Michelle Holmes (born 1 January 1967) is an English actress who has appeared in several television serials.
Born Corinne Michelle Cunliffe in Rochdale, Lancashire, she performed in a pop band called The Dunky Dobbers with her childhood friend and fellow actress Sue Devaney.
After changing her professional name to gain entry to the actors union Equity, she came to prominence as Sue, one of the babysitters in Rita, Sue and Bob Too who seduce a middle-aged man. A year later she appeared as goth Jenny in Damon and Debbie, and then as barmaid Tina Fowler in Coronation Street.
She played Yvonne Sparrow in the first three seasons of Goodnight Sweetheart, and Maggie Coles in Firm Friends. Marie in Common as Muck two series. Michelle has appeared in Emmerdale twice: first in 1992 as Lindsay Carmichael, and in 1995 as bar manageress Britt Woods.
In 2001, she played Connie Harper in Merseybeat, and guest starred in the BBC One school drama, Waterloo Road.
From July 2006 she has played Claudie Williams in The Chase, a BBC One drama. Michelle also stars as Genevieve in the ITV drama Life Begins. Michelle can also be seen in the 2008 series of Shameless.
Holmes married Location manager Mark O'Hanlon on 29 December 2000. They divorced in Feb 2006.
In September 2007 the office of the Association of young people with ME received a phone call from a lady who had fallen ill and in her search to understand what was happening to her came across AYME's website. She was so impressed she offered to help in any way she could.
This particular lady just happened to be Michelle Holmes, star of 'Rita, Sue and Bob Too', 'Goodnight Sweetheart' and 'Mersey Beat'. Lisette Grout had the great pleasure of interviewing her:
Did you train to become an actor? If so, where?
I went to Oldham Theatre Workshop. Funded by the local council. About 250 kids went, we put shows on (very professional) at local theatres
Is this what you've always wanted to do?
Although I was very shy as a child, all I wanted to do was be an actor or singer from about 2-3 years old.
What was your first professional acting role and how did you get this part?
A series for Granada TV called 'The Practice'. Set in an inner city medical practice. I played the very young (16) receptionist. I auditioned when I got my first agent from Theatre Workshop. We did screen tests and I got the part for 2 years!
What other jobs have you done if acting work has been unavailable?
Times have been tough sometimes but so far I have never done anything else.
Which character has been your favourite to play? Why?
All of them for very different reasons. Each job and character is so enjoyable.
Who's been the most fun person to work with?
Lots of people I have worked with, John Mcardle (Mersey Beat) I have worked with a few times and I must say once we start laughing we can't stop! He is worse than me.
What part would you love to play? Why?
In the last 22 years I have played a wide range of characters but would love to play something with lots of action.
You are so well known for 'Rita, Sue and Bob Too'. Did you enjoy making it?
Yes, very much, we laughed none stop for 7 weeks. I think you can see that in the film.
Do you want to do more film work? What genre would you love to do?
I would love to do more film work. Low budget cutting edge British Movies would be fantastic.
Have you done any theatre work? Which medium do you prefer?
I have done lots of theatre and musicals too. Although I do prefer the medium of TV and film.
Many of our readers will know you from 'Mersey Beat'. How did you get that role, did you enjoy making it and will you be back on our screens in another series?
Mal Young for the BBC, the Executive Producer of Mersey Beat, mentioned to me that a part in a new series was coming up. I went along to meet them in 2000 and was offered the part. I have done 3 series and will not be in the 4th.
Describe yourself in one sentence.
Full of life!!!
What do you love doing in your spare time? Before you were ill? At the moment?
Spending time with friends and family. Going out for dinner, lots of fun and laughter.
Who do you admire the most and why?
I love Madonna, what a lady. At home with Madonna, now that would be fab.
What is the most irritating habit someone can have?
Not having a mind of their own!
What has been your proudest achievement?
Being Harvey Cunliffe's Grandaughter!! My Grandad died in 1996, he was my best friend.
What was the last cd you bought?
My Husband bought me Nora Jones, 'Come Away With Me'
What's been your most embarrassing moment?
There have been lots! Falling backwards off a bench trying to get boots on in a shoe shop. I had a long skirt on that went over my head. My friend ran away! It still makes me laugh now!
Would you ever enter the Celebrity Big Brother House? If you had to who would you like to be stuck with?
I would have to think about it. But to raise money for AYME I would. I would like to be stuck with Ant and Dec, Jonathan Ross as he looks like my husband, Peter Kay and Jonny Vegas.
Where's the nicest place you've ever been? Where haven't you been that you'd love to go to?
Africa is wonderful with all the animals. I would like to see New England in the fall. I want to visit the Shaker Communities.
What's your favourite film and television programme?
TV 'Sex in the City'. Film 'Witness' again about the Shakers or Amish.
How and when did you become ill?
In the end of May 2003 I came down with a sore throat and fevers. During that 7 weeks my ability dropped to about 20%. I would say now that I'm about 60-70%.
How long did it take before you were diagnosed with ME?
I have been diagnosed with Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome.
Have your family and friends been supportive? How about your doctor?
Doctor no - just says that it will last about 4-6 months and there is nothing they can do. Family and friends yes - although no one knows much or understands about it. People don't think about the ability scale. They seem to think it is just fatigue.
Did you know anything about or anyone with ME before you became ill?
I knew a little about ME, but nothing like it really is. People need to know more about the ability scale and other symptoms.
How did you find out about AYME and why did you offer to help?
On your website which I thought was a real help to adults too. Just the thought of children going through this made me want to help. The website I think is fantastic.
What do you think about AYME now?
I think if you are a child or parent living with ME you couldn't ask for more friends and support to get you through. AYME is doing an amazing job!
Have you got a message for our readers?
You will get better, you will not live with this forever, it will pass. When I am better I will help you all I can to raise awareness of ME. I wish you all a big boost of love and energy.
Keep smiling. Love Michelle xxx Cheers! x