Glee’s Matthew Morrison is to star in Simon Cowell’s British entertainment format The Greatest Dancer.

The American actor, who has starred in a number of Broadway hits including Finding Neverland, will present the series alongside former Girls Aloud star Cheryl Tweedy and Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse. The trio will make up the panel of Dance Captains in the BBC One show, which is hosted by Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo.

Auditions for The Greatest Dancer, a co-production between creator Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia’s Thames, are taking place in Birmingham ahead of its launch in 2019.

The show marks Cowell’s first co-pro for the BBC, having launched a number of shows on rival ITV. The broadcaster has ordered eight episodes of the entertainment format for Saturday night. The series will feature a host of talent from across the world of dance as they give the performances of their lives in the search for the UK’s best dancer. From ballet to jazz; hip hop to Bollywood; the show will feature a number of genres as well as “dramatic” auditions, challenges and live performances.

The Greatest Dancer will be executive produced by Nigel Hall, Global Head of Television, Syco Entertainment, and Amelia Brown, Managing Director, Thames TV. The series was commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, and Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Kalpna Patel-Knight.

Morrison said, “This is such a powerful moment for me. It’s wonderful to continue bringing music and dance into peoples’ lives like we did on Glee. Dance is a safe haven that allows us to communicate where words cannot. It’s an expression of love and empowerment, driven by all the emotions that make us human. I love being exposed to people who are pursuing art, and expression, and I look forward to being a moving force for good on their journey. As a Dance Captain, my sincere hope is that I can uplift and encourage all the dancers here reach their greatness.”

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