Gillian began acting at school and at the Liverpool Everyman Youth Theatre. Whilst attending, as a fourteen-year-old in 1986, she landed the role of Damon Grant’s girlfriend, Debbie McGrath, in Brookside (1982). The character was originally intended to appear in just three episodes, but Debbie proved to very popular and the part went on to last for more than a year. It also led to the spin-off mini-series Damon and Debbie (1987). Gillian passed nine GCSEs at school and stayed on to take A-levels in English, French, History and General Studies. Whilst appearing on stage in plays including “Othello” and “School for Scandal”, she decided she wanted to ‘do it properly’. At 20, after appearing in a host of other productions including the film version of Shirley Valentine (1989), she decided to enroll at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. The final exams for her drama degree were based on the best three performances out of four. She was offered the role of Emily Kennedy in the TV adaptation of Catherine Cookson’s The Tide of Life (1996) when she had nominated the first three performances, so it became the fourth – it helped her gain a first-class degree. Gillian has since become a familiar face in quality TV drama productions and is a very highly regarded and versatile stage performer. She looks to be well set for a long and successful career in the profession.
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