but two
Joseph hopefuls. The opening group number was 'Go Go Go Joseph'
Lee sang the Rod Stewart track 'I Don't Want To Talk About It'
The final group number was Queen - 'One Vision'
5 May 2007: 4th BBC Live show
For the fourth BBC ‘Any Dream Will Do’ show the remaining eight channelled their inner Elvis with 'Song of the King'
Lee Mead sang Free’s 'All Right Now' for his solo performance.
He had been suffering from a virus during the week and was under a doctor's orders to rest, but the judges showed him no mercy.
Lee fans everywhere have still not forgiven Zoe Tyler. Grrrr!
The final group number was Meat Loaf's 'Dead Ringer for Love'.
12 May 2007: 5th BBC Live show
Lee redeemed himself this fifth week, standing out in the opening group number 'One More Angel in Heaven'
With an amazing rendition of the Will Young track 'Leave Right Now', Lee made it evident it was not his time to leave. . .
Then, the final group performance of the Kink's "You Really Got Me" was a real *ahem* Lee moment.
19 May 2007: 6th BBC Live show
The sixth week opened with all the remaining boys performing ‘Go Go Go Joseph’
Lee was last to sing his solo and in a stunning display of dark and mysterious emotion, sang the classic Rolling Stones song 'Paint It Black.'
He also performed the Barbra Streisand number 'Don't Rain on My Parade'
from the musical ‘Funny Girl,’as part of a trio
with fellow contestants Craig and Daniel.
Lee's voice soared over the group as they finished the show with the Beatles' classic 'She Loves You'
26 May 2007: 7th BBC Live show
Show seven began with the final five contestants singing the
In the VT prior to his performance,
Lee lovingly spoke of his Nan who had introduced him
to musicals as a child and of whom he clearly had fond memories.
In order to be a dreamer,
Lee knew that he needed to think of her during tonight's performance
of The Monkees' classic 'Daydream Believer'.
Two group numbers were included in this program: 'Do You Love Me' -- (Lee can definitely do the Twist -- *swoon*)
Then in the results show 'Born to be Wild'.
But the highlight was a surprise from Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Andrew arranged a session in a recording studio during which they were
unknowingly observed and listened to by Josh Groban,
who chose Lee to sing a duet with him of his classic 'You Raise Me Up'
2 June 2007 The Semi Finals: 8th BBC Live show
This week was the semi-finals and the show began with the four remaining contestants wowing the viewing audience by singing ‘Joseph’s Coat’.
During the preamble VT , Lee showed his vulnerable side as he only just managed to keep a lid on his emotions and appeared close to tears as he tried to explain just how overwhelming the whole Joseph experience had been.
Lee demonstrated professionalism with his performance of
Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’
As part of the show this evening,
the boys had to perform a duet with another contestant.
Tonight Lee had been paired with Lewis to sing from
Evita ‘Oh What a Circus.’
It was a case of Lee’s mature sexiness against Lewis’ young naiveté.
Not much of a competition really.
In the results show the boys again wowed with the aptly titled
Queen song ‘Under Pressure.’
9 June 2007 The Finals: 9th BBC Live show
This show began with a ‘Joseph Family’ reunion as we saw all 12 boys leaping effortlessly around the floor singing ‘Go Go Go Joseph’ Poor boys had to give up their coats all over again. ;(
During the week, the three finalists had been treated to a short break
at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sumptuous villa in Majorca,
the perfect opportunity to see the lads dressed in their dinner jackets,
cue the James Bond music and a rather sexy and smooth looking Lee.
The VT prior to Lee’s first performance of the evening
took us through his personal journey on his quest to be a
West End leading man. It was revealing and heart warming.
It was then Lee’s turn to perform Elvis Presley’s ‘Devil in Disguise’
And once again he strutted his stuff singing the Sinatra classic
‘New York, New York.’
This was a powerful and confident performance from Lee,
appreciated by the studio audience,
who spontaneously stood up as he entered the room.
All three finalists sang a trio version of ‘Maria’ from Westside Story
or as Graham Norton mistakenly said.
"West End story" which was probably more appropriate!
Now it's down to two and they begin with a recap VT for Lee
And he sang his choice of songs performed during the competition.
His choice, of course, was the amazing
'Paint it Black' - the performance where he definitely
made his mark on the competition.
Now the last duet of the series, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’,
after which it was announced that £500,000 had been raised for charity and the public had decided on their Joseph.
The wait for the result was painful as the camera panned from
Keith to Lee and back again.
Lee looked close to tears as he fought to keep his composure.
Finally, after a record-breaking 21 second wait that seemed like hours,
Graham Norton announced the winner ‘LEE!!!!!’
"Call off the search - Joseph has been found!"
Lee was then sent to get his multicoloured coat.
He strode onto the stage, with the broadest grin
ever and he began singing
the classic ‘Any Dream Will Do’ from Joseph.
At the end fireworks rained down and the other 11 contestants ran onto the stage and held Lee aloft whilst chanting
Lee, Lee, Lee.’
A lovely selfless send off from the boys.
Some clips from the after party >>>
For a first-hand account of what it was like to be in the live audience for the finale, check out what Ciruela had to say in this Forum thread from 2009.
As she recalls good memories . . . .*
* Sorry if you have to wait - these pages may be little
slow loading. #patienceisavirtue #worthit
Immediately after he won the finale, a single featuring Lee Mead with fellow ADWD finalists
Lewis Bradley and Keith Jack was released in aid of the BBC's annual Children In Need charity appeal.
The single, featuring 'Any Dream Will Do' (performed by Lee Mead)
and 'Close Every Door'
(performed by all three finalists)
reached number 2 on the official UK singles chart.
Lee went on to star as Joseph in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'
for over 600 performances, giving 100% each time as the consummate and talented professional he is.
But, of course, ADWD was only the beginning . . .