Jodie and Freddie shape up for TV hit stage version

Kay Mellor's Fat Friends the Musical - Natasha Hamilton, Natalie Anderson, Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff, Jodie Prenger, Kevin Kennedy and Sam Bailey. Photo by Jay Brooks
Kay Mellor's Fat Friends the Musical - Natasha Hamilton, Natalie Anderson, Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff, Jodie Prenger, Kevin Kennedy and Sam Bailey. Photo by Jay Brooks
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The weight is nearly over for the eagerly-anticipated version stage version of Kay Mellor’s popular TV series Fat Friends.

Not long after Blackpool’s own Jodie Prenger steps off the stage after the curtain falls on Shirley Valentine - coming to The Grand in her home town for a six-night run from tonight – she will head into rehearsals for the nationwide tour of Fat Friends, which begins in Leeds in November.

I loved Fat Friends when it was such a successful TV series, so to see some of those characters come to life on stage is a joy

Joe, who plays Kelly Stevenson, will be joined in the production by Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, the former Lancashire and England all-rounder who cut his cricketing teeth playing for St Annes as a teenager.

Fat Friends is due at Blackpool Opera House from May 29 to June 2 next year and Jodie said: “I am over the moon to be starring in Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends - The Musical! I have been a huge fan of Kay’s for so long - she is the most brilliant writer, director and just one hell of a lovely lady that you could ever wish to work with.

“I loved Fat Friends when it was such a successful TV series, so to see some of those characters come to life on stage is a joy, and I am honoured to be playing the wonderful Kelly. I am sure it’s going to be a big fat hit! I can’t wait.”

Fat Friends hit television screens in October 2000, following the lives of a group of overweight friends as they struggle with the absurdities of modern dieting. Running for five years on ITV, the show starred Alison Steadman, Sheridan Smith and Lisa Riley and launched the careers of James Corden and Ruth Jones.

Details of the Blackpool performance from (01253) 625252 and www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk