|Born||Natalie Ann Cassidy
13 May 1983
Islington, London, England
Natalie Ann Cassidy (born 13 May 1983) is a two time British Soap Award winning English actress, best known for playing Sonia Fowler on EastEnders from 1993 to 2007 in a regular capacity, brief appearances in 2010 and 2011 and as a regular character again from 2014. She also appeared in the BBC Two sitcom Psychoville and was a contestant on the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing and the ninth series of Celebrity Big Brother. On 9 April 2012, Cassidy announced that she would become a regular on Loose Women as of 13 April 2012.
As a child, Cassidy attended the Anna Scher Theatre. She joined the cast of EastEnders in 1993, playing Sonia Jackson. In 2006, Cassidy played a rival to Lauren Cooper in an episode of The Catherine Tate Show screened on BBC Two. On 9 April 2006, the BBC announced Cassidy's departure from EastEnders with her final scenes being screened in February 2007. She then concentrated on work in the theatre, appearing in extensive UK tours of The Vagina Monologues, Bedroom Farce and Gertrude's Secret opposite Prunella Scales and a run of The Cherry Orchard at the Chichester Festival Theatre opposite Diana Rigg.
Towards the end of 2007, Cassidy made headlines after losing a lot of weight, and released a fitness DVD entitled Natalie Cassidy's Then and Now Workout. In 2008, she appeared in the documentary Natalie Cassidy's Diet Secrets for BBC Three. In 2008 she appeared as a regular panellist on The Wright Stuff on Five. Later that year, Cassidy gained press coverage for giving up her diet and regaining considerable weight. Her personal trainer stated that Cassidy had "slipped back into her old habits" and that she was "really disappointed." In 2009, Cassidy was seen in a supporting role in the BBC Two comedy TV series Psychoville, alongside Dawn French and Eileen Atkins. The first episode was aired in June 2009. She also provided the voice-over for BBC Three's Underage and Pregnant.
In 2009, Cassidy signed up for a series of Strictly Come Dancing, beginning in October. Her professional partner was Vincent Simone and she was voted off the competition in fifth place on 28 November 2009. Cassidy joined ex-EastEnders actor James Alexandrou and Nina Wadia to create comedy shorts for BBC Raw Words, an adult literacy website. The series of video clips about story writing also included appearances from Lenny Henry and Rowland Rivron.
On 25 October 2009, it was announced that Cassidy would reprise her role as Sonia in EastEnders in 2010 with her on screen family Lindsey Coulson who played Carol Jackson, Dean Gaffney who played Robbie Jackson and Devon Anderson as Billie Jackson. The Jackson family were reunited with Patsy Palmer who rejoined the soap in 2008 as Bianca Jackson. Cassidy appeared in a small number of episodes between 8 and 18 February 2010. In 2010, E4 announced that Natalie Cassidy would be starring in her own reality TV show, Natalie Cassidy: Becoming Mum.
On 17 December 2010, it was announced that Cassidy would reprise her EastEnders role in 2011 for a single episode. On 5 January 2012, Cassidy entered the Celebrity Big Brother house and became the fifth evictee .
In 2012, comedy show Very Important People on Channel 4 (UK), featured a spoof reality show segment entitled "Natalie Cassidy is Doing This Now" which shows its subject engaged in various menial and humorous situations, for example hosing out bins, sorting through old pens and taking her spare change to coinstar.
Prior to returning to Eastenders, Cassidy was the host of the Health Lottery; a competition broadcast on Channel 5.
Cassidy had released two singles from a proposed debut album. The first, "X Marks Love" was released in April 2012 to overwhelmingly negative reviews- in particular the bad sound quality of Cassidy's voice. The song peaked at 266 on the UK Singles Chart, selling a mere 63 copies. The follow-up single, "They Can't Hold You", was released on 13 May 2012, again to negative reviews, this time critical of the meaningless lyrics and her bad voice. Regardless, this is Cassidy's best selling single to date with 1004 copies sold, earning a spot at 101 on the singles chart, just missing out as a top 100 hit. Due to a lack of single success, her record label (Danché) stalled the project indefinitely. Cassidy insists more music will come at some point.
Strictly Come Dancing
|Week #||Dance/song||Judges' score||Result|
|Craig Revel Horwood||Len Goodman||Alesha Dixon||Bruno Tonioli|
|1||Group Mambo||Group performance — not judged|
|2||Tango / "Spider of the Night"||6||6||6||6||24, 26 (safe)|
|Cha Cha Cha / "Bang Bang"||6||7||7||6|
|3||Paso Doble / "Malagueña"||6||7||8||7||28 (safe)|
|4||Salsa / "You'll Be Mine (Party Time)"||7||8||7||7||29 (safe)|
|5||Viennese Waltz / "At Last"||7||7||7||6||27 (safe)|
|6||American Smooth / "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone"||7||8||7||7||29 (safe)|
|7||Jive / "Good Golly Miss Molly"||7||8||7||8||30 (safe)|
|8||Quickstep / "Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano"||7||8||8||8||31 (safe)|
|9||Foxtrot / "Magic Moments"||8||9||9||8||34 (safe)|
|10||Samba / "Holiday"||6||7||8||5||26 (safe)|
|11||Rock and Roll / "Long Tall Sally"||5||7||7||7||26 (eliminated)|
In May 2002, Cassidy's mother died of bowel cancer. From then on, she became extremely close to her EastEnders co-star Wendy Richard, often referring to her as her "second mum". Richard died of breast cancer in February 2009, which left Cassidy close to a nervous breakdown.
On 16 March 2010, Cassidy announced that she was 12 weeks pregnant with her first child by her boyfriend of nine months, transport manager Adam Cottrell. On 24 September 2010 at 10.21am, Cassidy had a baby girl by caesarean named Eliza Beatrice weighing 8 lb 15oz. On 25 May 2011, Cassidy's boyfriend was charged with two offences of assault and two charges of criminal damage after a row turned physical.
- "Natalie Cassidy puts on weight again". Now Magazine. 6 July 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- "Former queen of lean Natalie Cassidy balloons again after piling on almost four stone". London: Mail Online. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (28 July 2009). "Natalie Cassidy tipped for 'Strictly'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- Sheridan, Emily (25 August 2009). "Natalie Cassidy to battle Martina Hingis and Zoe Lucker on the dance floor as Strictly Come Dancing returns". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- "EASTENDERS: NATALIE'S BACK". Sky. 26 October 2009.
- Green, Kris (25 October 2009). "The Jacksons return to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Cassidy To Get Own Show
- Kilkelly, Daniel (17 December 2010). "Sonia to make one-off 'Enders return". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Loose Women, 13 April 2012
- Hardie, Beth (21 April 2009). "Natalie Cassidy’s near nervous breakdown and more in Mirror.co.uk’s Tuesday gossip-round-up". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- "Natalie Cassidy's Dream Boob Job". Sky News. 23 March 2005. Archived from the original on 30 August 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- "Natalie Cassidy pregnant with her first child | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "Ex-Eastender Natalie Cassidy pregnant with her first child". Metro.co.uk. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "Natalie Cassidy announces pregnancy | Celebrity News". Now Magazine. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "Showbiz - News - Natalie Cassidy announces pregnancy". Digital Spy. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "Natalie Cassidy Announces Her Pregnancy…". Mr Paparazzi. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- "Natalie Cassidy emerges for the first time since fiancé Adam Cottrell's arrest and calms her nerves with a cigarette". Daily Mail (London). 26 May 2011.