She was born in the district of Bow in London to her parents Anne, a seamstress and father, a cutter in a dress factory and had a younger sister. She left school at 16 with 4 O levels and had a string of jobs including insurance clerk, and model for C and A (a clothes chain.) When young she'd taught singing and tap dancing and joined an amateur drama group. When 20 she won a grant for a drama school which lasted 3 years and then spent the next 13 years touring around the country in repertory companies, one of which was The Citizens Theatre in Glasgow., pantomimes, the odd West End show and television including a maid in Nanny, Lois, Jim Davidson's girlfriend in Up the Elephant and Round the Castle and other odd shows before getting a major role in BBC's long running serial Eastenders.
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