TV profile: Alison Steadman

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Steadman met director Mike Leigh while appearing in theatre and they worked extensively together.

She made her TV debut in his Hard Labour in 1973, and also worked for him on Nuts in May, Abigail’s Party, Life Is Sweet, Secrets and Lies, The Short and Curlies and Topsy-Turvy. She also had a regular role in Z Cars, made her movie debut in 1983’s Champions and appeared in A Private Function, Clockwise, The Singing Detective, Shirley Valentine and Pride and Prejudice. She’s also maintained a stage career and earned a new army of fans with her role as matriarch Pamela in hit BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey.

Image: Distinctly unstarry and talented actress.

Best Known for: Abigail’s Party.

Born on August 26, 1946, in Liverpool, where she was raised with two older sisters by her mother Marjorie and father George, who worked for an electronics firm.

She wanted to be an actress from the age of nine and later trained at the East 15 acting school. She worked as a secretary for the Liverpool Probation Service before making her professional debut on stage in 1968 alongside Vanessa Redgrave in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Lewis, STV, 9pm