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9 April 1970
Kirkby, Lancashire, England
|Other names||Trisha Penrose|
|Occupation||Actress, television presenter, singer|
|Spouse(s)||Mark Simpkin (m. 2003–present)|
Patricia "Tricia" Penrose (born 9 April 1970) is an English actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Gina Ward in ITV1's long-running 1960s drama Heartbeat, a role she played continuously from 1993 to 2010. She has also appeared on The Royal, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Boon, Justice, Fort Boyard, The Bill and Dancin' Thru the Dark.
Penrose was born in Kirkby, Lancashire. Although primarily focused on her acting career, she has also had an interest in the music industry, releasing two singles – "Where Did Our Love Go?" (1996, UK No. 71) and "Don't Wanna Be Alone" (2000, UK No. 44). In 2002, she reached the final of A Song for Europe (the competition to select the UK's Eurovision Song Contest entry) but did not win. In 2004, however, she won a Christmas edition of the ITV show Stars in Their Eyes, performing as Brenda Lee and singing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". She has also sung a number of times on Heartbeat. In 2006 she signed a contract with the show, said to be worth £100,000. The final series of Heartbeat aired in 2009–10. In 2001, Penrose appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.
In 2007, Penrose came second in the third series of Comic Relief Does Fame Academy on BBC1, beaten by Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. In 2008 she released an aerobics DVD. In July 2010, she was a contestant on the BBC programme Celebrity MasterChef, but she was eliminated at the first hurdle after serving up uncooked liver.
Penrose appeared in the ITV programme Sing If You Can in May 2011 in order to help raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity. As of November 2011, Penrose has become a client of Urban Associates, a UK independent personal management and PR agency. She is married to TV presenter Mark Simpkin, with two sons, Jake (born 10 September 2003), and Freddy Jay (born 8 August 2008). She has an older brother called Paul and a long-lost sister Julie, whom she met for the first time only in 2001.
In January 2013, she appeared as a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother 11. As part of Big Brother's task, she was initially chosen to enter the main luxury house instead of the basement. Penrose was evicted in a semi-final double eviction, alongside Frankie Dettori on Day 21. In September 2014 she appeared on ITV programme Who's Doing the Dishes?, preparing a prawn cocktail starter, roast beef dinner and berry meringue, even with the Heartbeat clues the guests didn't guess their celebrity chef. In 2015 she appeared in Big Star's Little Star with her son Freddy.