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Miranda Hart to star in Annie

Miranda Hart to star in Annie

Miranda Hart will make her West End debut in 'Annie'.

The 44-year-old actress and comedienne will appear as orphanage manager Miss Hannigan in the musical when it opens at the Piccadilly Theatre in London in May.

She said: "Miss Hannigan is a dream role, and certainly has been for me, but I never thought it would be a reality. But here we are and I have a newly found musical theatre-esque spring in my step!

"I hope people will leave the theatre feeling life is a little better and dreamier and jollier after watching it, as much as we feel that performing it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some leg-warmers to put on."

Miranda will join the cast for previews from May 23, ahead of opening night on June 5. And the comedienne will take on the starring role until September 17, with the musical continuing its run until January 6, 2018.

'Annie' will be directed by Nikolai Foster and produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian, with presale tickets available from 10am on Friday February 17.

The exciting news comes only days after Miranda admitted she was "too ill" to return to 'Call the Midwife' last year.

She said: "I don't feel myself at the moment because I was ill last year and I wasn't able to exercise."

Miranda had to also turn down the chance to star in the remake of the classic 'Up Pompeii' for the BBC's Sitcom Season last year due to the illness and, as a result, it was scrapped.

A spokesperson for the BBC said at the time: "Earlier in the year a number of scripts were developed and considered for the BBC One revivals as part of Sitcom Season, including 'Up Pompeii!' Unfortunately the desired cast weren't all available to film in time for the season. We wouldn't rule out revisiting it in the future."

Miranda was also thought to be presenting the remake of 'The Generation Game', which was again put on hold, and she had to pull out of hosting the 'Royal Variety Performance' in December.

A source said: "Everyone was thrilled when Miranda agreed to host the 'Royal Variety Performance', but sadly it now seems it isn't to be.

"It is a charity event so the hosts don't get paid, but they're always falling over themselves to do it because it's seen as such a huge honour to be asked. It's probably about as high profile as it gets."