Entertainment & Arts

Jimmy Nail out of Sting's musical The Last Ship

Jimmy Nail and Sting Image copyright Mark Savage
Image caption Nail (left) said he had been looking forward to performing in his home city of Newcastle

Jimmy Nail will no longer star in Sting's musical The Last Ship when it makes its UK debut this year.

The actor had been due to reprise his role as Jackie White in the Newcastle-set musical, which closed after just three months on Broadway in 2015.

Joe McGann will replace him when the show opens in Newcastle in March.

"I was very much looking forward to appearing in Sting's The Last Ship, particularly here in my home city," Nail said. "Sadly that's not to be."

Richard Fleeshman, Frances McNamee and Emmerdale's Charlie Hardwick will play other lead roles in the show, which has its UK premiere at Northern Stage on 12 March.

The show's producer Karl Sydow said: "After protracted negotiations carried out in good faith, we regret to announce the production's offer of employment to Jimmy Nail has been withdrawn.

"All at The Last Ship thank him for his generosity and enormous contribution during what has been an eight-year journey."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sting appeared in the show himself towards the end of its Broadway run

Nail, who played Leonard "Oz" Osborne in 1980s comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, first portrayed Jackie when The Last Ship had a pre-Broadway try-out in Chicago in 2014.

He was replaced by Sting himself during the show's Broadway run in an attempt to boost ticket sales.

Sting created The Last Ship as a tribute to the shipbuilding community in his home town of Wallsend.

The musical tells of a group of unemployed shipbuilders who take over a closed factory to build one final ship.

"To anyone who has purchased a ticket, please go see the show and give this vessel the launch it so deserves," Nail's statement continued.

"You'll hear some of the finest musical works ever composed for the stage."

After Newcastle, The Last Ship will tour to Liverpool, Northampton, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham and Cardiff.

It will then make visits to Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and York before ending its tour at The Lowry in Salford in early July.

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