Fern Britton on 'All Star Musicals' at Christmas: 'It was just fabulous!'

Fern Britton All Star Musicals at Christmas
Fern Britton (Image credit: ITV)

All Star Musicals at Christmas is coming to ITV and promises to be a highlight in the Christmas TV schedule.

John Barrowman hosts once again as former This Morning presenter Fern Britton, Bridgerton actor Ben Miller, broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, Countryfile host Anita Rani, former Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley, and sports presenter Radzi Chinyanganya treat us to a night of iconic musical theatre performances.

All our famous faces will be trained in singing and dancing from the returning judging panel, musical theatre powerhouses Elaine Paige OBE, Samantha Barks - currently playing Elsa in Frozen in the West End - and Aladdin star Trevor Dion Nicholas. The celebrities will then be looking to deliver a show-stopping performance to be voted All Star Musicals Champion. 

Fern is no stranger to being on stage, having appeared in the musical adaptation of Calendar Girls in 2019. And Fern, 64, felt nothing but festive joy as she stepped out for All Star Musicals

What made you want to take part in 'All Star Musicals'?

"How often does an older woman get told: 'You’re going to be taught how to sing and dance'? Then, on top of that, you're accompanied by a troupe of dancers, and an orchestra. You think: 'I'd be a fool to miss that opportunity'. I’m always up for a challenge - and this was a case of accepting I was scared and thinking: 'What am I doing?' then doing it anyway! This show certainly met my expectations and more. I had enormous fun."

John Barrowman hosts All Star Musicals

John Barrowman is the host with the most for 'All Star Musicals'. (Image credit: ITV)

Did anything surprise you about the experience?

"Everything! Learning the words to the song, which I wasn’t particularly good at, and learning the dance moves. I’m not very good at learning something and repeating it again and again; as a presenter, I’m always ad-libbing and my whole career has been about making it up as I go along. So this process was just an extraordinary thing." 

What was it like being mentored by the judges?

"I was mentored by Samantha Barks. She was wonderful and gave me lots of notes about performance. She said: ‘Don’t come on stage apologetically; people will want to enjoy watching you, so try and get in your mind that they are already pleased to see you’. That was quite a big thing for me. During one dance rehearsal, I spotted Elaine Paige walk in. She was scary at first… then she was adorable. I was very swept up in the whole show business of it all."

All Star Musicals Christmas judges

The 'All Star Musicals at Christmas' judges: Trevor Dion Nicholas, Elaine Paige and Samantha Barks (Image credit: ITV)

What teasers can you give us for your performance?

"If you can imagine an amazing Seventies’ outfit with lots of sequins - and Donna with her Dynamos is a clue. I wear a very big wig and amazing eyelashes and I had lots of added sparkle - I even had a sparkly microphone. It was just fabulous! What I really like about All Star Musicals is that it’s not a competition, it’s purely an entertainment show; an hour of absolute joy and hilarity."

All Star Musicals Catherine Tyldesley

Former 'Coronation Street' actress Catherine Tyldesley is among the stars performing. (Image credit: ITV)

Did this show give you the bug to do more performing?

"Well, it made me realise that the dream I have of being on a massive silver screen in a movie, singing and dancing, is possibly not going to happen in this lifetime! That said, the flesh might be weak but the spirit is certainly willing…"

Finally, do you have any Christmas traditions?

"My tradition this year is to NOT do any ‘tradition’ at all. I have one daughter at home now and I asked her: ‘What do you really want to eat on Christmas Day?’ And she replied: ‘Spaghetti bolognese’. I fancy a curry. So on Christmas Day we’re going to be cooking spaghetti bolognese and curry… with pigs in blankets and roast potatoes but NO Brussels sprouts! We just plan to have a laugh and spend the day in our pyjamas. And we’ll probably go to church on Christmas morning because I’m too old to stay up till midnight on Christmas Eve!"

All Star Musicals at Christmas airs on Boxing Day at 8pm on ITV.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and WhatToWatch.com

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!