The king of talkback radio will play President Roosevelt in a new Australian production.

Broadcasting veteran Alan Jones will sing alongside theatre greats Anthony Warlow and Nancye Hayes in a new production of the Broadway hit Annie.

Jones will play President Roosevelt in the latest stage show to be produced by John Frost, who is behind the Australian box office smash Wicked. Frost handpicked the broadcaster and media personality for his individualism – New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell said he was shocked Frost had cast Jones, who “never ever takes direction”.

Frost said of the all-star cast, “I’m often asked when Annie will return to the stage, and I’m thrilled that for this new production we have the A-list of Australian musical theatre talent – Anthony Warlow reprising one of his favourite roles, Nancye Hayes putting her mark on the role of the mean Miss Hannigan, and Todd McKenney, Chloe Dallimore and Julia Goodwin who are the cream of Australian talent. And I know Alan Jones will surprise everyone in his musical theatre debut.”

For his part Jones, who has no acting or singing experience, expressed his hope “to do all right and not let the team down”, adding that he has “a lot of good people to help me.”

Warlow reprises his stint as Daddy Warbucks following appearances in a 2000 production, while stage legend Nancye Hayes returns to Annie for the third time since it first toured Australian in 1978.

For the show’s next outing in Australia, which opens at Star City’s Lyric Theatre on December 29, the lyricist and original Broadway director Martin Charnin have penned a new song specially for Warlow. It will be a welcome addition to hits including It’s the Hard-Knock Life and Tomorrow.