Lynda Baron

Lilian Baron (born 24 March 1939),[1] known professionally as Lynda Baron, is an English actress and comedian, best known for playing Auntie Mabel in the BBC children's series Come Outside from 1993 until 1997.

Lynda Baron
Lilian Baron

(1939-03-24) 24 March 1939
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active1958–present
TelevisionOpen All Hours (1976–1985)
Come Outside (1993–1997)
EastEnders (2006–16)
Still Open All Hours (2013–16)
John Lee (m. 1966)

From 1993 to 1997, she played Auntie Mabel in BBC children's programme Come Outside and in 2006, she starred as Linda Clarke in EastEnders, before returning from 2008 to 2009 and again in 2016.

Early life

Baron was born in Urmston, Lancashire. She was originally trained as a dancer at the Royal Academy of Dance.[1] Early in her career, she appeared in repertory theatre and several West End venues.



Baron's early television roles included small parts in Crossroads (1964), Up Pompeii (1970), Z-Cars (1971), and the British horror film Hands of the Ripper (1971). Baron appeared on television in BBC-3 (1965), a series in the vein of That Was The Week That Was, involving some of the same performers. She also alternated with Annie Ross as the resident singer on Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life (1965). Baron has taken part in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who three times. She was heard as a singer in the 1966 serial The Gunfighters. She appeared in front of the cameras as Captain Wrack in the 1983 serial Enlightenment, and again in 2011 in Closing Time as Val.

Baron is best known playing Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the popular BBC sitcom Open All Hours with Ronnie Barker and David Jason which ran for four series in 1976, 1981 to 1982 and in 1985, and was subsequently voted eighth in Britain's Best Sitcom in 2004.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Baron co-starred in the ITV sitcom Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt! and the forgotten BBC sitcom A Roof Over My Head. She had small parts in Minder and Last of the Summer Wine. In 1986, she acted in a party political broadcast for the SDP–Liberal Alliance.[2] Baron also appeared in the 1987 Christmas special of The Two Ronnies. Baron then went on to appear in the BBC Two comedy series KYTV.[3]

In the 1990s, Baron played Auntie Pat in five episodes of the ITV sitcom The Upper Hand (1992–93). Baron then went on to star in the children's television series Come Outside (1993–97) playing Auntie Mabel, an everyday woman living in a bungalow, set in Denham flying round on various adventures in her spotted aeroplane with her dog Pippin.

In 1997, Baron played Renee Turnbull in Coronation Street and took guest roles in Dinnerladies (1998), The Mrs Bradley Mysteries (1998), Sunburn (1999), Nancherrow (1999) and Goodnight Sweetheart (1999).

Baron continued to work regularly on television and the stage in the 2000s, with credits including Fat Friends (2000–2005), The Bill (2000), Doctors (2000, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2014), Peak Practice (2001), Holby City (2002 and 2006), Down to Earth (2005), Rome (2005) and Casualty (2009).

Baron briefly appeared in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders in 2006 as Linda Clarke, the mother of Jane Beale. In September 2008, it was announced that Baron would be returning to EastEnders.[4] She appeared regularly in the series from November 2008 to February 2009. On 8 April 2016, it was announced that Baron would return to the soap once again alongside John Partridge. She appeared on screen in May and June 2016.[5]

In August 2010, Baron appeared in an episode of Agatha Christie's Marple on ITV. In September 2010, Baron appeared in a one-off television drama The Road to Coronation Street on BBC Four, a programme looking back at the early days of the British television soap opera Coronation Street. Baron portrayed actress Violet Carson who played Ena Sharples in the soap.[6] Baron was nominated for the 2011 British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress for this role.

On 26 December 2013, Baron reprised her role in a special one-off episode of Open All Hours on BBC One, entitled Still Open All Hours.[7] It was watched by 12.23 million viewers, almost a 40% share in audience figures on Boxing Day.[8] The following day, Baron took part in Open All Hours: A Celebration, a programme looking back on the sitcom. Following the success of the Christmas episode, the cast made a full series, which began on 26 December 2014. A second series started in December 2015. A third series began in December 2016, but Baron was unable to return because of other commitments.[9] Baron did not appear in the fourth series. It is believed that she has quit the show.[10]

In December 2016 Baron made a guest appearance in a Christmas special of Citizen Khan and in January 2017 she appeared in an episode of Father Brown.


Baron's film appearances include roles in The Small World of Sammy Lee (1963), Hot Millions (1968), Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968), Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969), Tiffany Jones (1973), and the Hammer film Hands of the Ripper (1971) as an ill-fated prostitute. She also appeared in the Barbra Streisand film Yentl (1983), Carry On Columbus (1992), Colour Me Kubrick (2005) and Scoop (2006) directed by Woody Allen.


In 1987, Baron starred in the London production of the musical Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre. In 2007, she starred with Orlando Bloom and Tim Healy in a stage version of In Celebration.[11] In May and June 2009, she appeared at the Menier Chocolate Factory in a production of Rookery Nook by Ben Travers.[12]

From October 2010 to February 2011, Baron starred with Maureen Lipman and Roy Hudd in a West End production of When We Are Married by J.B. Priestley.[13] In March 2013, she appeared in a production of D.H. Lawrence's play The Daughter-in-Law at the Sheffield Crucible.[14] She appeared at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester from April to May 2014 in Stevie by Hugh Whitemore, alongside Zoe Wanamaker and Chris Larkin.[15] Baron again appeared in the play from March to April 2015 at the Hampstead Theatre.[16]

Baron's other theatre credits include An Inspector Calls, Stepping Out, Entertaining Mr Sloane, and The Full Monty.

Other work

In 1995, Baron voiced the character of Nanny Ogg in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of the Discworld novel Wyrd Sisters. In April 2012, Richard Kates released an album entitled There's Something About You, which featured Baron performing the track "A Hard Man is Good to Find".[17] On 11 May 2012, Baron appeared in the Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4, Mrs Lowry and Son, playing the mother of artist LS Lowry.[18]

Personal life

In 1966, Baron married John M. Lee. They have two children, Sarah and Morgan.[19]


1962The Rag TradeJune
1966Doctor WhoSingerEpisode: "The Gunfighters"
1976–1985Open All HoursNurse Gladys Emmanuel25 episodes
1977Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt!Vera Parkinson
1983Last of the Summer WineLilly Bless HerEpisode: Getting Sam Home
Doctor WhoCaptain WrackEpisode: "Enlightenment"
1992–1993The Upper HandAunty Pat
1993–1997Come OutsideAuntie Mabel40 episodes
1996New VoicesBarmaid
1997Coronation StreetRenee Turnbull
1998 DinnerladiesCarmelEpisode: "Scandal"
2000The BillSadie TylerEpisode: "Catch a Falling Star
Big KidsAunt MurielEpisode: "Aunt Muriel"
2002–2005Fat FriendsNorma Patterson19 episodes
2005RomeMadame1 episode
2006, 2008–09, 2016EastEndersLinda Clarke32 episodes
2009CasualtyMollyEpisode: "As Others See Us"
2010The Road to Coronation StreetViolet Carson
Agatha Christie's MarpleMrs. CoppinsEpisode: "The Pale Horse"
DoctorsAg Penrose9 episodes
2011Doctor WhoValEpisode: "Closing Time"
2013–2016Still Open All HoursNurse Gladys Emmanuel13 episodes
2016Citizen KhanClarenza1 episode
2017Father BrownMrs RudgeEpisode 5.12 "The Theatre of the Invisible"


  1. "Lynda Baron – Questions and Answers – Interview". Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  2. "Social Democrat Party Election Broadcast: SDP/Liberal Alliance(06/05/86)". BFI Film and TV Database. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  3. "Lynda Baron". 7 December 1997. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  4. "Lynda Baron returns to 'EastEnders' – EastEnders News – Soaps". Digital Spy. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  5. "John Partridge and Lynda Baron to return to EastEnders". EastEnders News & Spoilers. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  6. "EastEnder to star in Corrie drama". BBC News. 28 June 2010.
  7. "Sir David Jason back for Open All Hours Christmas show". BBC News. 7 October 2013.
  8. "Open All Hours tops Boxing Day ratings". 27 December 2013.
  9. /
  10. "Open All Hours star Lynda Baron quits show". 13 September 2016.
  11. "http". // Retrieved 7 August 2012. External link in |publisher= (help)
  12. Billington, Michael (1 May 2009). "Theatre review: Rookery Nook, Menier Chocolate Factory, London". The Guardian.
  13. "Lipman brings Priestley to Garrick | Official London Theatre – Your London Shows guide". Official London Theatre. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  15. "Chichester reopens Festival Theatre with Rupert Everett in Amadeus, plus Gypsy and Guys and Dolls".
  16. "Full cast announced for Hampstead's 'Stevie'".
  17. There's Something About You by Various Artists on Amazon
  18. "Radio 4 Programmes – Afternoon Drama, Mrs Lowry and Son". BBC. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  19. "Lynda Baron".
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