Lucy Benjamin at the British Academy Television Awards 2009
|Born||Lucy Jane Baker
25 June 1970
Reading, Berkshire, England
Lucy Benjamin (born Lucy Jane Baker; 25 June 1970) is an English actress.
Born in Reading, Berkshire, England, she took the stage name of Benjamin after her brother. Benjamin trained at the Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead. Her first acting role was as a child actress in Doctor Who in 1983 playing a young version of the character Nyssa. In 1989 she starred in the hit children's television programme Press Gang, where she played Julie Craig. She left after the first series for another role, but returned for the fourth and final series until 1993, where her role was expanded somewhat.
In 1989 and 1990, Benjamin appeared in two series of LWT sitcom Close to Home, playing Paul Nicholas' teenage daughter Kate Shepherd. Also in 1990, Benjamin appeared in the BSB Galaxy Channel soap opera Jupiter Moon. In 1995 she appeared in the Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall comedy Bottom. However, she is best known for her role as Lisa Fowler in the BBC soap opera EastEnders which she played from 1998 to 2003 and was involved in several groundbreaking stories during her time there.
During her time on EastEnders, Benjamin was involved in one of the soap's most renowned and highly anticipated storylines, known as Who Shot Phil? (2001). The storyline centred around the shooting of her on-screen lover Phil Mitchell and who, out of the many potential candidates, actually performed the dastardly deed. Several suspects emerged and the audience was kept in the dark for many weeks as to the identity of the shooter. Benjamin's character was eventually unveiled as the shooter. However, despite her heavy involvement in the memorable plot and been a central character in the show for the remainder of 2001 and into much of 2002, Benjamin was asked to leave the soap in 2002, as producers felt her character had run its course and there were no story options left for her.
At the time she admitted that her axing from the show "gutted" her and "it felt like a punch to the stomach". She was asked back for a short period in 2003, however, to help with the forthcoming exit of Steve McFadden, who was taking a hiatus from the programme. Then again in 5 August 2010 Benjamin returned to Eastenders for one episode in a storyline that was building up to the exit of Barbara Windsor.
Since leaving EastEnders, Benjamin has appeared in the BBC television programme The Afternoon Play, and the BBC hospital drama Casualty. She has also appeared in pantomimes across London as well as touring for 6 months in the play Framed in which she starred with Tom Craig from Coronation Street.
In April 2006 it was reported in the Daily Mirror that Benjamin was in talks with EastEnders about reprising the role of Lisa Fowler. Benjamin however has confirmed in a recent interview that all rumours of her returning to EastEnders were inaccurate and that the programme was not in contact with her. However, she did not rule out a return, saying "never say never".
In June 2006, Benjamin appeared on The X Factor: Battle of the Stars, where she was the outright winner. She was mentored by the judge, Louis Walsh. She also appeared as Heather in Stephen Fry's drama Kingdom. In October 2006 Benjamin appeared in an episode of the BBC medical drama Doctors.
In September 2008 she appeared in All Star Family Fortunes winning £10,000 for her charity www.rosiesrainbowfund.co.uk
She starred in The Pretender Agenda, at the New Players Theatre (formerly the Players Theatre) with Lee Ryan. Benjamin starred also in the directorial debut from FX Artist Tristan Versluis the UK horror film called Not Alone.
Benjamin is currently touring the UK Nationwide tour of the West End hit stage show, Hairspray.
Benjamin's offscreen relationship with EastEnders co-star Steve McFadden was much publicised in the British tabloid press during her time on the show. The relationship allegedly ended after McFadden was caught cheating on her with an ex-lover. Benjamin split with McFadden in 2003.
Benjamin married oil businessman, Richard Taggart, at Babington House, Somerset on 30 March 2006. The couple met during a flight to Dubai and became engaged just three months later, confirmed with a diamond ring reported to have cost £8,000.
In the first episode of the The X Factor: Battle of the Stars show on 31 May 2006, Sharon Osbourne let slip that Benjamin was pregnant. Evidently shocked at the revelation, Benjamin smiled while host Kate Thornton commented: "I don't think you wanted that announced tonight, did you?". Sharon Osbourne always commented on the fact that she was pregnant and constantly praised her for her singing talents. Benjamin gave birth by Caesarean section to a girl named Bessie at Harold Wood Hospital, east London on 22 November 2006. On 19 October 2010, she revealed that she was 3 months pregnant with her second child. In July 2011 she and her family welcomed daughter Rosie.
She is a patron of the charity Rosie's Rainbow Fund.
Television and film
- Hairspray The UK tour (2013) – Velma Von Tussle
- Not Alone (2010) – Eli
- I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here 2009 As Herself
- Missing (2009) – Sandra Taylor
- Kingdom (2008) – Heather (1 episode)
- The X Factor: Battle of the Stars 2006 (as Herself)
- Doctors (2006) – Tracy Morrel (1 episode)
- Casualty (2004) – Gina Taylor (2 episodes)
- The Afternoon Play (2003) – Amanda (1 episode)
- EastEnders (1998–2003, 2010) – Lisa Fowler (415 episodes)
- Dangerfield (1997) – Audrey Bremner (1 episode)
- The Bill (1996) – Ingrid (1 episode)
- Bottom (1995) – Nurse (1 episode)
- Class Act (1994) – Berryl Chapman (1 episode)
- Murder Most Horrid (1994) – Katherine (1 episode)
- Jupiter Moon (1990–1996) – Fiona McBride (27 episodes)
- Press Gang (1989–1993) – Julie Craig (23 episodes)
- Close to Home (1989) – Kate Shepherd (7 episodes)
- Star Trap (1988) – Nancy
- Up the Elephant and Round the Castle (1983) – Kate (1 episode)
- Dramarama: Spooky (1983) – Amy/Amelia (1 episode)
- Doctor Who (1983) – Child Nyssa (1 episode)
- Beau Geste (BBC TV Series) (1982) – Young Claudia (2 episodes) "
- Holby City 2012
- Worzel Gummidge,Adrian Mole,Stig Of The Dump,
- Slasher, Masked (1 October 2009). "Not Alone Wraps Production". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "East Ender Lucyweds". Daily Mirror. UK. 31 March 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- [dead link]
- X Factor: Lucy Benjamin[dead link]
- Published Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 01:44 BST (30 May 2006). "Showbiz – News – Ex-'Enders actress Lucy Benjamin pregnant". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "A Special Delivery For Lucy". Daily Mirror. UK. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "NEW PICTURES Pregnant Celebrities | Gallery Specials". Now Magazine. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2012.