Lee Mead has said singing a song from the band Queen in front of them for an audition was “the most daunting thing” he’s done in his career.
The 41-year-old actor clinched his first West End role in a decade as villain Khashoggi opposite Brenda Edwards as Killer Queen in We Will Rock You, the hit musical which features 24 of Queen’s greatest songs.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mead said: “It’s my first villain role, it is very tongue-in-cheek but my first sort of baddie character. For me, it’s the first time back in the West End in 10 years, very exciting.”
Returning to London 21 years after the show burst on to the capital, the show will run for 12 weeks at the London Coliseum from June 2 – where the rock band’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, performed with the Royal Ballet in 1979.
Comedian and screenwriter Ben Elton, who won recognition for his work on popular sitcoms Blackadder and The Young Ones, also returns to direct the show having written the original script.
Speaking about the audition process, Mead, who shot to fame when he won BBC One’s singing contest Any Dream Will Do, said: “To sing a Queen song for Queen for the final audition was probably the most daunting thing I’ve done in my career.
“Ben (Elton) was there and I’m a huge fan of Blackadder and The Young Ones as a kid growing up, all his stand-up stuff.
“I think if I’d have auditioned for this role 15 years ago, I don’t think I would have been as composed as I was for the audition, because it was quite daunting. So pleased that I’m doing it.”
The show, which first debuted at London’s Dominion Theatre in 2002, is set 300 years in the future and tells the story of a few rock rebels fighting against an all-powerful company to gain freedom, individuality and the rebirth of the age of rock.
Mead also opened up about recently travelling to Turkey for a hair transplant.
He said: “To to be frank, it was three times cheaper in Turkey and they had done 14,000 operations.
“It cost £3,500 but I had 2600 grafts – essentially 10,000 new hairs. Local anaesthetic, 20 injections, you can’t feel a thing for the operation but the worst part was at three minutes of the injections, but I’m so pleased I got it done.
“I’m so pleased I am talking about it.”
He added that the operation gave him confidence as “loads of men look great bald” but he “wasn’t quite ready for that yet”.