Denise Black

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Denise Black
Born (1958-03-16) 16 March 1958 (age 60)
Emsworth, Hampshire, England
Spouse(s) Paul Sand
Children 2
Website Denise Black

Denise Black (born 16 March 1958 in Emsworth, Hampshire) is an English actress, best known for playing Denise Osbourne in the ITV soap Coronation Street on and off from 1992 until June 2017, Hazel Tyler in Channel 4's Queer As Folk in 1999 and 2000 and Cucumber in 2015, both written by Russell T Davies and for playing Joanie Wright in Emmerdale from June to November 2013, and again from June 2015 until January 2017. She has also had a small appearance in ITV sitcom Benidorm playing Gloria.

Early life and career[edit]

After attending Portsmouth High School for Girls, Black studied psychology at London University. She had taken a number of jobs, including working in a local psychiatric care home. After graduating, she started travelling to Gibraltar and later the West Indies, where she decided she wanted to become an actress. Her first professional role was as a cat in Miniatures at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre. She worked in several fringe theatres before gaining her Equity card in 1980. Black joined the Actors' Touring Company and performed Shakespeare around South America and in Israel, Greece and Yugoslavia.[1]

When Black returned to the UK, she appeared with fellow-actresses Josie Lawrence and Kate McKenzie at the Newcastle Playhouse in La Pasionaria – and, to further their interests in music and singing, they formed a jazz group, Denise Black & the Kray Sisters. Her friendship with Josie Lawrence landed Black parts in Channel 4's Saturday Live and Josie. Black then joined Julian Clary on stage at London's Donmar Warehouse. Black took a break from acting while expecting her first child, Sam. In 1988 she appeared at the Oldham Coliseum in The Threepenny Opera, the following year she toured with Art of Success. In 1990 she made her television drama debut in Casualty as a woman woking as a street prostitute and appeared at Bolton's Octagon Theatre in Stop Children's Laughter. Black appeared in 1991 on TV as Carrie Evans in Shoscombe Old Place, episode 60 of ITV's and WGBH, Boston's The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and on stage as Goneril in Shakespeare's King Lear, toured in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with the Cambridge Touring Company – and gave birth to a daughter, Dandy.[1]

She has appeared on The Bill, Casualty, New Tricks, Doc Martin, Bad Girls and Queer as Folk playing one of the main characters Hazel Tyler from 1999 until 2000. She also performed for a period with the touring show Grumpy Old Women Live. In 2000, she played Emily Bathurst in BBC 1's daytime soap Doctors.

In 2004 she won a MEN Award for her portrayal of Mari Hoff in the Royal Exchange, Manchester production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

In August 2010, Black's band played at the Edinburgh Festival when she was in mid-UK national tour of a stage version of Calendar Girls.[2]

On 26 September 2011, Black played the role of Mother Superior, in the first UK tour of the musical Sister Act, alongside Michael Starke as Monsignor Howard and Cynthia Eviro as Deloris.

On 23 January 2015, Black made a guest appearance in Benidorm as Liam Conroy's (Adam Gillen) mother Gloria, attempting to lure him back to the UK.

On 26 February 2015, Black reprised the role of Queer as Folk's Hazel Tyler, however this time as her ghost on Canal Street in Queer as Folk follow-up Cucumber on Channel 4.

Coronation Street[edit]

Black appeared in ITV's soap Coronation Street as Denise Osbourne from 1992 to 1997 and briefly returned in 2007. Her main storylines on the show revolved around her love affair with Ken Barlow (William Roache). On 3 April 2017, it was announced that Black would be reprising the role of Denise a few months after quitting Emmerdale earlier in the year and that on her return Denise will be reunited with her son Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard) and Ken. She returned on 30 May 2017.


On 20 June 2013 it was announced that Black would be joining the cast of rival-soap Emmerdale as Joanie Wright, the adoptive grandmother of Amy Wyatt's (Chelsea Halfpenny) son Kyle who she gave away shortly after he was born. Denise made her first appearance on the soap on 12 August 2013. She departed on screen on 14 November 2013 at the end of her and Amy's storyline involving Amy's biological son, Kyle's adoptive parents die and Amy looks to reconnect with Kyle but ends up pretending to Joanie that she knew Karen, Joanie's daughter and ends up looking after Kyle this goes on to several days but when Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) reveals to Joanie who Amy is she bans Amy from seeing Kyle. Amy then seeks custody but gets refused. Amy also departed at the end of the storyline. She reprised the role on 17 June 2015 as a regular cast member. Black departed Emmerdale again on 30 January 2017, after one and a half years as a regular cast member, in a previously unannounced departure, when Joanie was killed-off after suffering a cardiac arrest after being released from a short-stint in prison.

Personal life[edit]

Black lives in Brighton with vocal coach husband Paul Sand, whom she met while with the Actor's Touring Company and again in La Pasionaria[3] with their children and sings with a band, "The Loose Screw", which also consists of Michael Gregory (drums), Ben Grove (guitar), Hedi Pinkerfeld (bass) and Graeme Taylor (lead guitar). They gave a series of cabaret shows in November 2009.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ a b "Denise Black". 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Denise Black Blog: July, August, September and October 2010". 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Paul Sand Brighton Singing Teacher Biography". 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Five Reasons to See ... Denise Black's Loose Screw". London: 17 November 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Denise Black and her band Loose Screw at Epsom Playhouse". This is Surrey Today. Reigate: East Surrey & Sussex News and Media Ltd. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Darvell, Michael (17 November 2009). "Denise Black's Loose Screw at Pizza on the Park". The Classical Source. London. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 

External links[edit]