I was born in Montréal, Canada. My dad was a pilot for BOAC so we moved around a fair bit when I was young. When he retired to buy a farm we spent the next forty odd years in a village called Aston Abbotts near Aylesbury. I went to Aylesbury High school for girls. I appeared in several school plays and performed at the Pendley Shakespeare festival as Puck in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Arrived in London at the Central school in 1966 and never looked back. I had a ball!
Over the last forty years I have managed to make a living from the industry and even make a name for myself. I played Helen Herriott in All Creatures Great and Small for three series. I starred with James Bolam in ‘Second Thoughts’ and then as Faith in ‘Faith in the Future’ with the lovely Julia Sawalha playing my daughter. In 1998 we won a best comedy award. I did a stint on The Bill as the evil Irene Radford and played in At Home with the Braithwaites and Bonkers.
In the theatre I have starred with David Jason in ‘Look No Hands’ at the Strand Theatre with Janet Suzman and Maureen Lipman in ‘The sisters Rosensweig’ at the Old Vic. More recently I did ‘Losing Louis’ with Alison Steadman and ‘Sugar Mummies’ at the Royal Court. I also starred in a two hander called ‘Vincent River’ with Mark Field at the Trafalgar Theatre. Perhaps my biggest triumph is starring in Calendar Girls on the national tour and in the West End.
My film career stretches from Confessions of a Window Cleaner to Alexandra the wife of Czar Nicholas in a twelve million dollar Russian epic filmed entirely in Russia called the Romanovs, a love story. Other credits include ‘Don’t go breaking my heart’ and ‘The Scarlet Tunic’.
I did various commercials and finally found myself at the centre of the Oxo campaign. I spent the next sixteen years as the Nation’s treasure making gravy. It won every award there was to win. Speaking of awards I am proud to say I am now part of the NTA award winning show Loose Women on ITV. I have a wonderful time once or twice a week chewing the fat with the other girls.
I once said I would never marry again but never say never. In 2008 on my sixtieth birthday I got married for the third and last time to Michael Pattemore. My sons Michael and Robbie are doing well and my career goes from strength to strength. I have my autobiography out and I am working on the next book. I know I have a good deal to learn as a writer but I love it and practice makes perfect.
I am in a wonderful place and very grateful for all the good things that have happened to me.