Kay Mellor is on a mission to make us feel good about ourselves, whatever our size.
Author of the hugely popular television series Fat Friends, which launched the careers of James Corden and Ruth Jones, about a group of friends fighting the battle of the bulge, Kay has now adapted the story as a stage musical.
With music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber (son of Andrew), the show follows the lives of all the favourites from the television series, and Kay promises we will feel reinvigorated from watching it as we see the characters put through their Zumba paces at their local branch of Super Slimmers by the lovelorn Lauren, whilst Kelly fantasises about fitting into the wedding dress of her dreams.
In an exclusive interview with me Kay said: “It’s a really fun musical that will make you feel good about yourself no matter how big or slim you are. It’s got big stories in it about all the favourite characters people saw on television.”
Kay is not a fan of Body Mass Index charts and says we do not need charts to tell us what weight we should be, we know ourselves.
This is Kay’s first musical, and she says it is a dream come true for her and she feels the story is more relevant than ever.
“There are more people on diets,” she said. “Everybody you talk to is on a diet, it’s not getting any better. So I thought, I want to write about it now with social media being the way it is as well, this is very much of our time. That’s what made me want to revisit it again.
“The music and the songs have been something else. For me it’s a new language, I didn’t know what a middle eight was, I didn’t know what a bridge was. I’ve learnt that. It’s been wonderful learning a new language and a new discipline.
“It’s amazing how music can elevate a moment and elevate an emotion. It’s just glorious and some of the songs, I know I’ve written the lyrics, but some of the melodies that Nick has composed, are just absolutely stunning, so I sit there and I’m totally transported, and I’ve written it!”
Multi- award winning Kay has enjoyed a hugely successful career with groundbreaking drama series including Band of Gold, The Syndicate and In The Club.
Recent series include Love, Lies and Records which was on television late last year, and Girlfriends, currently on ITV, about three menopausal friends.
Kay says she’s still coping with the menopause herself. “I have hot flushes, I have forgetfulness, but I don’t have the lack of confidence because I have to be quite confident to do my job. But forgetfulness, yes, I find I have to write things down more.”
With such a busy life it’s not surprising to find she suffers from insomnia.
“I have to try and calm my brain down at night,” she said. “Sometimes I wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning with my brain racing creatively. I keep a notepad and a pencil or pen by the side of the bed.”
She has a writing room at home and writes for several hours each morning before taking a break to go walking with her husband and their dog, before editing her work in the afternoon.
Steven Spielberg is currently interested in talking to her about future projects, but for the moment her focus is purely in England.
“I’m super busy and I love England and the English way,” she said.
Fat Friends, starring Jodie Prenger, Sam Bailey, Natasha Hamilton and Kevin Kennedy will be at Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday, March 5, to Saturday, March 10. Tickets from £16.50 are on sale now, box office 0844 871 7652 or book online at www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes