Kara Tointon and Katherine Kelly to star in ITV’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music

Tointon will take the lead as Maria Von Trapp, also joined by Alexander Armstrong and Julian Ovenden in the two-and-a-half-hour musical extravaganza on ITV this Christmas

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The hills are alive with the sound of Mr Selfridge because cast members Katherine Kelly and Kara Tointon are limbering up for a live TV broadcast of The Sound of Music this Christmas.

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Tointon will take the lead in ITV’s live TV adaptation of the iconic film classic, stepping into Julie Andrews’ shoes as naive young nun-turned-nanny Maria Von Trapp for the two-and-a-half-hour long production.

Mr Selfridge co-star and Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly will join her for the live broadcast, playing the Baroness Elsa Schraeder, while Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will star as the jovial Simon Cowell-esque music promoter Max Detweiler

Based on the original stage musical with a book by Lindsay & Crouse and suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp, The Sound of Music Live! will include all of the songs from its classic score by Rodgers and Hammerstein, including How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, Do-Re-Mi, My Favorite Things, Climb Ev’ry Mountain and, of course, The Sound of Music.

And as for Edelweiss? Well, we sure do hope Downton Abbey alumnus Julian Ovenden has those vocal chords warmed up, because he’ll be the one singing it as Captain Von Trapp.

Bafta nominated director Coky Giedroyc (Wuthering Heights, The Virgin Queen, Oliver Twist, Penny Dreadful) will be the show’s creative director, while Tony award-winning Martin Koch (Billy Elliot The Musical, Mamma Mia!) keeps the hits coming as director of music.

“This is the first time in the UK that this type of project has been attempted – a musical drama both performed and broadcast live – but big ambitious live television events is what ITV does well. We’ve assembled some of the very best talent both in front of and behind the camera and I can’t wait to see it all come together” said ITV’s Director of Entertainment and Comedy Elaine Bedell.

“We are so thrilled to be making a landmark production of this eternally popular show, which promises to be a highlight of the Christmas schedules”, Controller of Drama, Victoria Fea added. “There are some much-loved performers already preparing for the big night and we know they won’t disappoint.”

This isn’t the first time a live broadcast of the show has been attempted. Country music superstar and American Idol winner Carrie Underwood joined True Blood’s Stephen Moyer for a US live broadcast back in 2013.

Can Kara compete in the vocal stakes? We’re sure she’ll climb every mountain, ford every stream and follow every rainbow until she finds her dream.

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The Sound of Music Live will air on ITV this Christmas