Eileen Derbyshire


Real name: Eileen Derbyshire
Born:
6 October 1931, Urmston, Manchester
Married:
Thomas Holt (1 April 1965)
Children:
Oliver (b: 1966)

Contact: c/o Granada Television

Played: Emily Bishop (27 January 1961 - )

Eileen is one of Coronation Street's more reticent stars, shuns publicity and almost never speaks to the press.  'In the world of the soaps, she is a Garbo,' wrote The Times.

She took a teaching degree in speech and drama, before training at the Northern School of Music and passing her London Royal Academy of Music examination. She then taught speech and drama, but had always wanted to be an actress. Passing Chorlton Repertory on a bus one day, she went in and asked for an audition. She was taken on a student and later became an assistant stage manager there, before joining the Century Theatre's mobile company performing in productions all over the country for two years. From there, she worked in repertory theatre throughout Britain.

Eileen first acted on radio at the age of 17 has been in many broadcast plays since. After several small parts on television, she joined Coronation Street in December 1960 as an extra in episode three, returning a month later as Miss Nugent in episode 15, and has been with the serial ever since, although it was a year before the character was given a forename.

Only William Roache has been in the Street longer. During her early years in the programme, Eileen formed an on-screen double act with Arthur Lowe, who played Leonard Swindley, Emily Nugent's boss at Gamma Garments.  She missed the partnership when he decided to leave, finding fame in the Street spin-off sitcom Pardon the Expression and, later, in Dad's Army.   Eileen is married to to retired enginner Thomas Holt and lives in a sprawling cottage in the Cheshire countryside. They have a son, Oliver, who read history at Oxford University before becoming a journalist in Liverpool. Eileen enjoys reading, listening to opera, going to concerts and holidays in Vienna and Venice.



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