(1968-09-15) 15 September 1968
Accrington, Lancashire, England, UK
|Residence||Clitheroe, Lancashire, England|
Victoria “Vicky” Entwistle (born 15 September 1968 in Accrington, Lancashire, England) is an English actress who is most famous for playing the role of “loudmouth” factory worker Janice Battersby in ITV‘s long-running soap opera Coronation Street.
Entwistle grew up in Accrington; her father owned a newsagent’s shop in Clayton-le-Moors. She attended Rhyddings High School in Oswaldtwistle, and at the age of 16 she commuted to Blackpool to study drama while working nights at a local supermarket. For some time, she worked as a Bluecoat entertainer at Pontin’s in Devon before she was won a scholarship to attend Drama Centre London, from which she graduated in 1992.
Entwistle returned to the stage as Hanna in Merlin before gaining the role of Amy in BBC’s Our Tune. When not acting, she lived on the dole but took part-time jobs as a cleaner and helped out in her parents’ shop. Entwistle then played Madonna freak Maxine Graham in Like A Virgin and was spotted by Granada Television casting director Judy Hayfield. She was offered the role of machinist Janice Lee in Coronation Street and made her debut on 6 January 1997. She also starred in an episode of The Bill in 1997. The following month, Entwistle was told that she would become the mother of the street’s new family the Battersbys and was introduced to fellow actors Bruce Jones, Jane Danson and Georgia Taylor. Soon Entwistle found herself swamped by fans where ever she went and found it hard to accept. She once even locked herself inside a lavatory in a restaurant because she was so stressed from fans approaching her. In 1998 Entwistle had a catfight in a Manchester hotel off-screen with Tina Hobley who played Samantha Failsworth in Coronation Street after Hobley made comments about her lipstick.
In January 2001, Entwistle was arrested after allegedly head-butting a fan of Coronation Street. The charges against her were dropped, and she considered leaving acting after the accusations led to her arrest; in an interview with the Daily Mail, she described the incident as an accident, involving a cuddle from an overeager fan and a height difference (Entwistle is 5′ tall).
Entwistle married Steven Chapman on 7 December 2008 in Manchester Town Hall. Among the wedding guests were Bruce Jones, Georgia Taylor, Jane Danson, Denise Welch, Angela Lonsdale, Charles Dale, Gaynor Faye, Jacqueline Chadwick, Naomi Radcliffe, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Liz Dawn, Suranne Jones, Sue Cleaver, Jennie McAlpine, Naomi Russell and Tracy Shaw.
In early 2005, programme bosses announced that Entwistle’s character was to be dropped from the show at the end of the year. However, following the appointment of a new producer (Steve Frost) at the end of 2005, Entwistle was granted a reprieve.
In 2010 Entwistle’s husband Andrew Chapman was arrested for punching a fan who asked her for an autograph. The incident took place on 12 April at Salford Crescent railway station, Salford, on board a Manchester to Clitheroe train. Police arrested Chapman at the scene and he was later charged. On 24 November 2010 Chapman was convicted and fined.
On 2 August 2010 Entwistle’s departure after fourteen years was confirmed. Soap bosses said the actress “agonised” over her decision, but decided the show’s 50th anniversary year was the right time to say goodbye.
Entwistle said: “Coronation Street means so much to me and I could easily have continued to play Janice for the rest of my acting career. But I’ve been thinking of leaving for some time, and couldn’t deny those feelings. I’ve a hankering to do other drama projects and so if I don’t make this move now I never will. I will miss the great friends I’ve made during my time in Coronation Street, but I know we’ll stay in touch and I’m grateful to be part of the show’s 50th anniversary as it’s a huge landmark in British television.”
Producer Phil Collinson said: “When she first appeared on screen in 1997, Janice Battersby caused a stir and has continued to do so ever since. Vicky created a strong and uncompromising battleaxe with a heart of gold lurking underneath – in the true tradition of great Coronation Street women. She’ll be missed by us all and we wish her well.”
Entwistle, originally having become known for being, in her words, “the fat ugly one from Corrie”, lost over three stone (42 lbs.) and ended up keeping two-and-a-half stone (35 lbs.) off, transforming from a size 16 to a six. She later released an exercise self-help DVD, Vicky’s WOW! Weight Off Workout, in 2006.
Since leaving the Street, Entwistle has worked on the stage. She starred as the Wicked Queen in Blackpool’s 2011 production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and in 2012 toured in Funny Peculiar, an award-winning play by Mike Stott, with Suzanne Shaw, Craig Gazey, Dominic Cazenove and Gemma Bissix.
2017 FATHER BROWN (TV SERIES) FRANCES WHITTAKER
1997-100 CORONATION STREET (TV SERIES) JANICE BATTERSBY
1997 THE BILL BILL (TV SERIES) SOPHIE EDGHILL