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Andrews backs Underwood as Maria

Sound of Music star Dame Julie Andrews has given the nod of approval to country singer Carrie Underwood, who will play Maria von Trapp in a live TV production of the musical.

Grammy Award winner Carrie, who shot to fame as the winner of the fourth series of American Idol, will take on the part of the famous nun opposite True Blood actor Stephen Moyer as Captain Georg von Trapp in a live performance of the show on American television.

Julie was nominated for an Oscar and a Bafta for her performance in the 1965 original movie but says she is happy to pass the baton on to a younger singer.

Speaking on the red carpet at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Walt Disney concert hall in Los Angeles, Julie said: "It's going to be the original show, I believe, and I think after 40 or 50 years it's probably time somebody else had a crack at it."

Asked about Carrie, the Mary Poppins star said: "I think she's great."

The 77-year-old also paid tribute to Walt Disney, after whom the concert hall is named and who she knew well.

"I think that his vision was tremendous, he managed to think ahead all the time. He was an amazingly generous man, he found his way to extremely nice people. I don't know if that is the reason for his huge success but he managed family entertainment in the best possible way with class and style."

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