Natalie Anderson has gone full circle since she left Emmerdale in 2015. The talented actress - who played Alicia Metcalfe in the ITV soap - is now starring on the stage in Fat Friends The Musical, where she plays the same character, Lauren Harris, portrayed by her former co-star Gaynor Faye in the original TV show. So when it came to getting advice for her new role, Natalie knew the person to turn to.
Natalie Anderson plays Lauren Harris in Fat Friends The Musical
Chatting to HELLO! Online, Natalie said: "I was so thrilled to have got the part that I told her straight away I would do my best with her. Gaynor and I are good friends and so it’s been lovely to have her there if I need any advice, however the stage version of Lauren is actually very different to the TV series and so I’ve also been able to put my own spin on her. Gaynor has seen the show a few times and thankfully she’s loved what I’ve done with her, which I take as a huge compliment! I absolutely wanted to do her proud!"
The former Emmerdale star is good friends with Gaynor Faye - who played Lauren in the TV series
Natalie has also been enjoying working with Gaynor's screenwriter mum, Kay Mellor, who wrote the show. "It’s been amazing to work with her and to have her be so hands on with show. She knows exactly what she wants and has definitely challenged me with the role of Lauren which I’ve absolutely loved," she said. Alongside Natalie, other stars in Fat Friends: The Musical include Jodie Pregner, who plays Ruth Jone's character Kelly Stevenson, Freddie Flintoff, Sam Bailey and Natasha Hamilton. It seems that backstage, the cast get on wonderfully too.
Fat Friends The Musical is touring the UK right now
Natalie regards her co-stars as "wonderful friends," revealing that they enjoy spending time together after the show too. "I didn’t know anyone before joining but we’ve been together solidly now for the last seven weeks and so I’ve made some wonderful friends. We kind of all stick together really, we go for lunch together in between shows and the odd drink after work," she said. Adding of Freddie's theatre debut, she praised: "it’s honestly been great and I have to say Freddie Flintoff has taken to the theatre lark like a duck to water. I think there’s a secret Phantom ambition there."