Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 12:45 UK

Matt Lucas theatre role recast

Matt Lucas in Prick Up Your Ears
Matt Lucas in a publicity shot for Prick Up Your Ears

Matt Lucas will not return to his role in the West End play Prick Up Your Ears after the death of his former partner.

The Little Britain star had temporarily pulled out of the show after Kevin McGee was found dead in his Edinburgh flat last Monday.

Telstar actor Con O'Neill will now replace Lucas in the role of Kenneth Halliwell for the rest of the run.

Lucas and McGee had a civil partnership ceremony in 2006 but Lucas was granted a dissolution in 2008.

'Actor of significance'

A statement from the producers of the play said: "Given the sad news that Matt Lucas has recently received, it is understandable that he could not return to play Halliwell at this time and our thoughts are with him."

Con O'Neill
Con O'Neill will join the cast on 22 October

Olivier award-winning actor Con O'Neill played legendary record producer Joe Meek in Telstar on the West End stage and on film.

The producers added: "We are thrilled that Con O'Neill, an actor of such significance, is available to take on the role of Kenneth Halliwell at such short notice."

Lucas' understudy Michael Chadwick will play Halliwell until O'Neill takes over on 22 October.

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