Joe McElderry to star in The Who’s ‘Tommy’ musical

The X Factor winner says he's a big fan of The Who

In quite possibly the most un rock’n’roll casting in the West End yet, Joe McElderry is set to star in The Who‘s rock opera Tommy.

The singer, who won the 2009 series of The X Factor, will make his West End debut playing the title role in Pete Townshend’s musical, which is being revived at London’s Prince Edward Theatre on November 12.

Speaking about the role, McElderry told What’s On Stage: “I’m very excited to make my West End debut in the iconic rock opera Tommy; I have been waiting for a role that would challenge both my acting and singing skills, this has both. I am a big fan of The Who and it is incredible that Pete Townshend wrote this piece when he was 21, the same age as me.”

The show was first performed by The Who in 1969 and centres around a kid called Tommy who becomes deaf, dumb and blind but later wows his peers when he becomes a pinball champion. A film of the album was made in 1975 by Ken Russell.

Last year, McElderry was ditched by mogul Simon Cowell’s SyCo record label after a limp start to his music career. He became the first X Factor winner not to achieve a Christmas Number One after he was beaten to the top spot in 2009 by Rage Against The Machine‘s ‘Killing In The Name’. McElderry’s last single ‘Someone Wake Me Up’ sold just 7,000 copies.