Sarah Lancashire

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Sarah Lancashire
Sarah Lancashire 2013.jpg
Lancashire at the 2013 BAFTA TV Awards
Born (1964-10-10) 10 October 1964 (age 49)
Oldham, Lancashire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1988-present
Spouse(s) Peter Salmon (2001-present)
Gary Hargreaves (1985-1995)

Sarah Lancashire (born 1964) is an English actress, probably best recognised for her role as Raquel Watts in Coronation Street. She has been nominated for three BAFTA TV Awards and an Olivier Award.

Early life[edit]

Born 10 October 1964 in Oldham, Lancashire, she graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1986.


Lancashire's first recurring television role is still her best known. She played barmaid Raquel Watts in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street from 1991 to 1996, reappearing for one last episode in 2000. Raquel was a sweet, if somewhat dippy character, who was a firm favourite with viewers of the long running show. She had previously appeared on the programme in 1987, playing Wendy Farmer.

After leaving Coronation Street, rather than struggle to find work in other shows after playing such a well-known character (a fate that has befallen many soap opera actors), Lancashire worked in a number of high profile series. From 1997 to 1999 she played Ruth Goddard in the ITV drama series Where The Heart Is, and in 1999 she appeared in the BBC sitcom Murder Most Horrid, which starred comedienne Dawn French.

Lancashire appeared in the BBC Radio 4 legal sitcom Chambers which later moved to television. In 2000, she starred in the drama Seeing Red, portraying actress Coral Atkins, who founded a care home for children and won two British television industry awards as a result. Also in 2000 she went on to star in the acclaimed BBC drama series Clocking Off, a role that saw her win the Best Actress award at the Television and Radio Industry Club Awards.

In 2002, she played the role of Meg Bartlett in the psychological thriller television movie The Cry. From 2004 to 2005 she appeared in the ITV drama series Rose and Maloney as Rose Linden opposite Phil Davis as Marion Maloney. In 2005 Lancashire starred in Cherished, a BBC drama in which she portrayed Angela Cannings, a British woman who was convicted of killing her two baby sons but was released when medical evidence given at her trial was deemed dubious.

In September 2006, she starred in a BBC comedy drama Angel Cake, and in 2007 she played Mary Miles in the E4 teen series Skins. In April 2008, she appeared in "Partners in Crime", the opening episode of the 2008 series of Doctor Who, as "Miss Foster, an enigmatic and powerful businesswoman".[1] She also narrated the BBC drama series Lark Rise to Candleford. In 2009, Lancashire starred in All the Small Things alongside Neil Pearson and Richard Fleeshman. She played Esther Caddick, a full-time mother and choir member.[2]

In 2010 Lancashire portrayed the mother of murdered prostitute Anneli Alderton in the BBC drama Five Daughters. In 2012 she made a guest appearance in the revival of Upstairs Downstairs.

In September 2012, Lancashire appeared in the role of Miss Audrey in the BBC period drama series The Paradise.

In November 2012 she began starring alongside Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid and Nicola Walker in the BBC drama Last Tango in Halifax. She was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting a Role at the 2013 and 2014 British Academy Television Awards for this role. In 2014, she will appear in Happy Valley as Catherine Crowther.


On 5 December 2005, she began appearing in the West End stage, playing Miss Adelaide in the Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre. Her taking over from Jane Krakowski coincided with Nigel Harman's taking over of the role of Sky Masterson from Ewan McGregor. Lancashire suffered a reported chest infection and was forced to leave the production officially on 7 February 2006, having not performed since the matinee performance on 4 January 2006.

Lancashire's last role to date was that of Joyce Chilvers in the new Cameron Macintosh production of Betty Blue Eyes, which ran at the Novello Theatre in London from March to September 2011.

Directing and presenting[edit]

In 2005, Lancashire made her directorial debut on an episode of the BBC series The Afternoon Play and was nominated for the Best New Director award at the BAFTA television awards.

In 2006 she presented an edition of the Five documentary social heritage series Disappearing Britain in which she interviewed people with memories of Wakes Week holidays in Blackpool by Cotton mill workers in the early 20th Century. It included an investigation of her own family history and holidays by her great grandfather Tom Lancashire in Llandudno.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1996 National TV Award Most Popular Actress Coronation Street Nominated
1998 National TV Award Most Popular Actress Where the Heart is Nominated
2000 National TV Award Most Popular Actress Seeing Red Won
2005 BAFTA TV Award Best New Director (fiction) Viva Las Blackpool (BBC Afternoon Play) Nominated
2012 Olivier Award Best Actress in a Musical Betty Blue Eyes Nominated
2013 BAFTA TV Award Best Supporting Actress Last Tango in Halifax Nominated
2014 BAFTA TV Award Best Supporting Actress Last Tango in Halifax Pending

Personal life[edit]

Lancashire is the daughter of the television scriptwriter Geoffrey Lancashire (1933–2004), who wrote several hundred episodes of Coronation Street. She is married to the television producer Peter Salmon, with whom she has a son. She also has two sons from a previous marriage.


  1. ^ "Sarah Clocks On". Doctor Who – News. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  2. ^ "All The Small Things press pack: Sarah Lancashire plays Esther Caddick". BBC Press Release. 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 

External links[edit]