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Ex-'America's Got Talent' host Jerry Springer to star in London's 'Chicago'

By Christopher Rocchio, 02/17/2009 

Jerry Springer will apparently soon be the one asking audiences if he has any talent.

The former America's Got Talent host and Dancing with the Stars celebrity participant has been tapped to star as Billy Flynn in Chicago at the West End's Cambridge Theatre, Playbill reported Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Springer announced that he would not be returning for America's Got Talent's upcoming fourth season due to his commitment to The Jerry Springer Show and an unidentified stage role.

NBC subsequently announced actor and comedian Nick Cannon would replace Springer. who had served as the host of America's Got Talent's last two seasons after replacing first-season host Regis Philbin.

Chicago performances starring Springer will begin June 1 and run until July 11 -- right in the midst of America's Got Talent's summer broadcast run on NBC.

"I love doing different things in my life. I can't think of anyone with a luckier life than I've had. I'm 65, and when someone comes to you and says, 'Would you like to be in a play on the West End?', particularly one with the impact of Chicago -- wow, you'd be crazy to say no," said Spring at a London press conference, according to Playbill.

"And the role of Billy Flynn is actually one I'm reasonably comfortable with.  I know enough about the character, not just being from Chicago but I'm a lawyer and I'm also in show business. There are elements of the character that I can draw upon I think -- I hope I'm not being naive with this -- like talking to the jury and the putting on of a big show."

Springer added that should his West End performance be well-received, he wouldn't mind moving on to Broadway.

"Who wouldn't want to be on Broadway, just like who wouldn't want to be on the West End?" said Springer, according to Playbill.  "Let's see how comfortable I am doing this, but it's not beyond imagination that if this works well and I'm really enjoying it, to do a stint in this role."

The actors that will appear with Springer in Chicago have not yet been announced.

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