Real name: Jill Halfpenny
Birthdate: July 15, 1975
Jill Denise Halfpenny (born July 15, 1975) is a British actress and former student of the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
She began her acting career in the BBC television children's drama series Byker Grove, set in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her other work has included appearances in Dalziel and Pascoe and Coronation Street for television and theatre with the acclaimed Hull Truck Theatre Company.
In 2004 she participated in the BBC One pro-celebrity ballroom dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing, dancing with professional Darren Bennett. The couple won the competition after receiving the full 40 marks from the judges earlier on the show.
In a special one-off programme (broadcast on December 22, 2004) which pitted the Strictly Come Dancing champions (and other top performing couples) from series one and two against each other, Jill and Darren were crowned as Champion of Champions.
In December 2004, it was announced that she would take the role of "Roxie Hart" in the West End musical, Chicago, starting in January 2005. On December 14, 2004, Halfpenny and Darren Bennett made an appearance on stage at the Royal Variety Performance which took place at the London Coliseum.
In 2005, Halfpenny appeared in The Bodies, a new play adapted from an Emile Zola novel by Peter Flannery at the Live Theatre, Newcastle, opposite her real-life husband, actor Craig Conway. In 2005 and 2006, Halfpenny appeared in hit pantomimes at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.
Halfpenny was the guest presenter for and performed in the first show of the BBC four-part series The Sound of Musicals in January 2006 and played "Roxy Ball" in Shameless in an episode broadcast on January 31, 2006. In 2006, Halfpenny made a guest appearance in an episode of The Catherine Tate Show.
Since spring 2006, Halfpenny has appeared in the BBC One series Waterloo Road as teacher "Izzie Redpath". Halfpenny has most recently been heard as the voice of a high-profile commercial campaign for Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings and the narrator of Freaky Eaters for BBC Three and Fat Man's Warning for Channel 4 (29/04/07). Jill was also the narrator for a short film advertising how the national lottery helps the North East. The film was created by students at the Lord Lawson of Beamish School as part of a competition. The film they created won the competition. It can be found at.