Louise Jameson

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Louise Jameson
Louise Jameson (cropped).png
Jameson in May 2009
Louise Marion Jameson

(1951-04-20) 20 April 1951 (age 71)
Wanstead, Essex, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1970–present
Martin Bedford
(m. 1990; div. 1997)

Louise Marion Jameson (born 20 April 1951) is an English actress with a wide variety of television and theatre credits. Her roles on television have included playing Leela in Doctor Who (1977–1978), Anne Reynolds in The Omega Factor (1979), Blanche Simmons in Tenko (1981–1982), Susan Young in Bergerac (1985–1990) and Rosa di Marco in EastEnders (1998–2000). In 2022, she joined the cast of Emmerdale as Mary Goskirk, having previously appeared on the show in 1973 as Sharon Crossthwaite.

According to Screenonline, Jameson "was one of a handful of actresses who both benefited from and contributed to the opening out of roles for women on British television during the 1970s and 80s, when she became associated with a series of tough, resourceful and independent characters in genres where women had conventionally been either victims or vamps."[1]


Early life and career[edit]

Jameson was born in Wanstead, Essex and grew up in nearby Woodford Green.[2] Jameson attended the independent Braeside School, Buckhurst Hill. She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from the ages of seventeen to nineteen[2] and shared a flat with fellow drama students Sherrie Hewson and Sharon Maughan[3] before spending two years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Summerfolk, and Blithe Spirit. Her early TV career highlights include appearances on Emmerdale Farm in 1973 as Sharon Crossthwaite, the first character in the soap to be murdered, and roles in Z-Cars, Space: 1999 and the television film The Game in 1977. She also appeared opposite Mike Raven in the low budget British horror film Disciple of Death (1972).[4]

Doctor Who[edit]

Jameson with Sophie Aldred and Katy Manning at a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary event in 2013.

Jameson came to widespread attention when she was cast by director Pennant Roberts as Leela, the leather-clad companion of the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who.[5] The character is a warrior of the fictional Sevateem people, and was introduced in The Face of Evil (1977). Jameson's inspirations for the way that she played the character included her dog, for "her instinctive nature and tendency to slightly cock her head when she perceives something", and a neighbour's child, for "openness and naïveté".[6]

Jameson's costuming in the series receives much comment and some criticism from feminists, with Mark Duguid writing for Screenonline that it "said much about the failure of 1970s feminism to permeate the BBC's production or costume departments".[1] Valerie Estelle Frankel, in her book on Women in Doctor Who, characterises Leela as "a classic warrior woman" but says that the seriousness of the character is undermined because "her provocatively cut hunting leathers and cleavage are offered to the male gaze in every episode."[7] Patrick Mulkern of Radio Times also regarded her as "a companion to lure in adolescent lads and their dads" but, while considering her debut serial to be a "lifeless tale", he wrote that Jameson was "a wonderful find. Exuding commitment and conviction, she makes Leela earnest, warm and funny, elevating her far beyond Robert Holmes's desire for a 'Raquel Welch in the jungle'. Quite simply, she's one of the most naturally gifted actresses ever to play a companion."[8] In 2008 Jameson said, "In a way the companion was a bit of a device when I was in Doctor Who, though I did love her feistiness and her intelligence and her aggression and her intelligence – even though she wasn't educated."[9]

Jameson was initially paid £120 an episode for Doctor Who, later increasing to £150 an episode.[10] She left the series after nine serials, departing in The Invasion of Time (1978), but has since reprised the role for the Big Finish audio series, starting with Zagreus (2003). She has also appeared in the spin-off audio series Gallifrey, in which she is one of the main protagonists, and Jago and Litefoot.

After Doctor Who[edit]

Jameson went on to appear in The Omega Factor (1979) as Dr. Anne Reynolds.[11] She later had a leading role as Blanche Simmons in the first two series of Tenko, before starring for five years in the late 1980s in Bergerac as Susan Young, Jim Bergerac's girlfriend. In the mid-1980s, she played Tania Braithwaite, Pandora's mother, in both The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole for Thames Television. In the early 1990s, she starred in the two series of Rides, and made numerous one-off appearances in various TV drama series, as well as numerous Doctor Who spin-off projects including the Children in Need special Dimensions in Time (1993). In 1995, she appeared in the RSC production of Botho Strauß's The Park. Other stage appearances include the first production of Peter Nichols's Passion Play produced at the Aldwych Theatre, London, in 1981. In 1998, Jameson began a long run in the BBC soap EastEnders as Rosa di Marco, appearing in over 200 episodes over two and a half years until August 2000. Since then, she has appeared in episodes of the BBC Scotland soap River City as Viv Roberts, as a guest artist in episodes of Doctors, Holby City and The Bill, and as a regular in Doc Martin.[12]

Jameson continues to reprise the characters of Leela and Anne Reynolds in audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions and has also starred in Sapphire & Steel and Dark Shadows audio dramas for the same company. She has also appeared in documentaries and commentaries accompanying numerous BBC DVD releases of her Doctor Who serials. She is the subject of MJTV's The Actor Speaks Volume 5, where she discusses herself, her acting career and the various series she has been in. In 2007, Jameson toured nationally in her one-woman show, Face Value. In 2013, she starred in the play Gutted by Rikki Beadle-Blair and was nominated for Best Female Performance at the 2013 Off West End Theatre Awards (Offies). In November 2013, she appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.[13] In 2016, she toured in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap,[14] the longest running show in British theatre. In 2022, she joined the cast of Emmerdale as Mary.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In 1990, Jameson was married to Martin Bedford, an artist whom she had met while filming Bergerac in Jersey. They divorced in 1997.[16] Jameson was a regular prison visitor, monitoring prisoners' welfare, during the first few years of her career; and, during the early 1970s, she met Leslie Grantham at Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire, where he was serving 12 years of a life sentence for murder. She encouraged Grantham to become an actor.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
1972 Disciple of Death Betty
1994 The Terror Game Tamora Hennessy
1994 The Zero Imperative Patricia Haggard
1995 The Devil of Winterborne
1996 Unnatural Selection
1996 Ghosts of Winterborne
1998 After Celia Corinne
1999 The Last 28 May
2005 Big Night Out Lynne
2012 Run for Your Wife Receptionist Cameo
2017 Crossing Over Angela Winters
2018 Modern Love Mum


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1971 The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine Girl Episode: #1.2
1971 Tom Brown's Schooldays Mary Arnold TV Series; 5 episodes [11]
1971 Cider With Rosie Junior teacher TV film [11]
1973 Emmerdale Farm Sharon Crossthwaite 4 episodes [11]
1975 Space: 1999 Survivor Episode: "Mission of the Darians"
1976 Play for Today Stella Episode: "The Peddler"
1976 Dominic Lady Harriet 4 episodes
1977 The Game Elsie Whitworth TV film
1977–1978 Doctor Who Leela 40 episodes
1979 The Omega Factor Dr. Anne Reynolds All 10 episodes [11]
1981–1982 Tenko Blanche Simmons 13 episodes [18]
1984 The Gentle Touch Emma Saunders Episode: "Mad Dog"
1985 The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Tania Braithwaite 3 episodes
1985–1990 Bergerac Susan Young 35 episodes [18]
1987 The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole Tania Braithwaite Episode: #1.5
1990 Casualty Judy Episode: "Salvation"
1991 The Bill Irene Harris Episode: "In Chambers" [11]
1992–1993 Rides Janet 6 episodes [11]
1992 My Friend Walter Joan Throckmorton TV film
1993 Dimensions in Time Leela TV short
1994 Degas and Pissarro Fall Out Jenny TV film
1995 Casualty Janet Tolchard Episode: "Not Waving But Drowning"
1995 Wycliffe Tilly Rawle Episode: "Wild Oats" [11]
1995 Stick with Me, Kid Mrs. Hilliard
1995 Molly Alice Greenfield Episode: #1.10
1996 The Upper Hand Emma Episode: "In Marriage We Trust"
1997 The Pale Horse Florence Tuckerton TV film
1998–2000 EastEnders Rosa di Marco 229 episodes
2000 The Canterbury Tales Falcon / Horsewoman Voice; Episode: "The Journey Back"
2004 The Bill Julie Wiletts 2 episodes
2006 Doctors Andrea Dodson Episode: "Sisters"
2008 River City Viv Roberts 3 episodes
2010 Doctors Joanna Chippington Episode: "When We Were Young"
2011 The Vessel Kim's Mum 2 episodes
2011 Doc Martin Eleanor Glasson 5 episodes
2012 Doctors Shirley Carter Episode: "A Suburban Affair"
2012 Holby City Mary Thorne Episode: "Fault Lines"
2013 The Dumping Ground Angel Episode: "The Truth Is Out There"
2013 The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Louise Jameson TV film
2013 The Tractate Middoth Mary Simpson TV film
2014 Toast of London Wendy Nook Episode: "Match Fit"
2015 Guin and the Dragon Melinda the Dragon Lady TV film
2015 Doctors Celeste Episode: "Touched by an Angel"
2019 Doctors Geraldine Woods Episode: "The Invitation"
2019 Secret Life of Boys Granny Bob 3 episodes
2020 Silent Witness Sue Marshall 2 episodes
2020 Bumps Barbara TV film
2021 Midsomer Murders Annie Davids Episode: "The Wolf Hunter of Little Worthy"
2022– Emmerdale Mary Goskirk Series regular [4]
2022 McDonald & Dodds Mrs. Burchard Episode: "A Billion Beats"



One-Woman Shows[edit]

  • 2010–2011: Shakespeare's Mistress – Herself – UK Tour
  • 2011: Pulling Faces – Joanne Taylor – International Tour
  • 2020: Shakespeare's Mistress – Herself – The Grove Theatre, Eastbourne


As director[edit]


  1. ^ a b Duguid, Mark. "Jameson, Louise (1951- )". Screenonline. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b Lewis, Roz (28 February 2016). "Louise Jameson: 'I was paid £120 a show on Doctor Who – it was a lot more on EastEnders'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  3. ^ Hewson, Sherrie (2011). Sherrie: Behind the Laughter. Harper. ISBN 978-0007416257.
  4. ^ a b Barr, Sabrina (29 January 2022). "Emmerdale casts former EastEnders and Doctor Who star Louise Jameson". Metro. (DMG Media). Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  5. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (18 March 2020). "Doctor Who's Louise Jameson reveals why she turned down a return to the series". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  6. ^ Graeme Burk; Robert Smith (1 October 2013). "The Face of Evil (1977)". Who's 50: The 50 Doctor Who Stories to Watch Before You Die. ECW/ORIM. ISBN 978-1-77090-475-0. Archived from the original on 3 December 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  7. ^ Valerie Estelle Frankel (4 March 2018). Women in Doctor Who: Damsels, Feminists and Monsters. McFarland. pp. 70–72. ISBN 978-1-4766-3154-7.
  8. ^ Mulkern, Patrick. "The Face of Evil ★★". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  9. ^ "The Den of Geek interview: Louise Jameson". Den of Geek. 14 February 2008. Archived from the original on 20 October 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  10. ^ Lewis, Roz (28 February 2016). "'I was paid £120 a show on Doctor Who - it was a lot more on EastEnders'". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jameson, Louise (1951- ) Film & TV credits". screenonline.org.uk. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  12. ^ Jameson, Louise. "Louise Jameson | The Official Website". Archived from the original on 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  13. ^ "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot", BBC programmes, retrieved 26 November 2013
  14. ^ "The Mousetrap - On tour". mousetrapontour.com. Archived from the original on 30 May 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  15. ^ Bird, Hannah (29 January 2022). "Emmerdale casts former EastEnders star for Rhona's new storyline". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  16. ^ Carroll, Sue (14 April 1998). "EastEnders and my sons mended my broken heart; Louise Jameson on her Marriage Heartache". Daily Mirror.
  17. ^ McCaffrey, Julie (27 February 2020). "EastEnders Rosa di Marco was axed after refusing to play a racist". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  18. ^ a b Duguid, Mark. "Jameson, Louise (1951- )". screenonline.org.uk. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2020.

External links[edit]