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Vicki Michelle

Vicki Michelle in 2014
Born
Michelle Vicki Nathan

(1950-12-14) 14 December 1950 (age 70)
Chigwell, Essex, England [1]
Alma materAida Foster Theatre School
Occupation
  • Actress
  • radio presenter
  • businesswoman
  • film producer
Years active1968–present
Television'Allo 'Allo! (1982–92)
Emmerdale (2007-09)
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (2014)
Spouse(s)
Graham Fowler
(m. 1974)
Children1
RelativesAnn Michelle (sister)
Websitehttp://www.vickimichelle.co.uk/

Vicki Michelle, MBE (born 14 December 1950) is an English actress, radio presenter, businesswoman, film producer and former model. She is best known for her role as Yvette Carte-Blanche in the BBC television comedy series 'Allo 'Allo! and as a recurring character Patricia Foster in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. In 2014, she appeared on the fourteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.

Early life

The eldest of four daughters, Michelle was born in Chigwell, Essex. Her father Joseph was a fish trader at Billingsgate Fish Market and her mother Shirley an actress. One of her sisters is the actress and writer Ann Michelle. While her parents were at work, they employed an au-pair girl to look after Michelle and her three sisters; the girl they employed was future Hollywood actress Elke Sommer.[2] Michelle attended Knewnham Junior School in Wanstead and then West Hatch High School. After O-levels she stayed on at school to complete a secretarial course. Hoping to become a ballet dancer she joined the Aida Foster stage school.

Acting career

Michelle on tour in 'Allo 'Allo! in 1986
Michelle on tour in 'Allo 'Allo! in 1986

Michelle was given small television roles while still at stage school, the first being in Dixon of Dock Green. She followed this with a role in the play Play It Again, Sam with Dudley Moore in the West End from 1969 to 1970. Michelle then had three separate female-lead roles in three different episodes of Softly, Softly: Task Force and appeared as Terry Collier's girlfriend in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? in 1974. She also had a starring role alongside her sister Ann in the horror film Virgin Witch (1972) before appearing with Joan Collins in Alfie Darling (1975), the sequel to Alfie (1966). Michelle then appeared in big-screen versions of popular English sitcoms The Likely Lads (1976) as a hitch-hiker with Penny Irving and George and Mildred (1980) as a girl in bed with the vicar. She also appeared regularly in the 1970s children's BBC TV series Crackerjack. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Michelle worked as a glamour model and a pin-up model.

Following a small role in Space: 1999, Michelle starred in the films Queen Kong (1976), The Sentinel (1977) and Spectre with John Hurt before appearing in an episode of The Goodies as a nurse. In 1976, she had a role in the popular The Two Ronnies sketch "The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town". In 1978, Michelle starred in the film The Greek Tycoon opposite Anthony Quinn; Michelle's role was initially larger than that in the finished film as Quinn personally asked the producers to reduce the size of Michelle's part thinking that her good looks and bright costume would detract the audience's attention from him.[3] After this, Michelle had a small role as a French robot maid in the sitcom Come Back Mrs. Noah which was written by David Croft and played Bodie's girlfriend in an episode of the hard-hitting police drama The Professionals. Following a part in Minder, Michelle had a regular role as Sandra, Les Dawson's secretary, in the comedy sketch show The Dawson Watch from 1979 to 1980. In 1980, she had a recurring role in another famous The Two Ronnies sketch in which she played a state policewoman under the rule of a dystopian female leader played by Diana Dors.

Although the late sixties and seventies gave her success, Michelle gained significant attention, particularly in Ireland, after appearing as Sally O'Brien in a string of high-profile adverts for Harp Lager in the early 1980s. The slogan "Sally O'Brien and the way she might look at you" became synonymous with the company and brought Michelle to viewers' attention. There was a small outcry when it was revealed that the actress that played Sally O'Brien was in fact English, not Irish. Following on from this success, Michelle played the part of Millie in Priest of Love (1981) alongside Ava Gardner, John Gielgud and Ian McKellen before appearing in a second episode The Professionals, in which she played Tina, the girlfriend of a organised crime boss played by John Junkin in the episode The Untouchables.

However, Michelle's big break was when she was offered the part of Yvette Carte-Blanche in the popular BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, produced and written by David Croft. Croft had remembered Michelle playing the French maid robot in an episode of his previous sitcom Come Back Mrs. Noah and offered her the role. Michelle played Yvette in all eighty-five episodes of the series from 1982 to 1992 as well as reprising the role in numerous stage plays based on the series. Although she was achieving high success, Michelle maintained a successful acting career alongside 'Allo, 'Allo!, and had roles in The Last Days of Pompeii, Cannon and Ball, The Little and Large Show and two episodes of the successful department store sitcom Are You Being Served? which was also written by David Croft. Michelle also appeared as Betty, a Cockney barmaid, in three episodes of The Kenny Everett Television Show. In 1985, Michelle toured in a production of Doctor in the House with Robin Askwith, Frazer Hines and Windsor Davies.

Throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Michelle appeared alongside some of the UK's most famous and favourite comedians such as Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett, Les Dawson, Dick Emery, Kenny Everett, Cannon and Ball, Little and Large, Ken Dodd, Bobby Davro and Lenny Henry.

After 'Allo, 'Allo! ended in 1992, Michelle went straight into another main role in Noel's House Party as Noel Edmonds's man-eating neighbour. She would play this role until 1997, wherein she had a guest role in two episodes of Gayle's World playing a fictional version of herself as a leader of a group of leather-clad women bearing whips named the Killer Bimbos. In 1996, Michele played Lucy Westenra in a production of Dracula alongside Leslie Grantham in the title role. After having a part in the comedy film The Colour of Funny in 1999, Michelle auditioned for the role of Deedee Dove, the wife of Ray Winstone in the film Sexy Beast (2000). Although unsuccessful, as the role went to Amanda Redman, Winstone would remembered Michelle. In 2001, Michelle played Miss Hannigan in a touring production of Annie; she would reprise the role in various tours of the production in 2005 and 2007.

Remembering her from when she auditioned for Sexy Beasts, Ray Winstone cast Michelle as his wife in the somewhat controversial television film All in the Game in 2006. Also starring in the film were Idris Elba and Danny Dyer who played the part of Michelle and Winstone's son. In 2007 Michelle reprised the role of Yvette Carte-Blanche in The Return of 'Allo 'Allo! celebrating twenty five years since the show was first broadcast. From 2007 to 2009, Michelle played the recurring character Patricia Foster in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale.[4] Later in 2007, she appeared in a Children in Need special of Hotel Babylon and, the following year, appeared on the BBC cookery programme Celebrity MasterChef. From 2008 to 2009, Michelle went on tour with the 'Allo 'Allo! stage show. She played the role of Amanda Newman in the 2010 TV film ''Resentment.

In 2013, she played Deborah Whitton in the 2013 romantic comedy film The Callback Queen. In 2014, Michelle returned to the stage in the hit play Hello Norma Jeane at London's King's Head Theatre, where she took on the role of an Essex grandma who claims to be Marilyn Monroe.[5]

Other ventures

Philanthropy and charity work

Michelle is actively involved in many charities and good causes. She was the longest-serving president of The Heritage Foundation and is the current president of the eastern region of the Lady Taveners. As well as being a member of the Grand Order Of Lady Ratlings, Michelle is also an ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy, the SSAFA, Wetnose Animal Aid, Homeless Worldwide and a patron of the Gordon Craig Theatre, Macmillan Cancer Support, Barnardo's, Age UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Sign2Sing, the Blackfish Academy, the Talent Time Stage School, the Haven House Children's Hospice, the Essex Women's Advisory Group, The Dream Factory and AA Dog Rescue.[6][7] She is also an Executive Committee Member of the Royal Variety Charity.[8] She has also presented the Soldering On Awards since 2016.[9]

Michelle is also a regular campaigner for Ban Trophy Hunting, Acting For Others, the Mane Chance Horse Sanctuary, Autism's Got Talent and also supports the armed forces charities Blind Veterans UK, the RAF Benevolent Fund, Pathfinders and Nowzad Dogs.[10]

Business ventures

In 1992, Michelle and two of her sisters set up a company called Trading Faces, of which Michelle is the company director,[11] which provides celebrity after-dinner speakers for corporate events. Amongst her list of clients are Charles Dance, Joan Collins, Joanna Lumley and Lord Sebastian Coe.[12] The company's website also state that they also provide "film & video production facilities, multi-camera event coverage, CV & biography writing services, promotional & training films, film & TV commercials, press coverage, scriptwriting and product endorsement".[11]

Radio

Michelle has been broadcasting a weekly chat show on Brentwood radio station Phoenix FM since October 2017, with celebrity guests including Rick Wakeman, Harry Redknapp, John Challis, Ray Cooney, Linda Lusardi and Robin Askwith.[13]

Producing

In 2012, Michelle was executive producer of the film based on the Ray Cooney theatrical production Run for Your Wife.[14]

Personal life

Michelle is married to Graham Fowler, a cinematographer, whom she married in 1974.[15] She and Fowler have one daughter, Louise, born in 1989 who is also an actress, known as Louise Michelle.

In September 2015, Michelle was a guest on Big Brother's Bit on the Side and feared she could have been blinded after being hit on the back of the head with a champagne glass thrown by Farrah Abraham during a fight between Abraham and Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace.[16] The show had to be taken off air early and the incident prompted a police investigation. Michelle was hospitalised and suffered from whiplash, concussion and balance issues.[17][18] She later pressed charges.[19]

In 2016, Michelle revealed that she suffers from tinnitus.[20]

Honours

Michelle was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours for her services to charity.[21][22] She was also made a Dame of the Sovereign Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta in 2012.[23][24]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Haunted House of Horror Sally Uncredited
1972 Virgin Witch Betty
1974 Poor Billy Render Carol
1975 Alfie Darling Bird
1975 On the Crest of a Wave Teresa
1976 The Likely Lads Glenys
1976 Queen Kong Crew Girl
1977 The Sentinel Girl on TV
1977 Spectre Maid
1978 The Greek Tycoon Nico's Girlfriend
1980 Sweet William Girl at airport
1980 George and Mildred Bishop's Second Girl
1981 Priest of Love Millie
1985 The Service Call Miss Grimshaw
1999 The Colour of Funny Peggy Lynch
2012 Run for Your Wife Tourist Cameo
2013 The Callback Queen Deborah Whitton
2014 C.O.O.L.I.O.: Time Travel Gangster Mrs. Aznavour
2015 Silent Hours Mary Woodward
2016 No Reasons Dr. Victoria Spencer
2017 Rise of the Footsoldier 3: The Pat Tate Story Susan Daley
2017 Grimaldi: The Funniest Man in the World Mary
2020 The Document: On the Run Nicole Robinson
2021 A Suburban Fairytale Mother Creedon
TBA Cold Sun Dr. Sylvie Peyrec

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1968 Dixon of Dock Green Unknown uncredited
1970 Softly, Softly: Task Force Reen Episode: "Safe in the Streets?"
1971 Softly, Softly: Task Force Rae Episode: "The Floater"
1973 Softly, Softly: Task Force Wanda Harris Episode: "The Loudmouth"
1974 Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? Madelyn Episode: "The Ant and the Grasshopper"
1974 Sporting Scenes Girl Episode: "A Drink Out of the Bottle"
1974 If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have to Invent Them Nurse TV film
1975 World of Laughter Various Episode: #2.6
1976 The Two Ronnies Newspaper Hawker Episode: "The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town"
1976 The Two Ronnies Hughes Episode: #5.6
1976 Space: 1999 Barbara Episode: "The Taybor"
1977 The Dick Emery Show Various Episode: #16.6
1977 The Goodies Nurse Episode: "Rock Goodies"
1978 The Two Ronnies Various Episode: #6.8
1978 Come Back Mrs. Noah The Maid Episode: "The Housing Problem"
1978 The Professionals Jo Episode: "Hunter/Hunted"
1979 The Two Ronnies Miss Featherstone Episode: #7.5
1979–1980 The Dawson Watch Sandra 7 Episodes
1980 Minder Sarah Jane Episode: "Don't Tell Them Willie Boy Was Here"
1980 Fancy Wanders The Reporter 3 Episodes
1980 The Two Ronnies State Policewoman Episode: "The Worm That Turned"
1981 Cannon and Ball Girl in Saloon Bar Episode: #3.3
1981 Kelly Monteith Girl at Gym Episode: #3.3
1982 Don't Rock the Boat Janet Episode: "Combat Fatigue"
1982–1992 'Allo 'Allo! Yvette Carte-Blanche All 85 Episodes
1983 The Professionals Tina Episode: "The Untouchables"
1983 Are You Being Served? C.B. Voice Episode: "Calling All Customers"
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii Priestess of Isis Episode: "Part 2"
1984 Cannon and Ball Maid Marian Episode: #6.3
1985 The Little and Large Show Various Episode: #5.4
1985 Are You Being Served? French Actress Episode: "The Night Club"
1985 The Kenny Everett Television Show Betty 3 Episodes
1986 Bobby Davro on the Box Various Episode: #1.1
1986 Two's Company Elisabeth TV film
1992–1997 Noel's House Party Noel's Neighbour 15 episodes
1997 Gayle's World Vicki 2 Episodes
1998 Lenny Goes to Town Various Episode: "Brighton"
2006 All in the Game Emma TV film
2007 The Return of 'Allo 'Allo! Yvette Carte-Blanche TV film
2007–2009 Emmerdale Patricia Foster 4 Episodes
2007 Hotel Babylon Barmaid Episode: "Children in Need Special"
2010 Resentment Amanda Newman TV film
2011 Doctors Penny Lester Episode: "Whip Hand"
2012 The Mario Rosenstock Show Sally O'Brien Episode: #1.1
2014 AppyEverAftR Veronica TV pilot
2015 Too Close for Comfort Catherine Episode: #1.4
2017 The Keith and Paddy Picture Show Chambermaid Episode: "Ghostbusters"
2020 Barmy Dale Angie Edwards Episode: "Dreaming of a Quiet Christmas"

Reality television

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Celebrity Masterchef Herself Participant/Contestant
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Big Brother's Bit On The Side Herself 7 Episodes
2014 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Herself 21 episodes
2018 Costa Del Celebrity Herself 4 episodes

Theatre

Pantomime

References

  1. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0585053/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
  2. ^ "Ann Michelle Profile". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  3. ^ Take Two: Vicki Michelle
  4. ^ "Vicki Michelle Diary". vickimichelle.co.uk. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  5. ^ "'Allo 'Allo's Vicki Michelle to star as Marilyn Monroe in new play". Digital Spy.
  6. ^ "Vicki Michelle: Charities & Patron".
  7. ^ "Vicki Michelle: MBE & Awards".
  8. ^ "Royal Variety Charity Management". The Royal Variety Charity.
  9. ^ "Strictly's JJ Chalmers and Vicki Michelle MBE announce the third group of winners of the 10th Annual Soldiering on Awards". The Confederation of Services Charities. 9 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Vicki Michelle MBE is our Ambassador for the Family Values Award". Soldering On. 25 May 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Trading Faces: About". Trading Faces. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Trading Faces: Speakers". Trading Faces. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Vicki Michelle's Music Mix on Phoenix FM". Phoenix FM. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Run For Your Wife". Run For Your Wife. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  15. ^ All Star Mr & Mrs. 28 October 2015. ITV.
  16. ^ "'Vicki Michelle 'could have been BLINDED' by live TV CBBBOTS glass 'attack". 30 May 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  17. ^ Powell, Emma (23 September 2015). "Vicki Michelle 'taken to hospital' after huge row erupts between Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace and Farrah Abraham on Big Brother's Bit on the Side". Evening Standard.
  18. ^ Hope, Hannah (7 October 2015). "Vicki Michelle 'still suffering balance problems' after being injured in Celebrity Big Brother brawl". Daily Mirror.
  19. ^ "Vicki Michelle 'pressing charges' against Farrah Abraham after Celebrity Big Brother row". BBC. 24 September 2015.
  20. ^ "'The show must go on': Vicki Michelle on how she's learning to tune out her tinnitus". Home.bt.com. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Queen honours 'Allo 'Allo actress". BBC. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  22. ^ "No. 59446". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2010. p. 16.
  23. ^ "Vicki Michelle: MBE & Awards".
  24. ^ "Vicki Michelle MBE is our Ambassador for the Family Values Award". Soldering On. 25 May 2021.