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Natalie Cassidy

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Natalie Cassidy
Natalie Cassidy crop.jpg
Born (1983-05-13) 13 May 1983 (age 39)
Islington, London, England
Years active1990–present
Known forRole of Sonia Fowler in EastEnders

Natalie Ann Cassidy (born 13 May 1983)[1] is an English actress. She has played Sonia Fowler in EastEnders since 1993, appeared in the BBC Two sitcom-horror Psychoville and was a contestant on the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing and the ninth series of Celebrity Big Brother.


As a child, Cassidy attended the Anna Scher Theatre.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.

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.[6] 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,[7] Natalie Cassidy: Becoming Mum. On 17 December 2010, it was announced that Cassidy would reprise her EastEnders role in 2011 for a single episode.[8] On 5 January 2012, Cassidy entered Celebrity Big Brother and became the fifth evictee.

In 2012, comedy show Very Important People on Channel 4, 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.[9] In 2014, it was announced that Cassidy had decided to make a permanent return to EastEnders,[10] and with the exception of her maternity leave from 2016 to 2017, she has appeared regularly since.[11]

In August 2020, Cassidy appeared in the BBC comedy series Mandy.[12]

Strictly Come Dancing

In 2009, Cassidy signed up for a series of Strictly Come Dancing, beginning in October.[13] Her professional partner was Vincent Simone and she was voted off the competition in fifth place on 28 November 2009.

Cassidy's Strictly Come Dancing performance
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)

Personal life

Between 2009 and 2013, Cassidy was in an on-off relationship with Adam Cottrell, a transport manager from Bristol. They have a daughter together. In 2011, Cottrell was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work for attacking Cassidy at their home in Hertfordshire.[14] He had earlier pleaded guilty to assault and criminal damage when he appeared at East Hertfordshire Magistrates' Court. Cottrell was also given a restraining order banning him from contacting the actress for two years.[15] They reunited and became engaged, after Cassidy handed Cottrell a "sober up or leave" ultimatum, but they split permanently in 2013.[16]

Since 2014, Cassidy has been in a relationship with cameraman Marc Humphreys. In October 2015, it was announced that the couple were engaged and a few months later on 13 February 2016, Cassidy revealed she was pregnant with her second child.[17] She gave birth to a daughter in August 2016.[18]

In January 2019 it was announced that she would be running the London Marathon with some of her EastEnders co-stars for a Dementia campaign in honour of Barbara Windsor.[19]


Year Title Role Notes
1993–2007, 2010–2011, 2014–present EastEnders Sonia Jackson Series regular
1999 Pudding Lane Sonia Jackson Television film
2006 The Catherine Tate Show Cheerleader Episode: "1951–2006"
2009 Things Talk Sofa/Satsuma Voice only
Psychoville Lorraine 2 episodes
Natalie Cassidy's Real Britain Presenter 6 episodes
2009–2011 Underage and Pregnant Narrator Voice only; 22 episodes
2012 Crime Stories Hannah Stevenson Series 1 Episode 15
2016 EastEnders: The Last Goodbye Sonia Fowler
2020 Mandy Donna Ball Episode: "Broadsword to Donna Ball"
2021 Motherland Ms Vaughn Episode: "School Trip"


  1. ^ Hellomagazine.com. "Natalie Cassidy. Biography, news, photos and videos". hellomagazine.com. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  2. ^ Dimitrova, Atina. "Anna Scher: Legendary Islington theatre teacher (and one-time Gazette writer) looks back on half century of drama". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  3. ^ Live, Teesside; 00:00, 3 Nov 2008Updated17:25 (3 November 2008). "Charlotte Riley becomes star of stage and screen". gazettelive. Retrieved 22 February 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Reynolds, Mark (13 March 2018). "Which weight-loss DVDs are fit for purpose?". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Natalie Cassidy puts on weight again". Now Magazine. 6 July 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  6. ^ Green, Kris (25 October 2009). "The Jacksons return to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  7. ^ "TV Guide". Sky.
  8. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (17 December 2010). "Sonia to make one-off 'Enders return". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Natalie Cassidy...the new face of The Health Lottery". Daily Express. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (6 January 2014). "EastEnders pictures: Carol visits Sonia". Digital Spy.
  11. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (12 February 2016). "'We're expecting!' EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy shares the happy news that she's pregnant". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  12. ^ "This EastEnders LEGEND joins Diane Morgan in BBC comedy Mandy". What's on TV. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  13. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (28 July 2009). "Natalie Cassidy tipped for 'Strictly'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  14. ^ Duncan, Amy (22 June 2011). "Natalie Cassidy's ex Adam Cottrell given two-year restraining order". Metro. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Natalie Cassidy fiance Adam Cottrell sentenced for assault". BBC. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  16. ^ Percival, Ashley (13 May 2013). "Natalie Cassidy Engaged To Abusive Ex Adam Cottrell". Huffington Post. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  17. ^ Cassidy, Natalie (12 February 2016). "Evening all... Time to let everybody know that @cameramarc and I are having a baby in the summer. The three musketeers become four".
  18. ^ Boult, Adam (30 August 2016). "Natalie Cassidy celebrates birth of baby girl". The Telegraph.
  19. ^ "EastEnders stars to run marathon for Dame Barbara Windsor". BBC News. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

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