Simone Lahbib

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Simone Lahbib
Simone Nicole Jean Lahbib Ould Cheikl

(1965-02-06) 6 February 1965 (age 54)
Stirling, Scotland
Years active1985–present
Notable work
London Bridge (1996–97)
Bad Girls (1999–2001)
Monarch of the Glen (2004)
Wire in the Blood (2006–07)
Spouse(s)Raffaello Degruttola (2003-)

Simone Lahbib (/ləˈbb/; born 6 February 1965)[1] is a Scottish actress. She is best known for her portrayal of idealistic Wing Governor and later Governing Governor Helen Stewart in the ITV1 drama Bad Girls.

Early life[edit]

Born Simone Nicole Jean Lahbib Ould Cheikl[2] on 6 February 1965 in Stirling, Scotland, to a Scottish mother and a French Algerian father. She received her acting training at Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh after four years at The Manor School of Ballet in Edinburgh. One of her first performances was playing the part of Cathy in Wuthering Heights in rep at the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh.


Lahbib commenced her on-screen career in 1985 when she was cast in The Girl in the Picture, a film set in Glasgow directed by Cary Parker. Having appeared in very few films throughout her career, Lahbib established a more prominent career within television. Following guest appearances on well-known television dramas such as Taggart and Dangerfield, she received her first leading role when she was cast in the ITV soap opera London Bridge as Mary O'Connor who first appeared in a notable and controversial storyline in which her character is raped by a stalker. Her next roles came in 1997 when she appeared in the third and final series police drama series Thief Takers, and in 1998 in the short-lived comedy series The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star.

It was not until 1999 that Lahbib became widely recognized for her leading role in the cult British prison drama series Bad Girls, for which she played Helen Stewart, the new G-wing governor who tries to help the prisoners and make G-wing a better place, although, she doesn't receive the help she expects for the officers, she enlists the help of prisoner Nikki Wade and from there a personal relationship develops. Lahbib appeared in Bad Girls until the end of the third series when Helen and Nikki eventually get together following Nikki's release from prison. For her role as Helen Stewart, Lahbib has established a loyal fan base throughout the world, especially among the lesbian community. Following her departure from Bad Girls, Lahbib has appeared in several drama series including Judge John Deed and Monarch of the Glen and was again cast in a leading role on the crime drama series Wire in the Blood as D.I. Alex Fielding. She appeared in the role from series four to series six when the series was cancelled. Lahbib's other television credits include guest appearances in New Tricks and Downton Abbey.

Following her 1985 film debut, Lahbib did not appear in a feature film until 2005's Red Mercury, with Stockard Channing, and from 2013, she has frequently been appearing in films such as the award-winning Philomena, with Judi Dench, Wayward's Song, Film: The Movie, which was directed by her husband, Raffaello Degruttola, as well as being co-produced by herself and the 'making of' of the film was also produced by Lahbib. She will appear in the upcoming film Detour.

In 2013 Lahbib opened a part-time performing arts school 360 Arts in North London, which teaches singing, dancing and acting to children aged 3-18 years at the Bull Theatre in Barnet.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Lahbib married British-Italian actor Raffaello Degruttola on 10 May 2003 in her hometown of Stirling, Scotland. In October 2005, she gave birth to their daughter, Skye.[1] In 2010, Lahbib established the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund in honour of her niece who died of cancer on 25 March 2010, nine days before her 16th birthday. The charity fund will benefit children with cancer and their families.[5]


Year Title Role Directed by Notes
1985 The Girl in the Picture The Girl Cary Parker
2005 Red Mercury Janet Roy Battersby
2013 Philomena Kate Sixsmith Stephen Frears
2013 Wayland's Song June Richard Jobson
2014 Film: The Movie Alex Kingston Raffaello Degruttola Additionally served as co-producer and producer in "making of"
TBA Detour Astrid Petruce David Goodall
Year Title Role Notes
1992 Taggart Caroline Peterson Series 7, Episode 1 - "Nest of Vipers"
1994 Crime Story Monika Stedul Series 2, Episode 5 - "Stedul: The Yugoslav Hitman"
1995 Taggart Sarah Stevenson Series 11, Episode 1 - "Prayer for the Dead"
1996 Dangerfield Joanne Elland Series 3, Episode 10 - "Inside Out"
1996 The Witch's Daughter Zelda TV movie
1996–97 London Bridge Mary O'Connor Series 1 & 2 - 58 episodes
1997–98 Thief Takers DC Lucy McCarthy Series 3 - 8 episodes
1998 The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star Fiona Johnstone 6 episodes
1999–2001 Bad Girls Helen Stewart Leading role
Series 1–3 - 31 episodes
2002 Judge John Deed Carol Hayman Series 2, Episode 7 - "Abuse of Power"
Series 2, Episode 8 - "Nobody's Fool"
2003 Family Jacqueline Cutler TV mini-series
2004 Fallen DCI Kate Gunning TV movie
2004 Monarch of the Glen Isobel Anderson Series 6 - 10 episodes
2005 Heartless Amanda MacNaughton TV movie
2006–08 Wire in the Blood DI Alex Fielding Series 4–6 - 17 episodes
2010 Single-Handed Gemma Burge Series 4 - 6 episodes
2012 New Tricks Sarah Powell Series 9, Episode 7 "Dead Poets"
2012 Downton Abbey Wilkins Christmas Special: "A Journey to the Highlands"
2017 The Loch Mhari Toner Series - 3 episodes
Additional credits
  • Long Haul (2000 short film)
  • Call Me ... Holly (2004 short film)
  • Ark (2008 short film)
  • Zip 'n Zoo ... Marion (2008 short film)
  • The Other Side of My Sleep ... Maria (2010 short film)
  • Divinity: Dragon Commander ... Aida (2013 video game)
  • As He Lay Falling ... Bronte (2014 short film)


  1. ^ a b "Simone Lahbib Net - Online since 2001, Official site for Simone Lahbib, Scottish Actress". Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Simone Lahbib - IMDB". Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  3. ^ "360 Arts – Dance Classes Hendon | Performing Arts School London". Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Bad girls actor to lead new performing arts school in North London". The Stage News. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Back brave Eilidh's lasting legacy". Stirling Observer. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2012.

External links[edit]