Clare Grogan

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Clare Grogan
Clare Grogan.jpg
Grogan performing with Altered Images
Background information
Born (1962-03-17) 17 March 1962 (age 56)
Glasgow, Scotland
GenresPop, rock, new wave
Occupation(s)Singer, actress
Associated actsAltered Images

Claire Patricia Grogan (born 17 March 1962), known professionally as Clare Grogan or sometimes as C. P. Grogan, is a Scottish actress and singer. She is best known as the lead singer of the 1980s new wave music group Altered Images and for supporting roles in the 1981 film Gregory's Girl and the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf as the first incarnation of Kristine Kochanski.

Early life[edit]

Born in Glasgow, Grogan and her two sisters all attended the Notre Dame Convent School.[1]

Aged 17 while dancing at the Glasgow College of Technology, she was a bystander when a fight broke out between several patrons. A broken bottle was hurled in her direction as she was fleeing, and she was left injured with a prominent scar on the left side of her face. Grogan states that her parents still find it hard to read about the incident. She began filming Gregory's Girl just three months after the incident.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Originally a member of Scottish Youth Theatre, she was originally obliged to appear as 'C.P. Grogan' because there was already a member of Equity named Claire Grogan (the other Claire Grogan went on to become a photographer). She would later drop the i from her first name.[3]

While working as a waitress at the Spaghetti Factory restaurant in Glasgow, she was spotted by film director Bill Forsyth.[4] This led to her breakthrough acting role in 1981's Gregory's Girl as Susan. Because of her facial wound, there were objections from the producers, but Forsyth refused to recast the role and Grogan was filmed mostly in profile. When filmed in close up, makeup artists covered Grogan's scar with mortician's wax.[5][dead link]

In 1984, she played Charlotte in Forsyth's Comfort and Joy. In 1985, she was the receptionist in the BBC Television version of Blott on the Landscape. She had a recurring role playing Dave Lister's would-be love-interest, Kristine Kochanski, in series 1, 2 and 6 of the TV show Red Dwarf. In series 7, she was replaced by Chloë Annett. Grogan has also appeared in Father Ted (episode "Rock-a-Hula Ted") as a feminist rock singer and in EastEnders as Ian Beale's love interest, Ros Thorne (1997–1998).

She appeared in the 1998 comedy Jilting Joe, played control-freak office manager Sandra Reeves in the 2006 film The Penalty King, and starred in the Scottish gangster movie The Wee Man in 2013. She also appeared in the video for Peter Kay and Matt Lucas' charity single "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", recorded for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day 2007. She also played Danny's mother in the 2006 Scottish sit-com, Legit.

Grogan appeared in the TV series Skins as Shelley, the mother of Mini McGuinness.

She played the part of Rita in a stage adaptation of Educating Rita at Dundee Repertory Theatre in 1987.[6]

Music career[edit]

Grogan developed her singing career as the lead singer of Altered Images, originally a five-piece band that included Johnny McElhone (later of the Scottish rock band Texas), whom she met while studying for her Highers. It became a four-person band with the departure of two members and the addition of Stephen Lironi, who played both guitar and drums. The band had a string of hits in the early 1980s, including "Happy Birthday", "Don't Talk to Me About Love", "I Could Be Happy" and "See Those Eyes". The group split up after the release of their third album, Bite (1983).

In 1984, Grogan made a cameo appearance in the music video to "Young at Heart" by The Bluebells.

Grogan later attempted a solo career, but after her single "Love Bomb" failed to gain chart success in 1987, her album Trash Mad was never released. Grogan formed Universal Love School in 1989 with Lironi, performing a series of gigs around the UK. However, it was short-lived and produced no hit singles. In 2000, she contributed vocals to the song "Night Falls Like a Grand Piano" on The 6ths' album Hyacinths and Thistles. She recorded a version of "Angels with Dirty Faces" for the Frankie Miller tribute album. The track "Her Hooped Dream" appears on The Ultimate Celtic Album.[citation needed]

In 2002, Grogan performed as 'Altered Images' on the Here and Now Tour which featured other well known artists from the 1980s. She performed on similar tours in 2005, 2008 and 2009. She appeared with Chesney Hawkes, Toyah Willcox and Limahl as 'The 80s Supergroup' in the 2011 series of Let's Dance for Comic Relief.[citation needed]

Grogan sometimes covers for radio presenters on BBC 6 Music, most often for Nemone and sometimes Liz Kershaw.[citation needed]

Grogan appeared in Series 2, Episode 2 of John Shuttleworth's Lounge Music on BBC Radio 4 on 27 November 2016.[7]

Clare Grogan is the inspiration for the song "True" by Spandau Ballet.[8]

Grogan began presenting shows on Absolute Radio 80s from 11 September 2017, presenting Monday to Thursday 8-9pm and Sundays 7-9pm.[9]


Grogan's first book was published in October 2008, a children's novel (aimed at age 7 and up) titled Tallulah and the Teenstars, about a girl who forms a pop band.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Grogan married band mate Stephen Lironi in Glasgow in 1994. The couple live in Haringey, and in 2005 they adopted a daughter.[11]


  1. ^ "Biographies: Clare Grogan". STV. 20 March 2009. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Clare Grogan: Kissing Ian Beale wasn't so bad, actually (interview)". Metro. 10 April 2003. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Altered Images - Now Claire must change her name". Evening Standard. 21 August 1984. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Alter Girl". The Herald (Glasgow). 8 September 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  5. ^ Scotland at the Movies: Attack on Gregory's Girl. Archived 6 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  6. ^ Scottish Theatre Archive Archived 3 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ John Shuttleworth's Lounge Music 'BBC Radio 4' 27 September 2017
  8. ^ "How we made: Gary Kemp and Steve Norman on True". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Clare Grogan to host nightly on Absolute 80s". Radio Today. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Singer Clare Grogan launches children's book". Birmingham Mail. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Clare Grogan: Love at first sight when I met my baby girl". The Mirror. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 5 July 2012.

External links[edit]

External video
Clare Grogan talking about adoption for BAAF at YouTube.