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Jennie Elizabeth McAlpine (born 24 May 1984 in Bury, Greater Manchestermarker) is an Englishmarker television actress and comedienne. She is best known as a star of long running and popular British soap operas Emmerdalemarker and Coronation Streetmarker.

Early life

McAlpine was born and bred in Bury. As a young girl she put on shows on the patio for the neighbours, charging them 50 pence apiece. She did song and dance routines, copying groups like Bananarama.

Her Lochgellymarker-born father Tom McAlpine (b. 1951) works for Manchestermarker Mental Health Services and is a keen amateur dramatist. With his encouragement she took up amateur dramatics at the age of eight, when father and daughter appeared together in a pantomime by the Bury Parish Players. She was the fairy and he was the dame. As a teenager she joined the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop.

McAlpine's parents separated when she was ten, after which she lived with her father. She has a brother, Thomas McAlpine (b. 1974), who worked in Woolworths.

She had a difficult time at school and did not like teachers: 'My reports always said I talked too much and made me think I was crap. I wasn't in the popular group at school and I didn't especially get on with the girls ... All through school I was going for parts. They wouldn't give me time off for the auditions, so I used to end up wagging it.'


McAlpine's big break came in 1997 when at the age of 13 she did stand-up comedy in Londonmarker and came second in a Young Comedian Of The Year competition run by Fanta. At the grand final at Comedy Storemarker in Londonmarker she met TV presenter Jonathan Ross and comedian Peter Kay, and was so inspired that she entered a second time in 1998, coming second again. She spent four years (1997-2001) doing stand-up comedy at charity nights, galas and pub nights with her father in Bury.

McAlpine played Michelle Morley in Emmerdale from 1999 to 2001. After leaving school she enrolled in her local college, Holy Crossmarker, and began studying for A-levels. At the age of 17 she auditioned for the part of Fiz Brown ( now Fiz Stape) on Coronation Street, a role she has played since 2001. McAlpine drew inspiration for Fiz from her father's work with troubled children. She was originally hired for just five episodes, and went back to studying for her A-levels and working part-time in Boots The Chemist. However her comic timing had so impressed Coronation Street producers that they offered her a long-term contract. She won Best Newcomer for the role at the 2002 British Soap Awards.

In 2008 McAlpine took time out in South Africa to film a series of special episodes for Coronation Street which are due to air as soon. In 2008 she appeared in a Freeview advertisement promoting its PVR service. She has been a narrator for the Royal Festival Hallmarker

McAlpine was nominated in the category of 'Best Soap Actress' at the 2008 TV Quick Awards. Additionally she has made a variety of television appearances notably on Big Brother's Big Mouth, F*** Off, I'm Ginger, 8 out of 10 Cats, The Xtra Factor and Who Wants to be a Millionaire, where she teamed up with Samia Smith and raised £50,000 for charity.

Personal life

McAlpine has been going out with her boyfriend Chris since 2005. On the subject of her Scottish ancestry and famous red hair she said:

She is the owner of Octagon Nightclub in Bangor

Charity work

Since the age of 17 McAlpine has devoted her spare time to helping deprived children in Egyptmarker through the Thebes Project in Luxormarker.

In August 2008 she and fellow Coronation Street star Samia Smith won £50,000 on the ITV1 celebrity special of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. McAlpine's share of the prize money went to the Manchestermarker-based mental health charity Mood Swings Network.


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