Former rugby league star and community icon Ian Roberts is the latest addition to the massive cast set to deliver Ben Hur: The Stadium Spectacular to ANZ Stadium next month.

The show’s producers have cast Roberts as Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea — an integral role in the production.

“I am thrilled to be part of this epic show,” Roberts said.

“Ten years ago I was carrying Kylie Minogue on a big pink thong in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and now I’ll be back at ANZ Stadium in Australia’s biggest-­ever theatrical production. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Roberts spent more than a decade playing first grade rugby league, with stints at South Sydney, Manly and  North Queensland, and represented both NSW (nine games) and Australia (13).

After his 1998 retirement, Roberts studied at the National Institute for Dramatic Art and has since landed roles in Superman Returns (2006), Little Fish (2005) and Cedar Boys (2009).

He also featured in The Cut for ABC TV, the mini-series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities and he placed second behind Tom Williams in the 2005 series of Dancing with the Stars.

Roberts has bolstered Ben Hur’s rugby league connection with Academy Award winner Russell Crowe, owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, signing on to narrate the epic tale.

info: Ben Hur: The Stadium Spectacular comes exclusively to Sydney for two nights only, Friday and Saturday, October 22 1nd 23. For tickets, show information and great new footage, visit

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