Jennie Elizabeth McAlpine (born 12 February 1984) is a British television actress, comedian and businesswoman. She is best known for her role as Fiz Brown in the soap opera Coronation Street. She also took part in season 17 of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2017, where she came in fourth place.
Jennie Elizabeth McAlpine
12 February 1984
Bury, Greater Manchester, England
|Television||Coronation Street (2001–)|
Chris Farr (m. 2017)
McAlpine was born and bred in Bury. She is of Scottish and Irish descent, with a grandfather from County Kerry and a grandmother from County Sligo. As a young girl she used to put on shows on the patio for the neighbours, charging them 50 pence apiece. She did song and dance routines, copying groups like Bananarama.
Her father Thomas McAlpine worked in mental health and was awarded the OBE for services to mental healthcare; he died in March 2017. With his encouragement she took up amateur dramatics at the age of eight, when father and daughter appeared together in a pantomime by the Bury Parish Players. She was the fairy and he was the dame. As a teenager she joined the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop. McAlpine's parents separated when she was young after which she lived with her father. She has a brother, Thomas McAlpine (b. 1971).
She had a difficult time at school and did not like teachers:
|“||My reports always said I talked too much and made me think I was crap. I wasn't in the popular group at school and I didn't especially get on with the girls. All through school I was going for parts. They wouldn't give me time off for the auditions, so I used to end up wagging it.||”|
McAlpine's big break came in 1997 when, at the age of 13, she did comedy in London and came second in a Young Comedian of the Year competition run by Fanta. At the grand final at the Comedy Store in London she met TV presenter Jonathan Ross and comedian Peter Kay, and was so inspired that she entered a second time in 1998, finishing second again. She spent four years (1997–2001) doing stand-up comedy at charity nights, galas and pub nights with her father in Bury.
McAlpine played Michelle Morley in Emmerdale from 1999 to 2001. After leaving school she enrolled in her local college, Holy Cross, and began studying for A-levels. At the age of 17 she auditioned for the part of Fiz Brown on Coronation Street, a role she has played since 2001. McAlpine auditioned for the role with her arm in a sling, after dislocating her shoulder in a fall two days earlier. She drew inspiration for Fiz from her father's work with troubled children. She was originally hired for just five episodes, and went back to studying for her A-levels and working part-time in Boots The Chemist. However her comic timing had so impressed Coronation Street producers that they offered her a long-term contract.
In 2008, McAlpine went to South Africa to film Coronation Street: Out of Africa.
In November 2010, Jennie appeared as a guest panellist on ITV's flagship show Loose Women, in celebration of the 50 Years that Coronation Street has been on air.
In November and December 2016, Jennie covered for Becky Want on BBC Radio Manchester. In 2017, McAlpine was confirmed to be taking part in season 17 of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. She finished in 4th place after spending 21 days in the jungle.
|“||I'm very proud of my Scottish roots and definitely love coming up to Scotland. When I'm in England I really stand out because of my red hair but when I come up to Scotland I feel normal because there are so many people with my colouring. I definitely feel different having red hair, but in a good way. Even though I may sound it, I am no way English. My granddad Alan was Scottish and my grandmother was Irish. My other granddad was born in England but his parents were Scottish.||”|
Since the age of 17, McAlpine has devoted her spare time to helping deprived children in Egypt through the Thebes Project in Luxor. She has also opened a restaurant in Manchester city centre, Annie's, with her boyfriend Chris Farr. The restaurant serves modern British cuisine.
|2001–present||Coronation Street||Fiz Brown|
|2008||Coronation Street: Out of Africa|
|2010, 2015, 2017||Loose Women||Guest panellist||3 episodes|
|2017||I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!||Contestant||Series 17|
Game show appearances
- Who Wants to be a Millionaire (16 August 2008) – won £50,000 for charity
- The Cube (2 January 2011) – won £1,000 for Mood Swings
- All Star Family Fortunes (11 September 2010)
- The Chase (16 September 2012) – won £15,750 for Mood Swings
- All Star Mr & Mrs (22 May 2013)
- Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (28 July 2013) – won £6,700 for Mood Swings
- Pointless Celebrities (30 November 2013)
- All Star Family Fortunes (28 December 2013) – on the Coronation Street team, won £30,000 for Mood Swings and The Albert Kennedy Trust
- Countdown (8 – 12 February 2016) – Dictionary Corner
- You're Back in the Room (9 April 2016)
|2002||The British Soap Awards||'Best Newcomer'||Won|
|2008||TV Quick Awards||'Best Soap Actress'||Nominated|
- Rick Fulton, 'Fiz: I'm a Flaming Scot', Scottish Daily Record (21 March 2008), p. 24.
- Sue Crawford, 'Interview – Jennie McAlpine – Stand up and deliver', Daily Mirror (11 August 2001), p. 11.
- Claire Donnelly, 'Fiz Is the Biz' Daily Mirror (2 February 2005)
- Jon Peake, 'Soaper troupers', The Sun (18 May 2002), The TV Mag, p. 17.
- "Coronation Street spoiler: Jennie McAlpine to leave as Fiz faces family tragedy". HOLA. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- "Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine marries her partner Chris Farr in a secret ceremony". The Sun. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Jennie McAlpine on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
- Crawford, Sue (27 November 2005). "People.co.uk – Archive – Other – CARE-ONATION STREET". The People. Retrieved 25 June 2011.