Fat Friends ran for four series on TV plus a Christmas Special and I felt at that time that it had run its course. But instead of wiping the characters from my brain like I usually do, it was always in the back of my mind and I remember thinking whether I could take it to America, or adapt it as a theatre piece. I never truly thought it could be a musical – because I didn’t think I could write musical lyrics and I know nothing about composing music.
A few years later, in between my other TV projects, I started to write the book (script) and then the lyrics seemed to come to me easily. I realised that knowing the characters is halfway through to writing the lyrics – it’s just like writing dialogue, but with a tune in your head. It was at that point when my producer, Josh Andrews, introduced me to Nick Lloyd Webber. He instantly understood the characters and my world - I found his music emotional and he understands what I’m writing. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve developed together and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
I will be directing the show but I’ve never worked with a composer, a choreographer or a musical supervisor. Putting on a musical is something that is completely new to me so it is a huge challenge. But I love it.
It’s going to be visually stunning, with larger than life characters and songs – I think the music is great. It’s funny in parts but also sad in parts too.
The show looks at how we’re all obsessed with our body image and how everybody wants to lose weight, tone up. I think that’s something that’s only got worse since I wrote the TV series. I’ve brought it up to date though as it explores how things can go viral on the internet.
I think that people who haven’t seen the tv series will still relate to, and enjoy, the musical. We have done two workshops now in London and some people who came to them had never seen it on television – they loved the musical so much that they went out to buy the box set!