Debbie Arnold

Debbie Arnold
Born (1955-06-14) 14 June 1955 (age 67)
Sunderland, England[1]
  • Actress
  • voiceover artist
  • producer
(m. 1981; div. 1985)

(m. 1989; div. 2002)
Children2, including Ciara

Debbie Arnold (born 14 June 1955) is an English actress, producer and voice artist.[2] She is known for her portrayal of April Branning in BBC soap opera EastEnders between 1995 and 1996. Arnold has portrayed regular characters in EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Doctors.



She began her career on television, in series such as the BBC comedy The Liver Birds. When she was 18 years old, she was given a job impersonating Marilyn Monroe on Now Who Do You Do?.[3] She then pursued voice roles, specialising in British and American dialects.[4]

In 1978, Arnold was a regular on the ITV gameshow 3-2-1. She has had roles in many television series including: Shoestring, Terry and June, Minder, The Two Ronnies, C.A.T.S. Eyes, Rockliffe's Babies, The Bill, The Russ Abbot Show, The Jim Davidson Show as well as Jim Davidson's sitcom Up the Elephant and Round the Castle, Miss Marple, All Creatures Great and Small, Birds of a Feather, Jonathan Creek, M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team, Footballers' Wives: Extra Time, Holby City, and Doctors, among many others. She has also appeared in features such as Oliver Twist, Minder on the Orient Express and, in 2009, she won an award for best actress starring opposite John Altman in the feature film Photoshoot.

Arnold has also played regular characters in several major British soap operas. She played Sylvie Hicks and Carole Evans in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street, Debbie Wilson in Emmerdale, April Branning in EastEnders, Janice Bolton in Hollyoaks; she also appeared in its spin off, Hollyoaks: In the City.


Her theatre crs include The Sleeping Prince at the Haymarket Theatre in London and the Festival Theatre in Chichester, playing opposite Omar Sharif, for which she won many awards and accolades. Other West End appearances include Hollywood Babylon, Women Behind Bars, Four in a Million, and Last of the Red Hot Lovers at the Strand. She has appeared in many fringe productions and numerous national and international tours. She occasionally appeared in the touring play Seven Deadly Sins Four Deadly Sinners and she toured in the 2010 production of Keeping Up Appearances as Rose.[5]

Other ventures[]

Arnold formed her own production company, Debbie Arnold Productions which has produced various radio and TV productions.

In 2012, she released a self-help book, called The Power of Reinvention.[6]

Arnold is an ambassador for the UK National Bullying Helpline.[7]

Arnold is the creator and founder of The Wonderbirds Show, an online chat show.[8]

Personal life[]

Arnold has been married twice. In 1981, she married the actor John Challis, known for playing Boycie in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses.[9] They divorced in 1985. In 1989, she married the actor David Janson, known for playing Ken Richardson in Get Some In! They have two children together, one of whom is the actress Ciara Janson.[1]

Arnold was one of three women who, following the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, accused the late director Michael Winner of demanding they expose their breasts to him – in Arnold's case during an audition at his home, which the actress refused to do.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b "Sunderland-born actress Debbie Arnold's rise to stardom". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Voicereel". Debbie Arnold. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Debbie Arnold Bio Archived 10 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine", URL. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  4. ^ "Debbie Arnold voice work", URL. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  5. ^ "Keeping Up Appearances Stage Tour". Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Midlife ReinventionThe Power of Reinvention by Debbie Arnold". Fab after Fifty | Information and inspiration for women over 50. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  7. ^ "About the National Bullying Helpline".
  8. ^ "The Amazing Wonderbirds". The Amazing Wonderbirds.
  9. ^ "Debbie Arnold", URL. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  10. ^ Shepherd, Jack (23 October 2017). "Michael Winner: Three actresses say the director demanded to see their naked breasts". The Independent. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Debbie Arnold says Michael Winner asked her to 'expose her breasts' during audition". This Morning. ITV. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2022.

External links[]