|Born||Amanda Jane Mealing
22 April 1968
|Other names||Mandy Mealing|
|Spouse(s)||Richard Sainsbury (m. 1998)|
The only adopted member of her family, Mealing was the youngest of four children, with two sisters and an elder brother. She grew up in Dulwich, South London, with her adoption never being a secret. Although very much part of a strong and loving family, she was always aware that she looked nothing like her siblings and was left feeling that she did not quite fit in. Despite a yearning to know more about her biological parents, Mealing was concerned that looking for them would upset her family.
When she was 15-years old, Mealing's brother died after experimenting with heroin. Although Stephen was 14 years her senior, they were very close and it affected her deeply. Realising that "life can be short... there's no point sitting around", she was influenced to "do stuff".
Originally known as Mandy Mealing, her first professional performance was in a Julie Andrews special on BBC television at the age of six. She then started Saturday classes at the Italia Conti Academy, before enrolling full-time at the age of nine. Parts in Just William, The Morecambe & Wise Show and Premiere followed, before she was cast as comprehensive-school pupil Tracy Edwards in Phil Redmond's long-running BBC1 children's drama series Grange Hill.
Mealing appeared in The Darling Buds of May, Four Weddings and a Funeral, In Deep, Capital City, The Bill, Midsomer Murders, and Delise in the 1990 mini series The Gravy Train. She played Ruth Manning in the first series of Russell T Davies' 1920s period drama series The Grand in 1997, and JoJo in Jimmy McGovern's The Lakes in 1999. Alan Bleasdale wrote the part of Katie in "Jake's Progress" for Amanda after working with her on GBH.
Mealing has appeared as cardiothoracic Consultant Connie Beauchamp in BBC One's BAFTA award winning medical drama series Holby City since 1 June 2004, having previously made a guest appearance as a different character in 2001.
On 8 October 2010, Mealing shot her final scene for Holby City, after nearly seven years. The final episode aired at 8.00pm on 28 December 2010, with Connie resigning from her position at the hospital.
In 2011, Mealing appeared in the Sky1 TV Series Strike Back: Project Dawn as Colonel Eleanor Grant.
In 2013, Mealing appeared in an episode of the BBC series Death in Paradise
Previously romantically linked to both Eric Clapton and Robbie Williams, Mealing has been married to screenwriter Richard Sainsbury since 1998, they have two sons and live on a farm in Lincolnshire. Paul O'Grady and Charlie Condou are close friends of Mealing and are godfathers to her sons. She has appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show on several occasions, sometimes with her sons.
After the birth of her first son, the desire to find out more about her background became "hard to ignore"; she also wanted him to "know his heritage". Investigations took Mealing to New York, where she eventually found her birth mother, a model for Biba in London during the swinging sixties. She discovered that her biological father was a half-Sierra Leonean poet and activist. She gets on well with her mother and takes the children to visit her in New York but her father died some years earlier. She also found out that she has a sister, a year younger, also adopted in Britain. Her sister did not know of the relationship until she was 16, but had watched Mealing in Grange Hill, with people saying 'you look like that girl on TV'. Now close, when they first met their similarities were unbelievable — "we talk the same, walk the same, even our actions are the same".
With a desire to reconnect with her roots and acknowledge her father, and as an ambassador, Mealing has worked with Save the Children in Sierra Leone. She filmed a documentary about Kroo Bay — a slum built on the rubbish discarded by Freetown — saying: "It’s the worst place in the world you could grow up as child. One child in four will die before they reach five years old."
The day after giving birth to her second son, Mealing was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has since made a full recovery. Mealing was asked to be an ambassador for Breast Cancer Care in early 2010. She has developed a close bond with the charity. "When I was diagnosed the first leaflet I received was from Breast Cancer Care. They have been there for me ever since. I am deeply honoured to be given a chance to give something back to them." After losing a close friend to breast cancer early the same year Amanda decided to dedicate a Justgiving site to raising money in memory of her friend. She ran the 2012 London Marathon on her 45th birthday for Breast Cancer Care in a time of 4h 44min 26sec.
- "Marriage Registration Details" Ancestry.co.uk (Retrieved on 16 July 2009)
- Amanda Mealing plays Connie Beauchamp, Holby.tv (Retrieved on 16 July 2009)
- Cook, Emma; "My real hospital drama" TimesOnline.co.uk, 1 March 2008 (Retrieved on 16 July 2009)
- Shepherd, Rose; "Best of times, worst of times: Amanda Mealing" TimesOnline.co.uk, 9 May 2004 (Retrieved on 16 July 2009)
- "Amanda Mealing - Filmography". IMDB. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
- Simpson, Richard; "Portrait of a driver: Amanda Mealing" Telegraph.co.uk, 12 March 2005 (Retrieved on 16 July 2009)
- Rayner, Clare; "Portrait of an honest woman" Guardian.co.uk, 11 June 2003 (Retrieved on 16 July 2009)
- Thomas, Liz; "'Five years ago doctors said I might not be here,' says triumphant Holby City cancer star" DailyMail.co.uk, 22 April 2008 (Retrieved on 16 July 2009)