Susan Tully

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Susan Tully
Born (1967-10-20) 20 October 1967 (age 49)
Highgate, London, England
Occupation television producer
actress (former)
Years active 1981–1999 (Actress)
1998–present (Director)

Susan Tully (born 20 October 1967 in Highgate, London) is an English television producer, director and former actress.

Her most prominent television roles are those of single mother Michelle Fowler in the BBC soap opera EastEnders and rebellious teenager Suzanne Ross in Grange Hill. Tully played one of EastEnders' original characters, appearing in the first episode on 19 February 1985 and remaining central to the series until 1995. Tully then gave up acting to work behind the camera and has directed and produced British television programmes since then. She appeared as herself in the 2011 documentary Anna about her drama teacher Anna Scher.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tully's father was a watch-case maker, her mother a housewife, and she was brought up on a London council estate.[2]

She attended school in Barnsbury, Islington. While at school she took up acting as a hobby and attended the Anna Scher children's theatre, which turned out to be a fast track into television work.[2]


At the age of nine Tully hosted the live television children's programme, Our Show, and later worked on The Saturday Banana with Bill Oddie.[3] She was then cast in the BBC children's television serial Grange Hill. She played schoolgirl Suzanne Ross for three years (1981–1984). She had left Grange Hill and was about to go to sixth form college when she got her next big acting break.

At the age of 16, Tully secured a major role in the BBC's new soap opera EastEnders. She played Michelle Fowler from the show's inception in 1985 to 1995. During her time on the show, her character became pregnant at the age of 16 after having an affair with the 39-year-old adulterer Den Watts. In December 2016, EastEnders recast the role of Michelle Fowler to actress Jenna Russell after Tully repeatedly turned down offers to return. The show's executive producer, Sean O'Connor has said that Tully gave her blessing for the recast to take place.[4]

In the late 1990s, Tully began concentrating on directing for television (credited as "Sue Tully"). Shows of which she has directed episodes include EastEnders, London's Burning, 55 Degrees North (2004), The Bill (1999–2004), Funland (2005), Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007), Lark Rise to Candleford (2009), Silent Witness (2010), Stella (2012), Good Cop (2012), Getting On (2009-2012), Truckers (2013), Puppy Love (2014) and The A Word (2016).

Personal life[edit]

Tully is a supporter of The Meningitis Trust and she has also been involved in the Comic Relief fundraising event. She is close friends with Letitia Dean, who played her best friend Sharon Watts in EastEnders.[5] Tully was a bridesmaid at Dean's wedding to Jason Pethers in 2002.[6][not in citation given]


  1. ^ "Anna" (2011). IMDB.
  2. ^ a b "After 10 years as TV's most famous single mother, Susan Tully now craves an escape from soap megastardom - and a bit of adventure", The Independent. 29 October 1995. Accessed 2007-03-14.
  3. ^ Kingsley, Hilary (1990). The EastEnders Handbook. BBC books. ISBN 0-685-52957-6. 
  4. ^ "Jenna Russell reveals she was 'very scared' at taking Michelle Fowler role in EastEnders". What' s on TV. 2016-12-26. Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  5. ^ "LIFE AFTER SHARON", Sunday Mirror. URL last accessed on 2006-09-18.
  6. ^ "EastEnd Letitia's diamond geezer", Sunday Mirror. URL last accessed on 2006-09-18.

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