13 December 1965
Harlow, Essex, England
|Occupation||Drama lecturer, singer, comedian, actress, television presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Richard Hannant (2008–present)|
Jackie Clune (born 13 December 1965) is a British entertainer and writer. She became established through her Edinburgh Fringe cabaret shows and 1995 Karen Carpenter tribute act before graduating to mainstream acting. She can have a dry anecdotal approach to comedy material.
Jackie Clune was the third of four children born in Harlow, Essex, to Irish Roman Catholic parents: her late father Don Clune (died August 2010) was a buyer for a computer firm, her mother a nurse. The writer Maggie Clune is her sister. Jackie graduated with a degree in drama from the University of Kent.
On graduation from university, she became a full-time drama lecturer at the Royal Holloway College for at least six years and a BBC London radio journalist. She started singing in bands part-time, but between sets as a DJ she developed a facility in chatting to the audience. This led a friend to suggest that she could create a Karen Carpenter tribute performance, with singing; this she worked on and took to the Edinburgh Festival in 1995, where she was spotted by a West End producer.
Giving up her lecturing career, she co-founded the Red Rag Women’s Theatre Company, and fell into stand-up comedy while working at the Hackney Empire. Her many credits include the BBC soap drama EastEnders and also ITV's The Bill. Since hosting the Stonewall Society equality shows at the Royal Albert Hall, she has developed a multi-media career. She has been a TV/radio panellist on many shows, not least Front Row, QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, What the Dickens? and The Staying-in Show and has been invited onto shows like Loose Women.
She had a part in Showstopper (1997), Bryony Lavery's play A Wedding Story (1999) and portrayed Julie Burchill, at the time a columnist for The Guardian, in the one-woman play Julie Burchill Is Away by Tim Fountain at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in the West End (2003). In 2006-7, she played the lead female role of 'Donna' in the Abba songs-based musical Mamma Mia! international tour until 17 March 2007. On 4 June 2007, she went into musicals and took over the role of the dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot the Musical in London. She gave her final performance on 22 November 2008 prior to rejoining the Mamma Mia! International Tour (2009–2011) again as leading role Donna which was the role interpreted by Meryl Streep in the film. She has also done the Race For Life.
She sang the Dusty Springfield theme tune, and contributed material to the popular alternative TV show Smack the Pony. After becoming involved in the revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black musical Tell Me On A Sunday, she met Denise van Outen with whom she co-wrote the show Blondes in which van Outen performed for the Festival Fringe Edinburgh in August 2009 and in the six preview performances at the New End Theatre in Hampstead.
She promoted an album Love Songs (Dress Circle) courtesy of a show at Soho Theatre in London's West End from 15–17 July 2010, and has also been involved in several musical projects including the 2010 memorial concert for the late Kirsty MacColl who is remembered through Music for Cuba Fund. She sang with Billy Bragg on that occasion but has also worked with many celebrities including in the cast of The Vagina Monologues.
Clune has also published two books, Man of the Month Club and Extreme Motherhood, diaries relating how her lifestyle changed when she found herself pregnant with triplets little more than a year after having her first child. She is also a freelance journalist. She contributed a column to the monthly magazine Top Santé magazine in 2013-14, and also maintains a high profile through social media like Twitter, and international showbiz sites.
In 2011 she performed as the outspoken in the play The Belle's Stratagem, a revival of a script by Hannah Cowley from the Georgian period, at the Southwark Playhouse. She has been a regular warm-up act for the Singalonga Sound of Music and the Puppetry of the Penis shows.
In 2012, she toured nationally in the leading role of Amanda, the troubled teacher, in the cast of a controversial and groundbreaking play about bullying and racism issues for teachers, Mogadishu (14+) which received a nomination for the Olivier Awards 2012.
In 2013-4, she had a role in the successful musical/operetta Candide.
During her 20s and 30s, Clune identified as a lesbian.
In 2001 she met Heartbeat actor and stunt performer Richard Hannant, who was the fire officer at the Arts Theatre where she was performing, and started a relationship with him. Eleven months later she became pregnant with their first child, a daughter. The couple went on to have naturally conceived triplets and married in 2008. Clune was elected onto the Equity stage actors' committee in July 2013.
- "20 Questions with...Jackie Clune". Whats On Stage. 10 June 2002. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Jackie Clune (25 June 2010). "How I went from committed lesbian to a happily married mother of four | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
- "Jackie Clue". AuthorTrek.com. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- Penny Wark (4 October 2005). "Love, etc". The Times. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- Jackie is set to Abba great time on stage, Edinburgh Evening News, 30 January 2006.
- Experiences of a triplets' mum, Gulf Daily News, 8 April 2007.
- "Cast: Bonnie Langford clocks in for 9 to 5: The Musical". Whatsonstage. (Whatsonstage). 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Clune, Jackie (14 June 2003). "My crime against the lesbian state". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2012-08-06.