Paula Wilcox

Paula Wilcox[1] (born 13 December 1949) is an English actress. She is best known for roles in TV shows such as Girlfriends, Upstart Crow, Mount Pleasant, Boomers, Emmerdale, The Smoking Room, The Queen’s Nose and Man About The House.

Paula Wilcox
Paula Wilcox[1]

(1949-12-13) 13 December 1949
Spouse(s)Derek Seaton (1970-79; his death)
Nelson "Skip" Riddle (1991-present)

Acting career

Wilcox first came to public attention whilst a member of the National Youth Theatre, which she joined aged seventeen. She appeared in Coronation Street in 1969 as Ray Langton's sister Janice. She was offered her first starring television role in The Lovers, a Granada sitcom produced for the ITV network, largely written by Jack Rosenthal and co-starring Richard Beckinsale. There were two series of The Lovers, plus a feature film.[3] She appeared in an episode of The Benny Hill Show (Thames) broadcast on 23 February 1972.[4]

Wilcox was cast in one of the lead roles of Man About the House (Thames, 1973–76) as Chrissy Plummer, who was regularly in a flirtatious battle of wits with her male flatmate Robin, played by Richard O'Sullivan. The series ran for six series and the main cast also featured in the spin-off feature film. Her follow-up role was as the eponymous single mother in Miss Jones and Son (1977–78).

In 1991, Wilcox returned to situation comedy as Ros West in a Yorkshire Television sitcom called Fiddlers Three opposite Peter Davison before playing the character of Ivy Sandford in the pilot of Frank Skinner's Blue Heaven on Channel 4 in 1992, the show then went on to become a series. She appeared in several series of The Queen's Nose (1995–2001),[5] and also played small roles in the films The Higher Mortals (1993) and the Woody Allen movie Scoop (2006).

On 27 October 2006, Wilcox appeared in the Only Fools and Horses spin-off The Green Green Grass as Marlene's sister. She has also played another character in the Only Fools and Horses universe, appearing in 2 episodes of Rock and Chips, playing Edward "Grandad" Trotter's estranged wife Violet. In 2007, Wilcox joined the cast of Emmerdale as Hilary Potts, mother of the vicar's wife, Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy).[6]

In 2008, Wilcox portrayed Bette Davis in a theatrical play, Whatever Happened to the Cotton Dress Girl?.[7] In 2010, she portrayed a mother of a gay son in a theatrical play, Canary.[8]

In November 2010, Wilcox took the leading role as a Liverpudlian private eye in Following from the Front, a BBC radio play first broadcast in November 2010 and again in January 2015 [9]

She has played Pauline Johnson in the Sky1 sitcom series Mount Pleasant since 2011.

In addition to her other work, Wilcox has made guest appearances in programmes such as Footballers' Wives, Holby City and Down to Earth. She was cast as Lilian in the BBC Three sitcom The Smoking Room.

In 2014, she had a starring role in the comedy series Boomers and the following year she had a role in an episode of Still Open All Hours.

In 2017, Wilcox filmed series 3 of Upstart Crow[10] - the Shakespearean sitcom starring David Mitchell and penned by Ben Elton.

Also in 2017 Wilcox filmed the last episode of the Sky 1 series Mount Pleasant after 7 years of playing Pauline Johnson.

Wilcox's theatre credits include Chris Hannan's play What Shadows[11] about Enoch Powell's famous "Rivers of Blood" speech on immigration. This was performed at the Birmingham Rep, Edinburgh Lyceum and the Park Theatre, London in 2016 and 2017.[12][13][13]

Other theatrical work includes: Great Expectations (Vaudeville Theatre);[14] Canary (Liverpool Everyman / Hampstead Theatre);[15] Dreams of Violence (Soho Theatre)[16] and La Cage aux Folles (Playhouse Theatre).[17]

Wilcox has also performed radio and voiceover work and most recently read the audiobook[18] Three Things About Elsie[19] written by Joanna Cannon. This continues a relationship that began last year when Wilcox recorded Joanna’s first novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep.

Personal life

Wilcox was married to actor Derek Seaton from 1969 to 1979 (his death). She later married Nelson "Skip" Riddle, son of the bandleader and arranger Nelson Riddle.[20]

Television roles

1969Coronation StreetJanice Langton
1969-1970The DustbinmenNaomi
1970-1971The LoversBeryl Battersby
1971-1972The Liver BirdsGloria Titlark
1973-1976Man About the HouseChrissy PlummerRegular role; 39 episodes
1977-1978Miss Jones and SonElizabeth Jones
1985The Bright SideCynthia Bright
1991Fiddlers ThreeRos West
1992-1994Blue HeavenIvy Sandford
1995-2001The Queen's NoseMrs Parker
2001Footballers' WivesMarguerite Laslett
2004-2005The Smoking RoomLillian
2006The Large FamilyLinda Large (voice)
2006The Green Green GrassPertunia Lane
2007Blue MurderDr Pamela Haliiwell
2007–2008EmmerdaleHilary PottsRegular role; 40 episodes
2008A Touch of FrostGloria Collingham
2010-2011Rock & ChipsViolet Trotter
2011–2017Mount PleasantPauline
2014Jonathan CreekHazel Prosser
2014-2016 BoomersCarol
2015Still Open All HoursLinda
2016–Upstart CrowMary Shakespeare
2017 Living the Dream Maureen
2018GirlfriendsCarole Hardcastle
2018Moving OnAggieEpisode title: Lost


  1. Bryony Gordon, Bryony Gordon (11 August 2014). "Paula Wilcox: 'These days it's the old ones who are naughty'". The Daily Telegraph. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  2. "Paula Wilcox." United Kingdom: Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Web. 9 January 2012.
  3. "Paula Wilcox has Great Expectations about playing Miss Havisham at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre « Express & Star". 8 October 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  4. "The Benny Hill Show - Season 3, Episode 3: Show 12". 23 July 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. "Paula Wilcox : Actress - Films, episodes and roles on". 13 December 1949. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. "Great Expectations for Paula Wilcox in Havisham role". Woking News and Mail. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  7. Curley, Evelyn (19 June 2008). "Whatever Happened to the Cotton Dress Girl?". The Stage. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  8. High, Chris (30 April 2010). "Canary". The Stage. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  9. "Following From In Front, Unofficial Rosie - BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  10. Guide, British Comedy (25 January 2018). "Upstart Crow Series 3 guest stars announced". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  11. "Park Theatre (Feast Creative)". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  12. Cavendish, Dominic (2 November 2016). "Enoch Powell play What Shadows is the most provocative theatrical act of the decade - review". The Telegraph via
  13. Cavendish, Dominic (2 November 2016). "Enoch Powell play What Shadows is the most provocative theatrical act of the decade - review". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  14. "20 Questions with ... Great Expectations' Paula Wilcox | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  15. Spencer, Charles (25 May 2010). "Canary at the Hampstead Theatre, review". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  16. Billington, Michael (19 July 2009). "Theatre review: Dreams of Violence | Soho, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  17. "Full cast announced for La Cage Aux Folles". London Theatre Guide. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  18. "Three Things About Elsie: LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 audiobook by Joanna Cannon - Rakuten Kobo". Rakuten Kobo. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  19. Beckerman, Hannah (14 January 2018). "Three Things About Elsie review – the tricks of memory at an old folks' home". the Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  20. Gordon, Bryony (11 August 2014). "Paula Wilcox: 'These days it's the old ones who are naughty'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
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