Thursday 23 May 2019

Lesley Joseph ‘sobbed’ on landing a part in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein

The actress also dropped hints about a Birds of a Feather Christmas special.

Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph (PA)
Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph (PA)

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

Actress Lesley Joseph said she “sat in the car sobbing” on learning she had landed a role in a Mel Brooks musical.

The Birds of a Feather star, 71, plays housekeeper Frau Blucher in a new stage production of Young Frankenstein, which is based on Brooks’ 1974 film.

The film, which starred the late Gene Wilder in the lead role, is regarded as one of the acclaimed American director’s best works.

The Pride of Britain Awards 2016 – London

Joseph told ITV’s This Morning: “I burst into tears. I just sat in the car sobbing, thinking ‘Oh my god’ I’m going to be working with Mel Brooks.”

The actress, who rose to fame as Dorien Green in the popular BBC comedy, also revealed that after a few glasses of champagne she showed Brooks a “racy” photograph of herself.

She said: “I was meeting Mel Brooks (at the Savoy with actor Ross Noble) so I had one champagne and then I had another champagne, then Mel arrived and he said ‘What would you like?’, and I said: ‘I’ll have another champagne’. He said ‘You’re killing me!.’


“Then when we’d got to the end, I’d had about four or five, then for some reason I showed him a picture of me in my underwear!”.

Joseph was the fifth celebrity to be voted off last year’s Strictly Come Dancing after the judges opted to save model Daisy Lowe.

West End star Hadley Fraser takes the title role of Dr Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of Dr Victor Frankenstein, in the musical while Noble plays his hunchbacked bug-eyed servant Igor.

The play is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, who has been lauded for her work on Broadway and the West End.

Asked about still being fit and looking good for her age, Joseph said: “I don’t know, I think because I love what I do, because I walk everywhere, I do yoga all the time, I exercise and I have a passion for life.”

The actress also hinted that a Birds of a Feather Christmas special may be in the works.

“Well, who knows? We may be … I can’t possibly say, but we might be,” she said.

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