During her 11-year career she wrote for comedians including Clive Anderson, Rory Bremner, Angus Deayton, Bob Monkhouse and Graham Norton, and for BBC programmes including The News Huddlines, The News Quiz, Loose Ends and Week Ending. Though little known by the general public she was greatly respected in the profession, and had a reputation for mental quickness, her writing being not only of high quality but also fast and prolific, even during her illness.
She was educated at Sheffield High School (South Yorkshire), and was a bright student, but left school early as she was unhappy there, and never went to university. Her early work was submitted under the name D. A. Barham, out of concern that a teenage girl would not be accepted in a world traditionally dominated by Oxbridge-educated men. The radio show About a Dog was based on her last comedy proposal.
- Peter Barham & Alan Hurndall (2006) The Invisible Girl: A Father's Moving Story of the Daughter He Lost Harper Element ISBN 0-00-720542-2
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