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The Wanted singer Max George on stage debut: I feel like I’ve won the lottery

The 35-year-old Mancunian said he is ‘delighted’ with his role in The Syndicate as he is a ‘huge fan’ of the late Kay Mellor’s work.

Singer Max George has said he feels as if he has “won the lottery” as he makes his stage debut in the theatrical adaption of a BBC TV show about a lottery syndicate.

The lead singer of The Wanted plays supermarket assistant Jamie in Kay Mellor’s final stage play, The Syndicate, which is based on her hit TV series.

Leeds-born writer Mellor, who wrote other hit shows including ITV’s Girlfriends, Band Of Gold and Fat Friends, died in May 2022.

Max George said it felt as if he “won the lottery” starring in Mellor’s play.
The Syndicate Max George. Credit_ Craig Sugden Max George said it felt as if he “won the lottery” starring in Mellor’s play. (craig sugden)

George gained prominence with The Wanted, who had hit songs All Time Low and Heart Vacancy, and was in US musical series Glee and his band’s reality series The Wanted Life.

The 35-year-old Mancunian said: “I’m delighted that my stage debut role is in The Syndicate.

“I’m such a huge fan of Kay’s work and it’s an honour to be part of this world premiere tour. I feel like I’ve won the lottery.”

George will star alongside British actresses Brooke Vincent, who plays Jamie’s sister-in-law Amy, and Samantha Giles, who takes the role of “kind-hearted worker” Denise.

Kay Mellor died in May 2002
Investitures at Buckingham Palace Kay Mellor died in May 2002 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Giles, who recently left Emmerdale where she played Bernice Blackstock, said: “Kay Mellor was such a powerhouse who understood real people and, like millions of others, I loved the TV series.

“I’m looking forward to bringing Denise to life on the stage and I can’t wait to be working with Gaynor and treading the boards once again.”

Vincent, known for playing Sophie Webster in Coronation Street, said: “Kay was such a legend and the TV series was brilliant.

“She has written a brilliantly vibrant character in Amy and I can’t wait to get on the road and get my teeth into the role on stage.”

Mellor’s daughter, Gaynor Faye, who will make her directorial debut with the show, said her mother “would be delighted with the brilliant cast”.

Max George will star in Mellor’s play alongside actresses Brooke Vincent and Samantha Giles.
19. L-R Brooke Vincent, Max George, Samantha Giles. Credit_ Craig Sugden Max George will star in Mellor’s play alongside actresses Brooke Vincent and Samantha Giles. (craig sugden)

Faye has starred in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and BBC vet series The Chase, which she co-wrote with her mother.

She said: “I’ve worked with Sam a lot over the years and she’s great fun and a brilliant comedy actor who’s perfect for the role of Denise.

“Brooke is also a wonderful actor with a huge heart. We first met through our charity work for When You Wish Upon A Star and I know she’s going to be a fantastic, feisty Amy.

“Max blew us away in his audition, he’s a natural and born to play Jamie.

“I know that my mum would be delighted with the brilliant cast we have assembled so far and I can’t wait for you all to see them in action.”

Gaynor Faye with her mother Kay Mellor
Ravenous/Gaynor Faye & mother Gaynor Faye with her mother Kay Mellor (Toby Melville/PA)

The first series of The Syndicate aired on the BBC in 2012, telling the story of five supermarket workers whose lives are changed by a lottery win.

It starred The Last Bus actor Timothy Spall, Gavin And Stacey’s Joanna Page and Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis.

The fourth and final series was broadcast in 2021 and was set in Yorkshire and Monaco, following the workers at Woodvale Kennels, with a cast including Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey and former Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh, as well as Faye.

Mellor’s Bafta-nominated series Fat Friends focused on the members of a slimming group in Leeds, and featured Gavin And Stacey stars James Corden, Ruth Jones and Alison Steadman.

The touring stage version of The Syndicate kicks off on April 11 at London’s Richmond Theatre and ends at Cardiff’s New Theatre on July 27.

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