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Producer Joshua Andrews has revealed that joining the previously announced Lee Mead, as Kevin, will be Benidorm' s Sherrie Hewson as Julia, Hollyoaks’ Jessica Ellis as Kelly, and the ever popular Les Dennis as Fergus.
Kay Mellor, says, "I am thrilled with the amazing star cast we have assembled for our second outing of Fat Friends The Musical.
"Lee Mead and Jessica Ellis are fantastic performers and will be wonderful as Kevin and Kelly, and it’s great to be welcoming two iconic actors, Sherrie Hewson and Les Dennis who first worked together 40 years ago and are now reunited on stage’.
Fat Friends first toured in 2017 and is based on the hit ITV show of the same name, which starred James Corden and Ruth Jones.
The Musical reunites the foodie friends as they are put through their Zumba paces at their local slimming club, whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams.
Full of hope, humour, love and weight loss, the show delivers a ‘tasty treat’ of fun and laughter while encouraging us all to, as the final song goes, Love Who You Are.
Between them, the show’s stars boast CVs that read like a TV ratings Top 10.
Mead, who came to public attention when he won BBC One’s talent search Any Dream Will Do, has since starred on the West End in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Legally Blonde and Wicked, as well as establishing himself as a small screen favourite on Casualty and then Holby City in the role of Lofty.
Hewson, meanwhile, is probably still best known as the iconic Maureen Holdsworth in Coronation Street and as Joyce Temple-Savage in six series of Benidorm but made her name in series such as Russ Abbot’s Madhouse. She was also a regular on Loose Women.
Ellis, who played Tegan Lomax in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks for five years, makes her musical theatre debut in Fat Friends.Finally, Dennis, who most recently appeared in Edinburgh as Uncle Fester in the musical comedy The Addams Family, is best loved for his performance as Michael Rodwell in Corrie, a fictional version of himself in Extras, and, of course, Family Fortunes.
The original Fat Friends ran on ITV for five years from 2000 to 2005, with 25 episodes shown over four series. The series explored the lives of several slimming club members, with a focus on the various ways their weight has impacted upon them.
Set around a slimming club in Leeds run by the formidable Carol, who fruitlessly tries to persuade members of the group to follow the Super Slimmers diet, the stage musical adaptation of the series received its world premiere at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, on November 7, 2017, before embarking on a first UK tour starring Jodie Prenger.
Fat Friends The Musical will run at the Festival Theatre from March 7 to 12, 2022.