Pauline discovered acting at the age of nine when a couple of after-school clubs were formed by the local teachers. One was Country Dancing and the other was a Drama club. Not fancying Country Dancing, Pauline joined the Drama Club and has not stopped entertaining the nation since.
From this start professional work followed almost by accident. In that very year, still aged nine, she was cast in her first professional role as a child arsonist in Dixon of Dock Green and it evolved from there. Since then Pauline has appeared in numerous TV programmes including her own chat show at the age of fifteen entitled Pauline’s People. Subsequent productions included The Further Adventures of Oliver Twist, the 1980’s hospital series, Angels, and Shine on Harvey Moon. During the 1990’s her TV roles included Our Boy, Last Christmas (with Ray Winstone), Real Women (with Michelle Collins and Frances Barber), Maisie Raine, David Copperfield (with Daniel Radcliffe), Being April, Office Gossip and North and South – not forgetting her BAFTA-nominated portrayal of Olive Martin in the award-winning drama, The Sculptress.
Pauline is of course, most famous for her role as Sharon in 101 episodes of Birds of a Feather.
Although not best-known for feature films, she has appeared in, amongst others, The Elephant Man, Little Dorrit, Distant Voices – Still Lives and, more recently, Redemption Road and Arthur’s Dyke. Pauline has won the Royal Television Society Award for ‘Best Comedy Newcomer’, the coveted Fipa D’Or Biarritz Award at the Cannes Television Awards and a BAFTA nomination.
Pauline is vice-patron to the Rhys Daniels Trust, an honorary member of The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a patron of the Ian Rennie Hospice at Home, a supporter of Children with Leukemia, Children in Crisis and Children’s Hospice UK and has appeared for charity in the Royal Variety Performance.
In 2007 Pauline opened her very first Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts. Now there are approximately 45 academies (at time of going to press, with more planned) teaching over 2,500 children aged between four and eighteen across the country the delights and disciplines of comedy and drama, musical theatre, film and television. For more information on Pauline’s academies please visit www.pqacademy.com.
Whilst recently starring in Emmerdale Pauline won a battle against her weight and lost almost eight stones in one year! She has written of the ups and downs of this adventure along with many other anecdotes in her recently published book, Where Have I Gone?
Since the last tour of ‘Birds of A Feather’ Pauline has starred alongside David Tennant in ITV’s 8 part drama ‘Broadchurch’ although we think her own dog ‘Bailey’ stole the show!
This year, 2013, sees Pauline celebrate an amazing forty-five years in this business we call ‘show’ and she sees the establishment of the Pauline Quirke Academies as the ultimate legacy.
You can view some of Pauline’s past work at www.paulinequirke.com