Lisa Maxwell (actress)

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Lisa Maxwell
Lisa Maxwell and Dominic Power at the BAFTA's.jpg
at the 2009 BAFTA award ceremony in London
Born (1963-11-24) 24 November 1963 (age 55)
Elephant and Castle, London, England
OccupationActress, television presenter
Years active1976–present
Spouse(s)Paul Jessup (m. 2014)

Lisa Maxwell (born 24 November 1963) is an English actress and television presenter, best known for her roles in The Bill as Samantha Nixon, in EastEnders as Naomi and in Hollyoaks as Tracey Donavan .

Early life[edit]

Born in the Elephant & Castle district of Southwark, south London in November 1963, she was trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts,[1] and first acted on TV aged 11 in a schools programme A Place Like Home.[citation needed] In 1981 she participated in BBC TV's A Song for Europe as a member of the group Unity.[1] They finished in last place[1] with the song "For Only a Day".[citation needed]

When she was conceived, her father John Murphy had a pregnant wife. Her 22-year-old mother Val returned to her parents' home, where all three brought her up. She met her father for the first time when she was 45. She has three paternal half-siblings.[2]



Maxwell's first senior role was in Remembrance (1982),[1] and in the same year she voiced Kira in the Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal.[1]

In 1993 she auditioned for the part of Daphne Moon in Frasier, but the part eventually went to Jane Leeves.

She played Detective Inspector Samantha Nixon in the ITV1 drama The Bill between 2002 and 2009.[1] She joined the cast in late-2001 and filmed her last scenes on The Bill on 20 March 2009.

In September 2013 she appeared in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders, playing Naomi, the girlfriend of established character, David Wicks (Michael French).[3]

In 2016, Maxwell played Judy Garland in the UK tour of End of the Rainbow and also joined the cast of Hollyoaks as Tracey Donovan, the mother of established character, Grace Black (Tamara Wall) and her half-brothers, Adam (Jimmy Essex), Liam (Maxim Baldry) and Jesse (Luke Jerdy).[4]

In May 2018 it was announced that she would be appearing in Celebrity Masterchef later that year.[5]


Maxwell appeared on The Russ Abbot Show[1] in 1990 which led to her getting her own short-lived TV show, the Lisa Maxwell Show on BBC television in 1991.[1]


In 1985, Maxwell won a television vote[citation needed] to become a presenter on the BBC Two pop music show No Limits.[1] The other winning presenter was Jeremy Legg.

She then went on to become a presenter on a number of children's programmes including Children's ITV flagship magazine programme Splash!

In March 2009, Maxwell began appearing as a regular panellist on ITV's lunchtime chat show, Loose Women. However soon after starting she was forced to take a break after she fractured two ribs.[citation needed] She returned to the show on 10 June 2009. In March 2014, it was announced that she was to leave the show immediately, saying "It's not the same show".[6]

Other appearances[edit]

On 5 August 2008, Maxwell appeared in an episode of Daily Cooks Challenge.

On 7 March 2009 Maxwell, along with Patrick Robinson participated in Let's Dance for Comic Relief. They danced to Riverdance.

On 27 February 2010, she took part in an episode of All Star Family Fortunes

On 30 April 2011, Maxwell was a participant on ITV's Sing If You Can show.

On 7 November 2012, Maxwell was a contestant in All Star Mr & Mrs with her partner Paul.

On 4 January 2013, Maxwell took part in a celebrity episode of The Million Pound Drop Live as a part of the Channel 4 mash-up evening along with Sherrie Hewson, Jane McDonald and Denise Welch.

On 28 December 2013, Maxwell took part in a celebrity edition of the ITV game show The Cube in a Loose Women special alongside Sherrie Hewson and Denise Welch. Together they were defeated by The Cube, but took away £1,000 which they split between their three chosen charities.

On 3 May 2014, she appeared in a special Crime episode of Pointless Celebrities[7]

Personal life[edit]

In April 2009, during an appearance on The Paul O'Grady Show, Maxwell revealed the deciding factor in her leaving The Bill was the long hours worked and that she had suffered two miscarriages during 2008. She also said her friend and co-star Roberta Taylor had convinced her to leave the show for the sake of her health.[8]

On 28 February 2012, just before a leap day (which would be the traditional day for a woman to propose), she proposed to her long-term partner Paul Jessup, with whom she has been in a relationship since 1997.[9] She has one child with Jessup, a daughter who was born on 11 October 1999, called Beau.[10][8] They married in 2014.

On 14 April 2018 Maxwell appeared on an episode of Pointless Celebrities along with Trudie Goodwin.

Selected TV and filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Remembrance N/A
1982 The Dark Crystal Kira (voice)
1985 The Tripods Zerlina
1985 The Benny Hill Show Hill's Angel
1987-1991 The Laughter Show various
1990-1992 The Russ Abbot Show various
1992 Bottom Lilly Linneker Episode: "Digger"
1993 Comedy Playhouse Mojo Episode: "Once in a Lifetime"
2002−09 The Bill Sgt./Acting D.I./D.I. Samantha Nixon Series Lead
2003 Murder Investigation Team Special Guest
2005 Broken News N/A
2006 Free Jimmy Lise Voice only
2009−14 Loose Women Herself Regular panellist
2009 The Paul O'Grady Show Christmas Pantomime Fairy Rosebud
2011 71 Degrees North Contestant
2013 EastEnders Naomi Guest role
2016−2017 Hollyoaks Tracey Donovan Recurring guest role


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lisa Maxwell Loose Women, ITV, 29 April 2010
  2. ^ How I found my father after 45 years
  3. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (2 August 2013). "'EastEnders': Lisa Maxwell to play David Wicks's girlfriend". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  4. ^ Fletcher, Harry (7 August 2016). "Hollyoaks casts The Bill star Lisa Maxwell as Grace Black's mum". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Celebrity MasterChef fires up the ovens for another hot summer". BBC. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  6. ^ 'Loose Women' Star Lisa Maxwell Quits The ITV Show With Immediate Effect
  7. ^ Pointless Celebrities | Series 6 - Episode 8 | Radio Times
  8. ^ a b "Bill star reveals baby heartache" Digital Spy, 18 April 2009
  9. ^ The Sun
  10. ^ Davies, Alex (20 September 2018). "Who is Lisa Maxwell's husband? Inside Celeb Masterchef star's family life". OK! Magazine.

External links[edit]