Les Mis star home for one-off show

ONE of the Capital's best-known West End stars is set to return to his home country for a one-night-only performance of his most famous role.

Jeff Leyton, who played Jean Valjean in Les Misrables more than 3500 times, will take up the role at the one-off show in December - which he says could be for the last time ever.

The West Pilton-born artist, who starred on-and-off in the hit West End musical for more than 12 years, will appear at the Alhambra Theatre, in Dunfermline, alongside Olivier Award-winning actress Barbara Dickson.

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Edinburgh-born Morag Siller, who starred in Les Misrables, Mamma Mia and Monarch of the Glen, and Phantom of the Opera's Keith Hendrie are also on the bill for the Royal Dunfermline Command Performance.

Leyton, an honorary patron of the venue, now lives in Tenerife and said: "They asked if I would come back and perform a few months ago and I instantly said yes. We'll be performing Bring Him Home, which I think is uncanny and rather fitting.

"I'm looking forward to meeting artists I've known over the years, and hopefully it'll be a performance for the old fans, and one to attract some new fans, who perhaps never made it down to London or caught me at the Playhouse.

"I kept taking up the role of Jean Valjean every couple of years, and I'm not quite finished yet. But it could well be the last time I play the part."

Leyton, who performed the famous part at the Playhouse during its debut tour in 1993 and again in 1998, said he left the role in around 2004 after a break-up, which saw him move back to Edinburgh for a few years.

But the itch to play Valjean was revived during a visit to Athens four years ago. He said: "I was touring with my friend, Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis, when he took me to visit an art school.

"Suddenly he threw back the curtain and there were about 200 students sitting there, waiting to hear me sing Bring Him Home. I had no choice - it made me realise I wanted to start it up again."

The one-off show, on December 18, will be compered by Pars Jim Leishman and Radio One's Edith Bowman.

Tickets are on sale from The Alhambra Theatre box office.