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Heather Peace

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Heather Peace
Peace in 2012
Heather Mary Peace

(1975-06-16) 16 June 1975 (age 49)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • director
Years active1996–present
Ellie Dickinson
(m. 2013)

Heather Mary Peace (born 16 June 1975)[2][3] is an English actress, singer and LGBT rights activist. She is known for her role as Nikki Boston in the BBC school-based drama series Waterloo Road from 2012 to 2014. Her other credits include Sally 'Gracie' Fields in ITV's long-running series London's Burning, Fiona Murray in Kay Mellor's drama series The Chase, Sam Murray in the BBC Scotland drama series Lip Service and Eve Unwin in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.

Early life[edit]

Heather Peace was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She has been playing piano since she was six years old, and guitar since her teens. Peace decided to be an actress at an early age and credits her parents for the encouragement they gave her to achieve that goal.[2] She went to St Joseph's Primary School in Little Horton, Bradford, and St Joseph's Catholic College in Manningham, Bradford.[4][5] Her mother was a long-serving cantor at St Joseph's Catholic Church (which is next to the primary school) and also did readings.[6] Peace was also a cantor at St Joseph's Catholic Church which is where her love of music and singing started.[3][7][8][9] Peace and her mother are no longer Catholics, due to the Catholic church's stance on LGBT relationships.[10][11][12]

Acting career[edit]

Peace studied acting at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she obtained a BA(Hons).

Peace's break into television came when she joined the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, playing the character Anne Cullen for seven episodes between January and June 1997.

Her first professional stage role was in the 1997 Harrogate Theatre production of My Fair Lady, playing Eliza Doolittle. She subsequently has played Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest and the same character in the actor-musician spoof Return to the Forbidden Planet.[13]

After leaving Emmerdale, Peace took parts in The Bill and Dangerfield, before being cast as Firefighter Sally "Gracie" Fields in the ITV series London's Burning from 1998 until the programme's cancellation in 2002.[14] During this time, Peace made a TV movie called Thunder Road, in which she played Sonia. Between 2003 and 2005, Peace played minor roles in television series including Casualty and Where the Heart Is.

Peace played Special Air Service Trooper Becca Gallagher on the ITV action series Ultimate Force alongside Ross Kemp. Becca was part of the 3rd and 4th series, aired between 2005 and 2008. Peace has given credit to the writers for making Becca 'one of the lads', rather than an overly emotional character and said she had 'so much fun' playing the hero in the show.[15] Ross Kemp has argued the show is made far more interesting by including a female role and believes Peace was the perfect choice for the part ("she is absolutely superb").[16]

During 2006 and 2007, Peace starred in Kay Mellor's TV series The Chase as single mum Fiona Jones. Quite a different character to the action girls often played by Peace, Fiona is portrayed as a left out family member whose resentment and betrayals lead into unexpected sinister behaviour.[17] She then appeared in television series including Coronation Street, Heartbeat and Holby City. In 2008, Peace appeared as the secretly abusing wife in the "Private Sins" episode of Blue Murder. She also starred in the film 31 North 62 East where Peace plays again part of a Special Air Service unit. Peace is Captain Jill Mandelson, who will seek help in her twin Kimberly (also played by Peace) to unfold the political corruption that led to the death of the rest of her unit.[18]

In 2010, Peace was cast as Detective Sergeant Sam Murray in the BBC Three TV series Lip Service. Peace argued that being the only openly lesbian cast member influenced the attention she received regarding the show.[19] The series revolves around the loves and lives of group of aged-30-something lesbians in Glasgow, Scotland. The show reached cult status within the first few episodes,[20] with Peace's character Sam, and the actor herself, becoming also the object of a cult following ("Team Sam" movement among fans of the show).[21] Filming of the second series finished in July 2011 with a transmission date of spring 2012.[22] Since the end of the second and final season fans of the drama called for a third season to be made but Peace said in an interview with Cult Box where she said she would 'definitely' return as the character.[23]

In 2011, Peace was cast as Head of English Nikki Boston, before being appointed Deputy Headteacher in 2013 for the BBC One school-based drama series Waterloo Road.[24] Following a tour of her debut album, she returned to the series for the second part of Series 8. She also featured in Series 9, which screened on BBC One in September 2013. She took another break from Waterloo Road at the end of Series 9 Spring Term but has hinted that she may return in Series 11.

In 2014, Peace took part in ITV's three-part drama Prey as Abi Farrow, wife of main character Detective Constable Marcus Farrow (played by BAFTA nominee John Simm). The drama was directed by BAFTA winner Nick Murphy.[25] In 2016, she appeared in the BBC TV series The Coroner Episode 2.3: "Those in Peril" as Chrissy Woodward. In 2019, she appeared in Series 22 of Silent Witness as DI Murphy. Peace later played Alex Dawson in the BBC One medical drama, Holby City.

In 2019, she hosted a two part chat and music show called Heather Peace at the Bedford on the brand new digital TV channel Diva Box Office, which is the first lesbian digital TV channel in Europe.[26][27][28][29][30] Guests interviewed on the show include Saara Aalto, Sinitta, Desiree Akhavan, and Alicya Eyo, with Saara Aalto performing her song "Dance Like Nobody's Watching" and Lots Holloway (formerly known as Charlie Rundle from MK1) performing her song "Naked".[31] In 2021, it was announced that Peace would be joining the cast of BBC soap opera EastEnders as Eve Unwin, the wife of Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).[32]

Singing career[edit]

Peace was classically trained at piano since she was six years old and later learned guitar.[33] She held a jazz residency at Velvet while she attended drama school.[34] In a 2000 episode of London's Burning, Peace's character sang a version of the Bette Midler classic The Rose. Subsequently, released by BMG, it reached no. 58 in the UK charts. She decided to put her music career on hold to concentrate on acting, but in 2011, she reignited her love of music with her first sell out UK tour and the release of an acoustic album of covers and some original songs.

She recorded her full debut jazz album Fairytales with producer Nigel Wright.[35] Following release on May 21, 2012, it achieved number 43 in the UK Albums Chart and number 9 in the independent albums chart, supported by a UK tour. Heather's Fairytales UK tour culminated with a concert in London, where Peace shared a duet with Alison Moyet.[36]

In 2013, she released a single, a Jack Guy remix of "Fight For" available on iTunes, and a special edition of her debut album Fairytales. She has toured Australia twice,[37] where she has taken part in the Sydney Mardi Gras performing on stage as well as hosting the event for the SBS TV.[38]

On 9 June 2014, the single "We Can Change", and her second studio album The Thin Line were officially released. Peace launched the new single with Europe's first rainbow crossing, in Brighton.[39] All the songs in "The Thin Line" (as well as her previous studio album, Fairytales) are written by Peace. Some of the tracks, however, are the result of a joined work with other songwriters. Such is the case of the single "We Can Change", written by Peace and Shelly Poole, or the song "Lily", a co-write by Peace and her guitarist Michael Clancy.[40]

Peace worked on a second album with producer James Lewis, both having a "duty of care" on it.[41] She took a break from acting to focus on it, and released The Thin Line, an album she is incredibly proud of.[42] Following the release of the album, Peace performed in a number of festivals over the summer. The Thin Line tour, during which Peace and her band performed the songs from the new album, took place in October 2014.[43] An acoustic tour followed in March / April[44] and September / October 2015.[45]

Peace announced her plans for an EP, as well as a European and a full band UK Tour in Spring 2016.[46] In February 2016, Peace launched a PledgeMusic project for the release of her EP, Come Home.[47] The support of her fans led to raising 75% of the funds in 24 hours, reaching the project target in under a week.[48] The Come Home EP was released on 8 April 2016.[49] For her EP, Peace chose to work again with her producer from The Thin Line, James Lewis, and has said he brings out the best in her.[50] Peace described Come Home as a love story, from meeting to breaking up, in 20 minutes.[51]

Personal life and activism[edit]

Peace came out as a lesbian to her mother when she was 19 years old, shortly after she broke up with her first girlfriend.[52] Peace and longtime partner Ellie Dickinson entered into a civil partnership in 2013, and subsequently converted it to marriage in 2014. They have three daughters together: Annie Mary, born to Dickinson in April 2015,[53][54] and twins Jessie and Lola, born to Peace in June 2017.[55]

Peace is a prominent supporter of LGBT equality causes. She is a patron of Manchester Pride and has recorded a video for Stonewall's "It Gets Better" campaign.[56] She is involved in a number of related charities, including Diversity Role Models[57] and The Albert Kennedy Trust.[58]

Peace has hosted and curated her own "Heather Peace Presents" stage in several editions of Manchester Pride.[59] In July 2016 Diva announced Peace as its new columnist. Peace said it was an honour for her to be part of a magazine that was relevant to her coming out.[60]

In 2010, she was number 40 on the Independent on Sunday's Pink List, and number 10 in 2011.[61] She was also voted number 18 on US website AfterEllen's 2011 Hot 100 list. She is also the only woman to have appeared twice on the cover of Diva Magazine in the space of six months.[62]



Title Album details Peak chart positions
Fairytales[64] 43
Live at The Jazz Café[65]
  • Live performance: 27 October 2013[66]
  • Labels: Kaleidoscope Records Ltd.
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
The Thin Line[67]
  • Released: 9 June 2014
  • Label: Kaleidoscope Records Ltd.
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Live in Brighton[68]
  • Live performance: 31 November 2014
  • Label: Kaleidoscope Records Ltd.
  • Formats: CD
Hey Mayhem[69]
  • Released: 12 October 2018
  • Label: Kaleidoscope Records Ltd.
  • Formats: CD, download

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Come Home[70]
  • Released: 8 April 2016
  • Labels: Kaleidoscope Records Ltd.
  • Formats: Digital download, CD, Vinyl[71]


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2000 "The Rose" 58
2012 "Better Than You" Fairytales
2013 "Fight For"
(Jack Guy Remix)
2014 "We Can Change" The Thin Line
2022 "Never Wanna Let It Go" This Love
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2022 Inside Soap Awards Best Newcomer EastEnders Won [72]
2022 Digital Spy Reader Awards Best Soap Couple (with Balvinder Sopal) EastEnders Second [73]
2023 Inside Soap Awards Best Partnership (with Sopal) EastEnders Nominated [74]
2023 Digital Spy Reader Awards Best Soap Couple (with Sopal) EastEnders Won [75]


  1. ^ "Conversion of civil partnerships into marriage". Gov.uk. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Interview: Action woman gets set for new stage and TV roles – News". The Yorkshire Post. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Bio – Heather Peace". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  4. ^ "New TV role for Heather". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Actress is 'SAS recruit'". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. 17 January 2005. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  6. ^ "How coming out has left singer at Peace with herself". 28 March 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2020 – via PressReader.
  7. ^ Jones, Alison (24 January 2014). "TV star Heather seeks a Peace of the action". birminghammail. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  8. ^ Mohammed, Syma (15 March 2013). "Preview: Heather Peace at Islington Town Hall". Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Heather Peace Live". Canal St Online. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  10. ^ Peace, Heather (1 June 2019). "And that Bishop Thomas is why a Catholic girl who attended mass weekly & was a cantor singing the psalms from the pulpit is no longer a Catholic. And after 65 years neither is my Mother. #equalityiseverything". @heatherpeace. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  11. ^ "'Lip Service's' Heather Peace Talks 'Fairytales' and a U.S. Tour?". www.pride.com. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  12. ^ English, Paul (27 June 2012). "Lip Service star Heather Peace blasts Catholic Church over gay unions". dailyrecord. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  13. ^ "heatherpeace.com". Heatherpeace.com. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "Ultimate Force – Return to ITV". Itv.com. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Heather Peace UFD1.mpg". YouTube. 4 January 2011. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021.
  17. ^ "Heather gets ready for her big band moment". Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
  18. ^ "31 North 62 East (Too Close to the Truth)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  19. ^ "Heather Peace: Lip Service interview – The Skinny". Theskinny.co.uk.
  20. ^ "TV drama fans pay more Lip Service to Glasgow". M.heraldscotland.com. 6 April 2012.
  21. ^ "Peace at last". Heraldscotland.com. 7 April 2012.
  22. ^ "Video: The Great LezBritain party for the "Lip Service" season finale". AfterEllen.com. 25 October 2010. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  23. ^ "Heather Peace ('Lip Service': Series 3) interview". CultBox. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  24. ^ McManus, Bridget (2 September 2011). "Afternoon Delight: Heather Peace joins "Waterloo Road," Anna Paquin in "Margaret"". AfterEllen.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  25. ^ "Prey casting announcement". Itv.com.
  26. ^ EDITOR (26 April 2019). "Introducing DIVA Box Office: Europe's first lesbian digital TV channel 🍿✨". DIVA MAGAZINE. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  27. ^ "DIVA Box Office". DIVA Box Office. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  28. ^ "HEATHER PEACE AT THE BEDFORD". DIVA Box Office. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  29. ^ Office, DIVA Box (26 April 2019), Watch Heather Peace at The Bedford Online | Vimeo On Demand, retrieved 18 April 2020
  30. ^ "Why We've Launched Europe's First Lesbian Digital TV Channel". HuffPost (Huffington Post UK Edition). 26 April 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  31. ^ EDITOR (24 May 2019). "DIVA Box Office drops part two of lez/bi chat show Heather Peace At The Bedford". DIVA MAGAZINE. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  32. ^ Harp, Justin; Dainty, Sophie (17 June 2023). "EastEnders star Heather Peace opens up over real-life friendship with co-star". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  33. ^ "Actress bids to follow musical dream". Evening Times. 17 January 2014.
  34. ^ "Interview: Heather Peace, actress, singer". Scotsman.com. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  35. ^ Tatler "Heather Peace – Tatler". Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  36. ^ "Heather Peace and Alison Moyet – Whispering Your Name". YouTube. 13 June 2012. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021.
  37. ^ Heather Peace 2014 tour. Sydney Mardi Gras Archived 11 June 2014 at archive.today
  38. ^ "News Media Releases : View : SBS Corporate". Sbs.com.au.
  39. ^ "Heather Peace Launches We Can Change with Europe's First Rainbow Crossing". YouTube. 9 June 2014. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021.
  40. ^ "Heather Peace: The Thin Line". Curvemag.com. 16 April 2014.
  41. ^ "Interview – Heather Peace". Thegirlsare.com. 12 June 2014.
  42. ^ "STV programmes news and information". Live Local. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  43. ^ "Wire Media – Heather Peace". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
  44. ^ "'Little Bird' Tour Announced. – Heather Peace". Heatherpeace.com.
  45. ^ "Heather Peace official page. Little Bird Tour Part 2 Postponed". Archived from the original on 19 November 2015.
  46. ^ "Manchester Pride". Manchester Pride. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015.
  47. ^ HeatherPeaceOfficial (10 February 2016), Pre-Order New EP "Come Home" on PledgeMusic., archived from the original on 19 December 2021, retrieved 29 July 2016
  48. ^ Staff, Curve. "Heather Peace Returns With New EP". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  49. ^ Heather, Peace. "Release Date!". PledgeMusic.com. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  50. ^ "Interview: Heather Peace". Bandonthewall.org. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016.
  51. ^ "HEATHER PEACE: I'M HEARTBROKEN ABOUT BREXIT". Diva Magazine. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016.
  52. ^ "HEART-TO-HEART INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER PEACE". Archived from the original on 21 November 2015.
  53. ^ "Heather Peace and wife Ellie welcome baby daughter". Attitude.co.uk. 18 April 2015.
  54. ^ "Little baby Annie is home safe and sound. Annie Mary Peace". Facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022.
  55. ^ Peace, Heather. "So much love for the new arrivals we have been blessed with. Our daughters Jessie & Lola were born yesterday afternoon 6lb7oz and 6lbs. So many adventures ahead with these twins and their big sister Annie : xxx". Instagram.com. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021.
  56. ^ "HeatherPeaceOfficial". YouTube. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  57. ^ "Meet our patrons – Diversity Role Models – Tackling homophobic bullying in schools". Diversityrolemodels.org.
  58. ^ "The Albert Kennedy Trust asks 'how did you come out?'". YouTube. 1 December 2014. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021.
  59. ^ "Manchester Pride – The Big Weekend 2016". Manchesterpride.com. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  60. ^ "Heather Peace announced as a DIVA columnist / DIVA Magazine Lesbian News". Divamag.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  61. ^ Ian Herbert (23 October 2011). "The IoS Pink List 2011 – News – People". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 May 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  62. ^ "Heather Peace: exclusive photo shoot and heart-to-heart / Diva Magazine Lesbian Arts & Entertainment". Divamag.co.uk. 20 November 2011. Archived from the original on 5 June 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  63. ^ a b c "Heather Peace > UK Charts". Official Charts Company.
  64. ^ "Amazon UK: Heather Peace – Fairytales". Amazon.co.uk.
  65. ^ "Heather Peace Live at the Jazz Cafe". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  66. ^ Concert Live: Heather Peace Live at the Jazz Cafe Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  67. ^ "THE THIN LINE – 2014 (SIGNED)". Heatherpeace.spinshop.com.
  68. ^ Concert Live: Heather Peace The Thin Line Tour Live in Brighton Archived 18 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  69. ^ "Hey Mayhem by Heather Peace on Apple Music". Apple Music. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  70. ^ "Come Home – EP by Heather Peace". Itunes.apple.com. 8 April 2016.
  71. ^ "Signed Come Home 10-Inch Vinyl". Heatherpeace.tmstor.es. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  72. ^ "EastEnders and Emmerdale win big at the Inside Soap Awards 2022". Digital Spy. 17 October 2022.
  73. ^ Rowan, Iona (27 December 2022). "EastEnders wins big at the Digital Spy Reader Awards 2022". Digital Spy.
  74. ^ Alexander, Susannah (19 September 2023). "Inside Soap Awards 2023 announces final shortlist for 2023 ceremony". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  75. ^ Zammitt, Erin. "EastEnders sweeps the board at the Digital Spy Reader Awards 2023". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 December 2023.

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