Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2
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Somewhere in the country tonight... the curtain rose on a production of 'Chess: The Musical', movie theatres are showing 'The Lion King 3-D', and Jesus Christ is taking a bow. The common thread throughout: lyrics by Sir Tim Rice. He's more than a songwriter - he's become a franchise.
And while his knighthood suggests he's part of the establishment, Rice started in theatre as a rebel, a wannabe rock star who joined forces with Andrew Lloyd Webber to transform Jesus Christ... into a Superstar. That play was condemned by some religious groups, but the record was the top-selling album of the year.
Teaming up again with Webber on 'Evita', Rice was among the first to make the connection between politics and show business. Along with Elton John and Disney, he created the gold mine known as 'The Lion King'... which elevated a cartoon to the level of myth. Now he's back with a revival of 'Chess: The Musical'. It's about a chess game and a love triangle set at the height of the Cold War. With so many projects on the go in every corner of the world, Sir Tim's greatest challenge may be competing with himself.