Laurie Brett

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Laurie Brett
Born 28 March 1969 (1969-03-28) (age 49)[1]
Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Occupation Actress
Years active 1993–present
Known for EastEnders (2004–12, 2014–2017)
Waterloo Road (2012–15)
Television Jane Beale in EastEnders
Christine Mulgrew in Waterloo Road
Partner(s) Dave Evans (2001–07)
John Milroy (2009–14)[2][3]
Children 1

Laurie Brett (born 28 March 1969[1]) is a Scottish actress, best known for her roles as Jane Beale in EastEnders and Christine Mulgrew in Waterloo Road.

Early and personal life[edit]

Brett was born in Hamilton, Scotland,[4] and after leaving Earnock High School she studied at the London Studio Centre. She is fluent in Spanish. Brett has admitted to being a bit of a wild child in her youth, drinking heavily for 20 years.[5]

Brett speaks with a Scottish accent; however, on moving to London, she adopted a London accent – fitting for her EastEnders role.[4] She says she has always had a "knack" with accents[6] and has admitted that prior to appearing in Waterloo Road speaking with a Scottish accent became very handy when people would ask if she was Jane from EastEnders. She has admitted that when asked that question she would then reply in her native Scottish accent and people then assumed they were mistaken.[7]

Brett was in a relationship with a musician Dave Evans for six years. The couple met on a blind date in 2001 and got engaged; however, they split in 2007 before the wedding.[8] Brett revealed in January 2011 that she was pregnant with her first child.[3] She gave birth to Erin Anne Millie Brett in June 2011.[9]


Her first TV role was the officer manager in London's Burning (1993). She later appeared in The Bill in two roles: as Emma Gilmore (1996) and Irene Murray (1998), and also in My Hero (2002) playing a female customer.

Needing an Equity Card to be a paid professional actress in the UK,[6] she replied to an advert in The Stage and joined Circo Magico Italiano, a travelling circus, in Mexico and Central America.[4] On her return she appeared in various productions on London's West End Stage, including playing a prostitute in Les Misérables, appeared in the UK Tour of The Rocky Horror Show as Magenta, starring alongside Jason Donovan as Frank,[6] and appeared in the musical Smokey Joe's Cafe.

After being spotted in Les Misérables by EastEnders casting director Kat Collins, she was given the part of Jane Beale.[4] She made her first appearance in June 2004, and initially signed a three-year contract. In 2010, she signed a further one-year contract.[6] She also appeared as Jane in the 2010 spin-off series EastEnders: E20. In May 2011, Brett left the soap briefly on maternity leave. It was revealed that she would return to her role in November 2011. In January 2012, her character departed from EastEnders. Brett briefly reprised her role in January 2014,[10] and returned permanently later in November. Brett departed EastEnders again in 2017; her final episode aired on 23 October 2017.

On 15 March 2012, it was announced Brett would be joining the BBC's ongoing drama Waterloo Road as Christine Mulgrew, a new English teacher hired by headmaster Michael Byrne (Alec Newman). For the first time in Brett's career, she spoke in her native accent as the show had relocated to Scotland.[11] Brett's character then took over as acting headteacher at the end of the eighth series and was appointed as permanent headteacher at the beginning of series 9. Brett continued to appear in Waterloo Road in the second half of series 9, despite her return to EastEnders. Brett confirmed via Twitter that she will continue filming on Waterloo Road in late spring 2014 and stayed in the role until the show ended.


Year Title Role Notes
1993 London's Burning Officer manager Series 6, episode 5
1996 The Bill Emma Gilmore Series 12, episode 95: "Reminder"
1998 Irene Murray Series 14, episode 6: "Forgive and Forget"
2002 My Hero Female customer Series 3, episode 8: "Mine's a Double"
2004–2012, 2014–2017 EastEnders Jane Beale Regular role
2010 EastEnders: E20 Jane Beale Series 1, episode 2
2012–2015 Waterloo Road Christine Mulgrew Regular role


Brett has made various television appearances in aid of charity. She participated in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 telethon appeals for Children in Need where she sang alongside the rest of the EastEnders cast. In the 2008 appeal, she was cast as Mary Poppins. She also participated in the 2010 telethon appeal for Children in Need where she appeared as Jane in the EastEnders and Coronation Street crossover episode "East Street". On 19 February 2010 Brett appeared on The Weakest Link alongside her co-stars and former co-stars Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale), Laila Morse (Mo Harris), Larry Lamb (Archie Mitchell), Todd Carty (Mark Fowler), Ricky Groves (Garry Hobbs), John Partridge (Christian Clarke), John Altman (Nick Cotton) and Charlie G. Hawkins (Darren Miller). She won and donated her winnings to Breast Cancer campaign and Alzheimer's disease Research.


  1. ^ a b – UK Company and Company Director Reports[dead link]
  2. ^ "EastEnders star Laurie Brett is expecting her first baby". Mail Online. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (9 January 2011). "Soaps – News – 'EastEnders' star Brett expecting baby – Digital Spy". Digital Spy. Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Brown, Allan (28 May 2006). "Well, would you just Adam and Eve it?". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Barber, Richard (2005-07-31). "I Just Loved A Wild Drunkard". United Kingdom: Sunday Mirror. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d Booth, Samantha (15 February 2010). "EastEnders star Laurie Brett: People still don't realise I'm Scottish". Daily Record. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Millar, Paul (16 February 2010). "'Enders star Brett fools public with accent". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  8. ^ Grant Hodgson (11 February 2007). Laurie: it's the ender for me and my lover Archived 21 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Sunday Mirror.
  9. ^ "Laurie Brett's calm birth". Holy Soap. Five (channel). Retrieved 14 June 2011. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (6 January 2014). "EastEnders: Jane Beale makes surprise return to show". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "EastEnders star Laurie Brett joins Waterloo Road after Jane Beale exit". Metro. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 

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