Life after Heather Trott for ex-EastEnders actress Cheryl Fergison with starring role in Cinderella in Chatham
Being killed off as Heather Trott has kicked off a happy
year for Cheryl Fergison, who stars as the Fairy Godmother in
Cinderella alongside impressionist Paul Burling. Chris Price caught
up with the stars.
One thing becomes clear quickly when chatting to ex-EastEnders
star Cheryl Fergison. She laughs, loudly, all the time.
"Oh, excuse me," she said with a cackle as she adjusted her
skirt as it flapped in the breeze on the bank of the River Medway.
"I've just got... wind," she said, before quickly correcting "not
in that department, there's not a wind machine under here, just
Cue another cackle.
That said, Cheryl has a lot to be happy about. Since being
killed off as Heather Trott in Albert Square's storyline of the
year back in the spring, the phone has not stopped ringing.
She did Come Dine With Me and came fourth – "because I can't
cook" – and worked on the Spa, a new comedy set for broadcast on
Sky Living next year.
She appeared in Celebrity Big Brother and next on the agenda is
her role as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at Chatham's Central
"It's been brilliant. I have been blessed with work and I've
been lucky," she said. "I miss them terribly on EastEnders but at
the same time it is great to move on and I have a fun Christmas
ahead of me."
It is striking how the public have taken to Cheryl. Her run in
Celebrity Big Brother – alongside fellow Kent resident and eventual
winner Julian Clary – saw her leave the house to roaring cheers
after her shock exit.
"I didn't get involved in any of the foolishness," said Cheryl,
47, who lives in Sidcup. "I just wanted to go in there, have some
fun and show people who I am. I also enjoyed swimming every day
because I don’t have a pool. When you have lived on council estates
all your life, you think a puddle is a pool.
"In fact, I would have liked to have kicked them all out and
just live there because you don’t have to pay any bills or
anything. They feed you and you don't get 'mum, mum' in your ear.
It's a fantastic place to be," added the mum-of-one.
Paul Burling as Buttons
and Cheryl Fergison as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at The
Central Theatre, Chatham
Despite major TV shows on her CV like Allo Allo, Dr Who, Little
Britain and the IT Crowd, this is Cheryl's first foray into
"I have done Christmas shows before. I was in Wind in the
Willows once, I played the wind," she giggled.
By contrast, her co-star Paul Burling is a veteran of six
pantomimes in Chatham alone and is under no illusion why he keeps
returning to the town.
"They pay the right money," he quipped, cueing more cackling
from Cheryl. "I do it because it is always a great place to come
to. The audiences are always friendly and because I have done it so
many times, I have got a bit of a following as well."
Getting his big break on Britain's Got Talent in 2010, the
impressionist has also done his own show It's Paul Burling! for ITV
and the Slammer on CBBC.
He was personally requested by Harry Hill for his new show and
has also done a slot on Dick and Dom’s new series.
"It is about profile as we all know in the business and it
opened a lot of doors I could never see opening, even though I was
respected for my voiceover work," said Paul, whose from
Being in a better position to judge than many to decide, he has
high hopes for this year’s cast.
"We all met up and have hit it off brilliantly which always
stands us in good stead," he said. "We have all gelled instantly,
so in the live shows that is going to come across to the
Cinderella, starring Cheryl Fergison and Paul Burling, runs at
Chatham's Central Theatre from Thursday, December 13 to Sunday,
January 6. Tickets from £12 to £22, concessions available. Box
office 01634 338338.
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