Sarah-Jane Abigail Lancashire, is an English actress from Oldham, Lancashire. She graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1986 and began her career in local theatre, whilst teaching drama classes at the University of Salford. Lancashire found popular success in television programmes including Coronation Street, Where the Heart Is, Clocking Off and Seeing Red and earned widespread recognition. In July 2000, Lancashire signed a two-year golden handcuffs contract with the ITV network which made her the UK's highest paid television actress. Subsequent television roles include the costume dramas Oliver Twist, Lark Rise to Candleford and The Paradise, the fact based dramas Cherished and Five Daughters. Since 2012, Lancashire has earned extensive critical acclaim for her roles in the contemporary drama series Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley. Lancashire has appeared in the feature films And When Did You Last See Your Father? and Dad's Army, West End theatre productions including Blood Brothers in 1990, Guys and Dolls from 2005 to 2006 and Betty Blue Eyes in 2011.
Her combined acting credits have earned Lancashire a number of awards and nominations over a career spanning four decades, including two British Academy Television Award wins out of five nominations. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to drama. Sarah-Jane Abigail Lancashire was born on 10 October 1964 in Lancashire, her father, Geoffrey Lancashire, was a television scriptwriter noted for his work on the soap opera Coronation Street and situation comedies such as The Cuckoo Waltz. Her mother, worked as Geoffrey's personal assistant, she has one her elder, one younger and a twin. Lancashire was educated at Oldham Hulme Grammar School between 1976-81. At the age of 17, she started to suffer from clinical depression. Lancashire has stated she was never driven by the ideas of status, her background had inspired an initial interest in working behind the scenes in television. She did not give serious thought to the performing arts until the age of 18.
After winning a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Lancashire realised that she enjoyed acting. She graduated in 1986, describing her time as a student there as "tremendous" but "seriously hard work and quite intimidating". After rejection from several repertory theatre companies, Lancashire was given her first acting role by Howard Lloyd-Lewis, artistic director of the Manchester Library Theatre Company, which provided her with an Equity Card. Lancashire performed two plays with the company, Pacific Overtures and The Beauty Game, which she states formed "the start of my career as an actor", she found her first professional acting experience "terrifying" as a result of the live audiences, recalling that, "because I wore a bathing costume in some of the scenes, I got heckled!" She realised that taking risks or underperforming could have had consequences for her acting career. Her role as Denise in The Beauty Game earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards.
At the age of 22, Lancashire married her first serious boyfriend, Gary Hargreaves, a music lecturer 11 years her senior, whom she had met four years earlier. Recalling the circumstances of her first marriage in 2001, Lancashire stated she only married because she became pregnant and possessed both a traditional outlook and a fear of the stigma of having a child out of wedlock. Thomas, her first child with Hargreaves, was born in 1987. During her early career, Lancashire found herself with large breaks between theatre appearances. To support herself financially, she worked as a drama teacher for five years at Salford University alongside her acting work. Discussing Lancashire's time as a visiting lecturer in Acting and Characterisation, Professor Ron Cook, Head of the University's School of Media and Performance, noted that Lancashire made a "significant impact" in the formative stages of the drama department at the University and had directed student productions. In 1987, Lancashire made a brief appearance in Coronation Street as Wendy Farmer, a prospective lodger of series regular Jack Duckworth.
In the late 1980s, she appeared in an episode of the children's anthology series Dramarama, a single episode of the ITV sitcom Watching. In 1990, Lancashire received her "big break" — the role of Linda in a production of Willy Russell's Blood Brothers at the Albery Theatre. Although she enjoyed performing in London's West End, she found it difficult to reconcile the experience with raising two young children in Manchester. Two weeks after finishing her run in Blood Brothers, Lancashire auditioned for the role of new Coronation Street character Raquel Wolstenhulme, a colleague of supermarket employee Curly Watts. Lancashire joined on a three-month contract, continuing to teach at Salford University for another year. Raquel first departed on 10 May. Lancashire had been reserved about Raquel's characterisation, noting that her "acidic side" could have rendered her the "street bitch" had it been embellished, she took care to highlight Raquel's potential, playing against what had been written to make her more comic, evoking audience sympathy.
Between 26 September and 19 October 1991, Lancashire played the title role in an adaption of Educating Rita at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Following Raquel's reintroduction on 30 December 1991, Lancashire committed herself to Coronation St
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Swansea, is a coastal city and county known as the City and County of Swansea in Wales. Swansea lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan and the ancient Welsh commote of Gŵyr on the southwest coast; the county area includes the Gower Peninsula. Swansea is the twenty-fifth largest city in the United Kingdom. According to its local council, the City and County of Swansea had a population of 241,300 in 2014; the last official census stated that the city and urban areas combined concluded to be a total of 462,000 in 2011. During the 19th-century industrial heyday, Swansea was the key centre of the copper-smelting industry, earning the nickname Copperopolis. Archaeological finds in the Swansea area come from the Gower Peninsula, include items from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age; the Romans occupied the area. The two largest rivers in the region are the Tawe which passes through the city centre and the Loughor which marks the northern border with Carmarthenshire; the Welsh name, translates to Mouth of the Tawe.
It first appears c.1150 as Aper Tyui. Swansea is thought to have developed as a Viking trading post, its English name may derive from Sveinn's island – Old Norse: Sveinsey – the reference to an island may refer either to a bank at the mouth of the River Tawe or to an area of raised ground in marshes. An alternative explanation derives the place name from the Norse personal name Sweyn and ey, which can mean "inlet"; this explanation supports the tradition. The name is pronounced Swans-y /ˈswɒnzi/), not Swan-sea; the earliest known form of the modern name, appears in the first charter, granted sometime between 1158 and 1184 by William de Newburgh, 3rd Earl of Warwick. The charter gave Swansea the status of a borough, granting the townsmen certain rights to develop the area. In 1215 King John granted a second charter. A town seal, believed to date from this period names the town as Sweyse. Following the Norman conquest, a marcher lordship was established under the title of Gower, it included land around Swansea Bay as far as the River Tawe, the manor of Kilvey beyond the Tawe, the peninsula itself.
Swansea was designated chief town of the lordship and received a borough charter at some point between 1158 and 1184. From the early 1700s to the late 1800s, Swansea was the world's leading copper-smelting area. Numerous smelters along the River Tawe received copper and other metal ores shipped from Cornwall and Devon, as well as from North and South America and Australia; the industry declined in the late 1800s, none of the smelters are now active. The port of Swansea traded in wine, wool, cloth and in coal. After the invention of the reverbatory furnace in the late 1600s, copper smelting was able to use coal rather than more-expensive charcoal. At the same time, the mines of Cornwall were increasing copper production. Swansea became the ideal place to smelt the Cornish copper ores, being close to the coalfields of South Wales and having an excellent port to receive ships carrying Cornish copper ore; because each ton of copper ore smelted used about three tons of coal, it was more economical to ship the copper ore to Wales rather than send the coal to Cornwall.
The first copper smelter at Swansea was established followed by many more. Once smelting was established, the smelters began receiving high-grade ore and ore concentrates from around the world. More coal mines opened to meet demand from northeast Gower to Llangyfelach. In the 1850s Swansea had more than 600 furnaces, a fleet of 500 oceangoing ships carrying out Welsh coal and bringing back metal ore from around the world. At that time most of the copper matte produced in the United States was sent to Swansea for refining.. Smelters processed arsenic, zinc and other metals. Nearby factories produced pottery; the Swansea smelters became so adept at recovering gold and silver from complex ores that in the 1800s they received ore concentrates from the United States, for example from Arizona in the 1850s, Colorado in the 1860s. The city expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries, was termed "Copperopolis". From the late 17th century to 1801, Swansea's population grew by 500%—the first official census indicated that, with 6,099 inhabitants, Swansea had become larger than Glamorgan's county town and was the second most populous town in Wales behind Merthyr Tydfil.
However, the census understated Swansea's true size, as much of the built-up area lay outside the contemporary boundaries of the borough. Swansea's population was overtaken by Merthyr in 1821 and by Cardiff in 1881, although in the latter year Swansea once again surpassed Merthyr. Much of Swansea's growth was due to migration from within and beyond Wales—in 1881 more than a third of the borough's population had been born outside Swansea and Glamorgan, just under a quarter outside Wales. Copper smelting at Swansea declined in the late 1800s for a number of reasons. Copper mining in Cornwall declined; the price of copper dropped from £112 in 1860 to £35 in the 1890s. In the early 1900s, mining shifted to lower-grade copper deposits in North and South America, the lower-grade ore could not support transportation to Swansea; the Swansea and Mumbles Railway was built in 1804 to move limestone from
Josephine Grace Brand is an English comedian and actress. Starting her entertainment career with a move from psychiatric nursing to the alternative comedy stand-up scene and early performances on Saturday Live, she went on to appear on The Brain Drain, Channel 4's Jo Brand Through the Cakehole, Getting On and various television appearances including as a regular guest on QI, Have I Got News for You and Would I Lie to You?. She makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 4 in programmes such as The News Quiz and Just A Minute, she is the presenter of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. In 2003, Brand was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. Brand was born in Wandsworth and grew up in Hastings, East Sussex, her mother was a social worker and her father was a structural engineer. Brand is the middle of three children, with two brothers; when she was about four, the family moved to the village of St Mary's Platt near Sevenoaks in Kent, a year to Benenden. Brand was educated at St Mary's Platt Primary School, Benenden Village Primary School, Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School until the age of 16, Hastings High School for Girls and Bexhill College.
After working in a pub, for Barnardo's and as a nursing assistant in a residential unit for adults with learning disabilities she took a joint social science degree with a Registered Mental Nurse qualification at Brunel University. She worked as a psychiatric nurse for ten years, at the South London Bethlem hospital, Cefn Coed Hospital in Swansea and Maudsley Hospital in south London. Brand was persuaded by agent Malcolm Hardee to begin a career in stand-up comedy, where she acquired the stage name the "Sea Monster", she was part of the British alternative comedy movement, working in London alternative comedy clubs in the mid-1980s, appearing on the Saturday Live television show. She shared a flat with fellow comedy club owner Ivor Dembina. Brand's early style involved her delivering jokes in a bored monotone, one line at a time, with pauses in between, it drew from pop culture and the media, with many jokes containing references to celebrities and public figures. Brand has said that she drank before her first gig, was heckled throughout, received no applause at the end of the set.
Her Doc Marten boots, large size and short hair led to false rumours. In 2007 Brand narrated Laughter & Tears: The Les Dawson Story, a documentary tribute to Les Dawson, broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in October 2007. In 2010 Brand took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London on 30 March. Brand played the Demon Dinner Lady in the 2011 British live-action film Horrid Henry the Movie, she provided a voiceover for the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre's 2011 pantomime Aladdin. In August 2015 Brand judged the first Class Clowns competition at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, she announced the winner at the Gilded Balloon on the night. Brand has written a feature-film adaptation to her novel The More, she will star in the film. In 1993 Brand became a resident panellist, along with Tony Hawks, on BBC monologue show The Brain Drain, her transition into mainstream television continued when she starred in her own series on Channel 4, Jo Brand Through the Cakehole, co-written with comedy writer Jim Miller, her main stand-up writer.
Brand has had several solo television series, presented shows such as Jo Brand's Commercial Breakdown. She had a cameo appearance in a 1994 episode of Absolutely Fabulous entitled "New Best Friend", appeared on Star Spell, a spin-off from Hard Spell in 2004, her television success continued with guest appearances on shows such as Have I Got News for You and QI, to the extent where she became the most appearing guest on the latter, appearing in a total of 34 episodes. As a fan of Countdown, Brand achieved an ambition when she was invited to appear in the show's "Dictionary Corner" as the celebrity guest, she became a friend of the host, Richard Whiteley, after his death in 2005 attended his memorial service at York Minster. She has appeared on Countdown as a Dictionary Corner guest 88 times. In 2004 Brand appeared in a special episode of What Not to Wear, where fashion gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine gave her a makeover. On 25 March 2007 Brand appeared on Play It Again, where she was required to learn how to play the organ in just four months.
This was in preparation to perform Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for an audience of 8,000 people at London's Royal Albert Hall on the second largest pipe organ in the United Kingdom. In order to practise her performance, she played Dear Lord and Father of Mankind – a favourite hymn of hers at a church service in her former village church in Benenden and accompanied dancers at Blackpool Tower. Prior to this, her only experiences with musical instruments had been childhood piano and violin lessons. Brand took part in the first celebrity version of Comic Relief Does Fame Academy. In 2007 she appeared. In 2009 she participated in Let's Dance for Comic Relief, another Comic Relief fundraiser, dancing as Britney Spears, reaching the final, she has been a judge on the show. In January 2013 Brand took part in a special Comic Relief series of The Great British Bake Off. Brand has been a fill-in host on The One Show. Brand co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in the BBC Four sitcom Getting On opposite Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine, for which she won the 2011 Best TV Comedy Actress BAFTA award.
The series, directed by Peter Capaldi and Sue
Bridgend is a town in Bridgend County Borough in Wales, 20 miles west of the capital Cardiff and 20 miles east of Swansea. The river crossed by the original bridge, which gave the town its name, is the River Ogmore, but the River Ewenny passes to the south of the town. A part of Glamorgan, Bridgend has expanded in size since the early 1980s – the 2001 census recorded a population of 39,429 for the town and the 2011 census reported that the Bridgend Local Authority had a population of 139,200 — up from 128,700 in 2001; this 8.2% increase was the largest increase in Wales except for Cardiff. The town is undergoing a redevelopment project, with the town centre pedestrianised and ongoing works including Brackla Street Centre redevelopment to Bridgend Shopping Centre, Rhiw Car Park redevelopment, ongoing public realm improvements and the upgrade of the Bridgend Life Centre and demolition of Sunnyside offices to accommodate a large retirement complex. Several prehistoric burial mounds have been found in the vicinity of Bridgend, suggesting that the area was settled before Roman times.
The A48 between Bridgend and Cowbridge has a portion, known locally as "Crack Hill", a Roman road and the'Golden Mile' where it is believed Roman soldiers were lined up to be paid. The Vale of Glamorgan would have been a natural low-level route west to the Roman fort and harbour at Neath from settlements in the east like Cardiff and Caerleon. In the decades after the Norman conquest of Anglo-Saxon England in 1066, the Normans looked westwards to create new seats for lords loyal to William the Conqueror. Groups of Norman barons arrived in Wales, in the south and east created what would become the Welsh Marches, while the north and west remained unconquered due to the harsh terrain. At Coity, the local Welsh chieftain Morgan Gam had a stronghold. Sometime in the 11th century, Norman Lord Payn de Turberville approached Morgan to turn over control of Coity Castle to Turberville. Morgan Gam agreed, on condition that Turberville either fought Morgan for the land, or took Gam's daughter Sybil's hand in marriage.
Turberville married Sybil and became Lord of Coity, rebuilt the castle. Newcastle Castle and Ogmore Castle were built by Robert Fitzhamon and William de Londres, respectively. About 2 miles north-east of Ogmore Castle, Maurice de Londres founded the fortified Benedictine Ewenny Priory in 1141; these three castles provided a "defensive triangle" for the area — a quadrilateral if Ewenny Priory is included. Bridgend developed at a ford on the River Ogmore, on the main route between east and west Wales. Just north of the town is the confluence of three rivers, the Ogmore, the Llynfi, the Garw. South of Bridgend, the River Ewenny flows into the Bristol Channel. In the 15th century, a stone bridge was built as a permanent connection between the two sides of the Ogmore; this bridge had four arches, but in the 18th century, a massive flood washed two of them away. The rest of the bridge still stands and remains a focal point of the town: aesthetic restoration took place in 2006. Bridgend grew into an agricultural town.
It became a status it retained until the late 20th century. The discovery of coal in the South Wales Valleys north of Bridgend had a massive impact on the town; the first coal mining operations opened north of Bridgend in the 17th century. Bridgend itself never had coal deposits and remained a market town for some time, but the valleys of the three rivers grew into an important part of the South Wales coalfields. Ironworks and brickworks were established in the same period by John Bedford, although the ironworks faltered after his death and ceased operating in 1836; the Great Western Railway arrived and Bridgend was at the junction between the main London to Fishguard line and the branch to the three valleys. Frequent coal trains took coal down the valleys. Several quarries opened around Bridgend town centre. An engine works was opened in the town and a larger farmers' market opened in the town centre, where it remained until the 1970s. In 1801, the population of what is now Bridgend County was around 6000.
By the beginning of the 20th century this had risen to 61,000. By this time Bridgend was a bustling market town with prosperous valleys to the north, a thriving community and good links to other towns and cities. In the Second World War, Bridgend had a prisoner of war camp at Island Farm and a large munitions factory at Waterton, as well as a large underground munitions storage base at Brackla; this was an overspill of the Royal Woolwich. At its peak, the arsenal had many of them women. Large numbers of them were transported by bus from the valleys; the factory complex had three sites in Bridgend, all linked together by a large network of railways. Many reminders of the factory sites remain to this day - Brackla Ordnance Site. In March 1945, 87 POWs from Island Farm escaped through a tunnel. While Bridgend was as important during the war as any other part of Wales, although it was photographed by the Luftwaffe, it was never blitzed, although the area around Bridgend did suffer bombing ra