Fleur East on the Big Jubilee Street Party: ‘Mark Owen borrowed my dressing room to get into his trousers!’
Fleur East gives us an access-all-areas guide to The National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party.
Roll out the red carpet! The National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party is on ITV this weekend (Sunday, June 5 2022 at 5pm on ITV) and it’s a star-studded event.
Filmed in Mancheter’s AO Arena on the 12th of May the Big Jubilee Street Party is co-hosted by musician Fleur East and comedian Jason Manford, with Mark Owen, Heather Small, Kaiser Chiefs, and Steps all on the bill.
As well as big performances and eye-catching outfits (Mark Owen and Steps, we’re looking at you!), special celebrity guests include Anne Hegerty, Danny Miller and Martin Kemp. There are also surprise awards honouring selfless people who make a big difference to their communities.
Here Fleur gives What To Watch an access-all-areas guide to this special show…
This sounds like a very special night. What was the atmosphere like?
Fleur East: "Really exciting! It was amazing to be in the AO Arena in Manchester and see everyone enjoying and celebrating the Queen’s 70 year reign. I still can’t get over it. It was really cool."
How was the street party vibe created?
FE: "I didn’t know what to expect! You think, a street party in an arena, how are you going to do this? On the arena floor they had picnic benches with tablecloths and grass astroturf laid out so it looked like we were in a park. They also had a road right down the centre leading up to the stage. There was even a zebra crossing! And there was bunting everywhere. They probably took the whole bunting supply from Manchester to fill the arena!"
What performances should viewers look out for?
FE: "Becky Hill opens the show and her entrance is epic. She arrives in a Union Jack Mini with a parade of dancers! There are amazing performances throughout - we’ve got poetry, a signing performance group on stage with Heather Small, The House Gospel Choir, and Lady Blackbird, who performs a cover of David Bowie’s Life on Mars. It’s honestly an incredible show."
Who were you especially excited to see?
FE: "The highlight for me - and it’s a running joke throughout the show - was my excitement at seeing Steps closing! My love of them goes back to my ‘90s school disco times when I’d be on the floor doing "Tragedy"! As soon as they started, all the moves came back to me! They did all their biggest hits and their outfits are amazing — the perfect act to close the show."
Is there a special moment that stands out for you?
FE: "Mark Owen! He has an amazing suit that he performs in. Funny little backstage story… he had to borrow my dressing room to get into his trousers halfway through the event! It was so surreal for me. I was the biggest Take That fan growing up, so that was the cherry on the cake for me!"
You and co-host Jason are both singers. Were you tempted to get up and perform?
FE: [Laughing] "We didn’t, but we were singing the national anthem in the background, screaming it out actually, and afterwards looked at each other and said, ‘We’re wasted here tonight, we should be up there!’
"I love presenting, but as a performer when you hear the roar of the crowd you can't help but want to get out there. It was nice being with a seasoned presenter like Jason. He’s hilarious, I was laughing the whole night."
As well as live acts, what else can we expect?
FE: "There's so much for everyone. You’ve got the live performances but you also get to see archive footage of the Queen, when her children were really young, and her as a fashion icon. We also meet people who have met her - one person I spoke to worked for the NHS and has met the Queen four times! I also spoke to a couple who had the Queen gatecrash their wedding!"
Are you able to reveal anything about the awards element of the evening?
FE: "I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to tell you, but we had a special visit from a Chief Scout, who enters the arena in an epic way! We spoke to veterans about their service and people from the community, because that’s what we’re celebrating - all the charities, communities and people that the National Lottery have funded.
"It’s very emotional talking to people about everything they’ve done. There are different awards, such as special community awards and Scouts awards. The majority of them were surprises. They’d come to watch the show and Jason would pop up and interview them!"
It sounds heartwarming…
FE: "It's very touching having communities coming together to celebrate the Queen, but to celebrate each other as well. Hearing everybody praise the Queen and say how she’s given so much hope and stability to people, it’s really emotional."
Have you met the Queen?
FE: "No, but I have met Prince Charles! That was exciting. It was at The Prince’s Trust in London in 2020, just before the pandemic hit - you couldn't shake hands so everyone was bowing. But the Queen - what an honour that would be. I was hoping she was going to show up at the arena. Hopefully one day we’ll cross paths."
If you were to sing for her, what song would you choose?
FE: "I’d have to choose the national anthem and do it in my own way. I’ve performed it at the Army Vs Navy Game at Twickenham Stadium. That was terrifying! Yet I'd love to do that for the Queen. Though, I don’t know how it would go down. My chance of an OBE or MBE might be out the window. Or not — you never know!"
And finally, what does hosting this special Jubilee celebration mean to you?
FE: "My family and I are huge fans of the royal family. We pause everything for the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day. It's a privilege to be able to say I’m part of one of the many events marking her 70 year reign."
The National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party is on ITV on 02 June 2022 at 5pm until 7pm.
Lineup for The National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party on ITV
- Becky Hill
- Tom Grennan
- Mark Owen
- Heather Small
- Kaiser Chiefs
- Ella Henderson
- Nathan Dawe
- Lady Blackbird
- Allie Sherlock
- House Gospel Choir
- Calum Scott
Special guest attendees
- Anne Hegerty (The Chase)
- Danny Miller (Emmerdale)
- Andrew Whyment, Shelley King, Tanisha Gorey, Mollie Gallagher, Elle Mulvaney and Dolly Rose Campbell (Coronation Street)
- Martin Kemp (EastEnders)
- Paralympian Stef Reid
- Footballer Toni Duggan
- Kéllé Bryan (Hollyoaks)
- Vicky Pattison (I'm a Celebrity 2015 winner)
- Kimberley Wyatt (Pussycat Dolls)
- Rachel Stevens (S Club 7)
Keep your eyes peeled for other famous faces making a special appearance at the event!
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With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.
As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast.
After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.