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'X Factor' the musical to hit London stage in 2014

LONDON (Reuters) - Creator of "The X Factor", Simon Cowell, has given his approval for his hit TV singing competition to head to the London stage.

Syco Entertainment, Cowell's joint venture with Sony Music, is teaming up with Stage Entertainment UK to bring a musical based on the TV singing contest to the stage next year, the partners announced on Friday.

The show, to be called "X Factor - It's Time To Face The Musical!" will hit London's West End theatre district in early 2014 with its creators calling it an "affectionate poke" at the hugely successful TV show created by Cowell.

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It is being written by British comedian Harry Hill with music from Steve Brown and will be directed by Sean Foley.

Production company Stage Entertainment UK, behind such hits as "Oliver!", "Hairspray" and "Singin' in the Rain", said in a statement that the new musical would follow the fictional character Chenice on her unlikely journey to stardom.

Described as "the only girl in the world who has never heard of The X Factor", she stumbles across an audition queue with her talking dog, an incident that changes her life forever.

Cowell has made a fortune from "The X Factor" and similar television talent shows, and is also a household name in his native Britain and the United States for appearing as the acerbic judge on several of his shows.

Malachi Throne, who played Robert Wagner's boss Noah Bain in the 1960s series "It Takes a Thief" among many other roles during a long career, Throne's agent told TheWrap on Friday. He was 84.

Also: Simon: We'd be crazy not to have Demi back 'X Factor'