This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (April 2017)
Ian started out as an actor and appeared in a number of UK theatre productions, including the musicals The Pirates of Penzance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Rocky Horror Show. He is known professionally as David Ian as the name David Lane was already taken when he applied to the actors union Equity.
As a singer, Ian twice attempted to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, taking part in both the 1984 and 1986 A Song for Europe competitions on BBC1 as a member of the bands First Division and Jump respectively. Both songs were written by Paul Curtis.
In 1990 David met fellow actor Paul Nicholas while they were both appearing in a production of The Pirates of Penzance at the London Palladium. The pair created a production company, Paul Nicholas & David Ian Associates Ltd.
Their productions included:
- Jesus Christ Superstar
- Rocky Horror Show
- Ain’t Misbehavin
- Singin’ in the Rain
- Happy Days
- Saturday Night Fever
- West Side Story
- Pirates of Penzance
In 2006, he founded David Ian Productions, based in London's Covent Garden. It is now of the UK's premier producers of live large scale theatrical entertainment. Prior to founding DIP, he was Chairman/CEO of the global theatrical division of Live Nation (from 2005) having joined the group when it was part of Clear Channel Entertainment (in 2000).
At Live Nation, he was responsible for Broadway Across America, which produces and tours first class Broadway shows in over 40 markets in the United States and Canada. He was simultaneously CEO of the UK division which included over 25 theatres both in London’s West End and the majority of the regional markets in the UK.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
In 2006, David Ian and Andrew Lloyd Webber agreed to co-produce a production of The Sound of Music. Together with the BBC they created the original TV casting show How do you solve a problem like Maria, hosted by Graham Norton. Ian, along with Lloyd Webber, was a judge on the programme. The TV show was a resounding success and led to the launch of The Sound of Music as a smash hit, starring Connie Fisher at the London Palladium.