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Jimmy Nail pulls out of Sting musical The Last Ship

Joe McGann will take his place when the show visits Glasgow later this year.

The Last Ship: Jimmy Nail has pulled out of Sting's musical.
The Last Ship: Jimmy Nail has pulled out of Sting's musical. Theatre Royal/ PA

Jimmy Nail will no longer appear in Sting's debut musical The Last Ship.

The 63-year-old Geordie will be replaced in the role of Jackie White by Liverpudlian actor Joe McGann when the show visits Glasgow later this year.

The musical's producer says the offer of employment to Nail, who was hailed as the star of the show when tickets went on sale in October, was withdrawn after "protracted negotiations".

The Last Ship will make its UK premiere in Newcastle in March before coming to the Theatre Royal in Glasgow in June.

Nail said: "I was very much looking forward to appearing in Sting's The Last Ship, particularly in my home city.

"Sadly that's not to be. I would like to thank the production in allowing FACT, the charity of which I'm a patron, to benefit from the planned gala charity event.

"To anyone who has purchased a ticket, please, go see the show and give this vessel the launch it so deserves. You'll hear some of the finest musical works ever composed for the stage."

'Go see the show and give this vessel the launch it so deserves. You'll hear some of the finest musical works ever composed for the stage.'
Jimmy Nail

Casting for the production, which has a Tony-nominated original score and lyrics composed by Sting, was announced on Tuesday.

Alongside Joe McGann as White will be Emmerdale actress Charlie Hardwick as Peggy White, former Coronation Street star Richard Fleeshman as Gideon Fletcher and Frances McNamee as Meg Dawson.

Karl Sydow, producer of The Last Ship, 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carried out in good faith we regret to announce the production's offer of employment to Jimmy Nail has been withdrawn.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."

The Last Ship, which was initially inspired by Grammy Award-winning singer Sting's 1991 album The Soul Cages and his own childhood experiences.

It tells the story of a community amid the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Tyne and Wear, with the closure of the Swan Hunter shipyard.

The Last Ship is to run at Northern Stage in Newcastle from March 12 to April 7 before touring to 11 other cities, including Glasgow on June 23, and closing at in Salford on July 7.

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