Lay, Lady, Lay
Composer: Bob Dylan
Sue Johnston has rarely been out of work since she made her name in Brookside. Her versatility is clear, with credits including such varied programmes as acclaimed drama Goodbye Cruel World; the 1950s feel-good nostalgia series Sex, Chips and Rock 'n' Roll; cult comedy The Royle Family and, most recently, psychological thriller Waking the Dead. Her early career was with the Pilkington Glass Factory, where she got a job in the pensions department specifically so she could join their amateur dramatics group. After rebelling against her parents wishes and attending drama school in London, Sue acted in repertory theatre until her mid-30s.
Having a son brought new responsibilities and, realising the bonus of a regular income and regular hours, she auditioned for Channel 4's Brookside. She became a household name and recognised as Sheila Grant wherever she went. She left after eight years and never looked back: her first role was as a motor neurone sufferer in Goodbye Cruel World, for which she was Bafta nominated and she has been in demand ever since. She was also Bafta nominated for her role as lovable put-upon mum Barbara in The Royle Family, which in 1998 and 2000 won British Comedy Awards.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
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