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18 September 2014
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June Whitfield

June Whitfield in Terry and June

June Whitfield's image is that of the safe, the reliable, the predictable.

This is partly because she's a mainstay of the life insurance advertisement; but at root it's because of Terry and June, in which she co-starred with Terry Scott.

The sitcom ran from 1979-88 and routinely destroyed all opposition in its time slot like an all-conquering chintz dinosaur.

Whitfield, however, was performing comedy on the BBC a long time before that.

She's worked opposite some of the pivotal figures of UK comedy, including cutting edge performers of their time such as Frankie Howerd and Tony Hancock as well as stars working the more traditional comedy of the era, such as Arthur Askey.

Although June Whitfield has starred in a lot of 'traditional' British comedies - she's probably best known now for her work with Roy Hudd on The News Huddlines.  June was famously prissy and self-righteous in four Carry On films, but she has taken glee in overturning that image, particularly in upstaging everyone as Edina's wittily nasty mother in Ab Fab.

Her best work however is still on radio, particularly as the only real successor to Joan Hickson as Miss Marple on Radio 4 - witty, observant, and punishing.

Don't let the life insurance ads fool you: June Whitfield has made a career out of being funny.

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