Former boyband hunk Stephen Gately has landed his second West End musical role - playing the evil CHILD CATCHER in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The gay star has become a regular face in London's Theatreland since Irish chart-toppers BOYZONE split and his own attempt at a solo career flopped, making his debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber's JOSEPH AND HIS TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT.

And he is thrilled about the new part - which sees him transformed into a terrifying villain, alongside former Australian soap star-turned pop star JASON DONOVAN.

Gately, who begins his run on 7 September (04), says, "It is going to be great fun. I am looking forward to being hideous-looking.

"I have always been greeted with cheers but I hope no one cheers when I come on stage. I can't wait for the hisses.

"It will be a surprise to people who expect me to be cute and humble - I think it will show off my acting ability."

02/08/2004 17:29