SINGER Jason Donovan will take a break from his hectic theatre schedule to start this year’s OX5 Run.

The former Neighbours star started the five-mile race around the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock three years ago, and said he was delighted to be asked to do the honours again on Sunday, April 18.

Although the father-of-two is looking forward to starting the race, he said he might not take part in the run itself, because of his busy theatre schedule.

Since last March, he has been starring in Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical at the Palace Theatre, in London’s West End. The show was recently extended until May 29. The run was due to end on March 8.

The singer has been a keen supporter of Oxford Children’s Hospital, which benefits from the OX5 Run, for years, visiting children on the wards and performing a concert for nursing staff.

Jason, 41, who lives in Oxfordshire with wife Angela and their children Zac, eight, and Jemma, nine, said: “It will be a great pleasure to be there on the day but I’m not sure if I will end up running.

“I know David Cameron started the race last year, and I would love the chance to beat him if he’s running, but he isn’t doing two-and-a-half hours on stage eight times a week.

“It’s quite a punishing schedule – there’s definitely physical pressure in doing the role, so I have to be careful that I don’t over-exert myself.

“But Priscilla is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I’m very proud of performing in such a great Australian story.”

Fundraisers are hoping 1,000 runners will take part in this year’s race, which will hopefully raise about £65,000 for new toys and equipment.

Hospital spokesman Graham Brogden said: “We’re delighted that Jason has kindly agreed to start the OX5 Run this year. Jason has been a great friend of the hospital for many years, having previously donated his phone vote money from his appearance in I’m A Celebrity.”

To sign up for the OX5 Run, call 01865 743444 or cloick on the link to enter online.