Andrew Flintoff to make stage debut in Fat Friends the Musical
The cricketer joins Jodie Prenger, Sam Bailey and Elaine C Smith
Former England cricketer Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff will make his stage debut in Kay Mellor's adaptation of Fat Friends.
Flintoff, who was an Ashes winner with England in 2005, will play the role of Kevin in the musical alongside the previously announced Jodie Prenger, Sam Bailey and Elaine C Smith.
Flintoff has previously had a show run at Edinburgh, has appeared in the TV show Trollied and upon retiring from cricket, tried his hand at professional boxing.
Based on the '00s TV show of the same name, the musical is set in a slimming club in Leeds and sees the characters put through modern weight loss techniques like Zumba. It will have original music by Nicholas Lloyd Webber and designs by Bretta Gerecke.
On casting Flintoff, Mellor said: "I was introduced to Freddie at one of our TV casting sessions - it was clear to me that he could leave his cricket bat behind, embody a character, and understand the drama. It was a no brainer… he got the part.
"Then, as we were talking through Fat Friends, I wondered if Freddie could sing. I was ecstatic when Nick met him and agreed his voice was perfect for the role."
Flintoff said: "I loved the TV series and think Fat Friends is going to give people a great night out. I'm really looking forward to it."
Flintoff will appear in the musical in Leeds, Southampton, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Blackpool.
Fat Friends The Musical will run at Leeds Grand Theatre from 7 November until 2 December before embarking on a UK tour.