I was born in Hull but grew up in Leeds and when I was 16 I won a scholarship to RADA. After two years training as an actor I worked in Repertory and toured around the country. I worked in Television too, including episodes of Dr Who with William Hartnell as the
Doctor. I played Poppaea in Doctor Who and The Romans and also Flower in Dr Who and the Savages as well as taking part in some classic series for BBC TV such as Emile Zola’s Nana – and the First Churchills.
Click here to read my interview with Dr Who magazine and a retrospective on the late Christopher Barry.
However, I became more interested in developing scripts and working with writers, and I left acting to work in the script department of BBC Radio in London. The output of new writing was prolific and I was encouraged not only to work with writers but to direct their output too. I became involved in not only directing new plays but dramatisations of some of the great novels – amongst them works by the Brontes, Zola’s Germinal, Madam Bovary, Anna Karenina. It was the production of Anna Karenina that resulted in my being invited to America – to Boston. WGBH asked me to direct their first Masterpiece Radio Theatre – House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.
I also returned to the theatre, directing at the Library Theatre in Manchester, Leeds Playhouse and the Soho Poly. I was fortunate enough to be offered a place on the BBC’s television director’s course – since when television has dominated the work I do and over the last 20 years Coronation Street has played an increasingly central role.
I shall not forget directing the death of Mike Baldwin or the moving episodes in which Hayley finally took her life and feel extremely fortunate to have had the chance to work with the extraordinary people involved in the making of the programme.