Debbie Arnold

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Debbie Arnold
Born 14 June
Sunderland, County Durham, England
Spouse(s) John Challis (1981–1985) (divorced)
David Janson (1989–2002) (divorced)
Children Ciara Janson
Talia Janson
Website Official Website

Debbie Arnold (born 14 June in Sunderland, County Durham) is an English actress and voice artist. She is best known for her work on British television, which includes portraying April Branning in the soap opera EastEnders between 1995 and 1996. She is currently an active voiceover artiste, actress, and producer.[1]


Arnold was born into show business. Her father was the impressionist Eddie Arnold and her mother, Mary Arnold, was a theatrical agent. She began her career on television, in programmes such as the BBC comedy The Liver Birds. She inherited her father's mimicry talents and, when she was 18 years old, she was given a job impersonating Marilyn Monroe on Now Who Do You Do?.[2] She then focused on acting but she has continued to use her vocal talents and has spearheaded many advertising campaigns for well-known brands. She specialises in British and American dialects.[1]

In 1978, Arnold was a regular on the then popular ITV gameshow: 3-2-1. She has had roles in many successful television programmes including: Shoestring, Terry and June, Minder, The Two Ronnies, C.A.T.S. Eyes, Rockliffe's Babies, The Bill, The Russ Abbot Show, The Jim Davidson Show, Miss Marple (in The Body in the Library), All Creatures Great and Small, Virtual Murder, Birds of a Feather, Jonathan Creek, M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team, Footballers' Wives: Extra Time, Holby City, and Doctors, among many others. She has also appeared in such features as Oliver Twist, Minder on the Orient Express and, in 2009, she won an award for best actress starring opposite John Altman in the feature film Photoshoot.

Arnold has also played regular characters in several major British soap operas. She played Sylvie Hicks and Carole Evans in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street, Debbie Wilson in Emmerdale, April Branning in EastEnders, Janice Bolton in Hollyoaks; she also appeared in its spin off, Hollyoaks: In the City

Her theatre credits include The Sleeping Prince at the Haymarket Theatre in London and the festival theatre in Chichester, playing opposite Omar Sharif, for which she won many awards and accolades. Other West End appearances include Hollywood Babylon, Woman Behind Bars, Four in a Million, and Last of the Red Hot Lovers at the Strand. She has appeared in many fringe productions and numerous national and international tours. She turns up occasionally in the touring play Seven Deadly Sins and she toured in the 2010 version of 'Keeping Up Appearances' as Rose.

Arnold has formed her own production company, Debbie Arnold Productions which has produced numerous radio and TV productions. She has also been the face of the clothing company Etam UK and the hair company Goldwell.

Debbie is also founder and face of the online beauty recommendation service Looking Gorgeous. She has written many beauty articles for top magazines and is writing a book on self-development.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Arnold has been married twice. In 1981, she married the actor John Challis, best known for playing Boycie in the hit BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses.[4] They divorced in 1985.

In 1989, she married the actor David Janson, best known for playing Ken Richardson in Get Some In!. They have two children together, one of whom is the actress Ciara Janson — who played Nicole Owen in Hollyoaks and is also a top voice artiste — and a younger daughter named Talia who is at present[when?] the lead singer with girl band Phacebook. They both acted in the BBC English language-teaching series A Weekend Away and A Week By The Sea. Arnold and Janson divorced in 2002.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Debbie Arnold voice work", URL last accessed on 2007-01-25.
  2. ^ "Debbie Arnold Bio", URL last accessed on 2007-01-25.
  3. ^ Looking Gorgeous", URL last accessed on 2009-01-25
  4. ^ a b "Debbie Arnold", URL last accessed on 2007-01-25.

External links[edit]