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Last Updated: Monday May 26 2008 11:40 GMT

Boys chosen in search for Oliver

The winning Olivers - L-R: Laurence, 11, Gwion, 11, and Harry, 12

Three boys have been picked to share the starring role in the latest West End production of the musical Oliver!, on the BBC talent show I'd Do Anything.

Gwion, 11, Harry, 12, and Laurence, 11, beat thousands of other Oliver hopefuls who all applied to be on the show.

TV bosses didn't think it was fair to put the finalists through a public vote each week, so judge Andrew Lloyd Webber decided who should get the part.

He said the boys were very different, but he thought it was a great result.

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Gwion said: "It was very nerve-wracking at first, waiting to find out and then, when I was told I was Oliver I was ecstatic!"

The would-be Olivers in action
The finalists have all had a chance to perform on the TV show
"I had been dreaming of what it would feel like for so long, and then it happened," said Harry. "I couldn't believe it was real."

Laurence said he was completely overwhelmed: "It was the greatest feeling in my life ever!"


The boys are now waiting to find out who'll join them on stage as Nancy in the musical, which is based on Charles Dickens story about a young orphan gets involved with a gang of pickpockets in 19th Century London.

Rachel became the ninth Nancy wannabe to be booted off the show on Sunday, leaving just Jodie, Samantha and Jessie facing the public vote in the final on 31 May.