Paula Wilcox

Mary Paula Wilcox[3] (born 13 December 1949) is an English actress. She is best known for her role as Chrissy in the popular ITV sitcom Man About The House from 1973 to 1976, but has also had large roles in TV shows such as both Elaine Jones and Janice Langton in Coronation Street, Beryl Battersby in The Lovers, Elizabeth Jones in Miss Jones and Son, Audrey in The Queen’s Nose, Lilian in The Smoking Room, Hilary Potts in Emmerdale, Pauline Johnson in Mount Pleasant, Carol in Boomers, Mary Shakespeare in Upstart Crow and Carole Hardcastle in Girlfriends.

Paula Wilcox
Mary Paula Wilcox [1]

(1949-12-13) 13 December 1949 (age 71)
Spouse(s)Derek Seaton (1970–1979; his death)
Nelson "Skip" Riddle (m. 1991)

Early lifeEdit

Wilcox was born in 1949 to Joseph and Mary Wilcox (née Harland) in Manchester.

Acting careerEdit

Wilcox first came to public attention whilst a member of the National Youth Theatre, which she joined aged seventeen. She appeared in Coronation Street in 1969 as Ray Langton's sister Janice. She was offered her first starring television role in The Lovers, a Granada sitcom produced for the ITV network, largely written by Jack Rosenthal and co-starring Richard Beckinsale. There were two series of The Lovers, plus a feature film.[4] She appeared in an episode of The Benny Hill Show (Thames) broadcast on 23 February 1972.[5]

Wilcox was cast in one of the lead roles of Man About the House (Thames, 1973–1976) as Chrissy Plummer, who was regularly in a flirtatious battle of wits with her male flatmate Robin, played by Richard O'Sullivan. The series ran for six series and the main cast also featured in the spin-off feature film. Her follow-up role was as the eponymous single mother in Miss Jones and Son (1977–1978).[6]

In 1991, Wilcox returned to situation comedy as Ros West in a Yorkshire Television sitcom called Fiddlers Three opposite Peter Davison before playing the character of Ivy Sandford in the pilot of Frank Skinner's Blue Heaven on Channel 4 in 1992, the show then went on to become a series. She appeared in several series of The Queen's Nose (1995–2001),[7] and also played small roles in the films The Higher Mortals (1993) and the Woody Allen movie Scoop (2006).[8]

She was cast as Lilian in the BBC Three sitcom The Smoking Room which ran from 2004–2005.[9]

On 27 October 2006, Wilcox appeared in the Only Fools and Horses spin-off The Green Green Grass as Marlene's sister. She has also played another character in the Only Fools and Horses universe, appearing in 2 episodes of Rock and Chips, playing Edward "Grandad" Trotter's estranged wife Violet. In 2007, Wilcox joined the cast of Emmerdale as Hilary Potts, mother of the vicar's wife, Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy).[10]

In 2008, Wilcox portrayed Bette Davis in a theatrical play, Whatever Happened to the Cotton Dress Girl?.[11] In 2010, she portrayed a mother of a gay son in a theatrical play, Canary.[12]

In November 2010, Wilcox took the leading role as a Liverpudlian private eye in Following from the Front, a BBC radio play first broadcast in November 2010 and again in January 2015 [13]

She has played Pauline Johnson in the Sky1 sitcom series Mount Pleasant since 2011.[14]

In addition to her other work, Wilcox has made guest appearances in programmes such as Footballers' Wives, Holby City and Down to Earth.[8][15][16]

In 2014, she had a starring role in the comedy series Boomers and the following year she had a role in an episode of Still Open All Hours.[8][17]

In 2017, Wilcox filmed series 3 of Upstart Crow[18] - the Shakespearean sitcom starring David Mitchell and penned by Ben Elton.

Also in 2017 Wilcox filmed the last episode of the Sky 1 series Mount Pleasant after 7 years of playing Pauline Johnson.[19]

Wilcox's theatre credits include Chris Hannan's play What Shadows[20] about Enoch Powell's famous "Rivers of Blood" speech on immigration. This was performed at the Birmingham Rep, Edinburgh Lyceum and the Park Theatre, London in 2016 and 2017.[21][22]

Other theatrical work includes: Great Expectations (Vaudeville Theatre);[23] Canary (Liverpool Everyman / Hampstead Theatre);[24] Dreams of Violence (Soho Theatre)[25] and La Cage aux Folles (Playhouse Theatre).[26]

Wilcox has also performed radio and voiceover work and most recently read the audiobook[27] Three Things About Elsie[28] written by Joanna Cannon.

Wilcox made a return to Coronation Street in 2020, this time playing the role of Elaine Jones, a former abuse victim and first wife of Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew).

Personal lifeEdit

Wilcox was married to fellow actor Derek Seaton from 1969 until his death in 1979 at age 35.

Wilcox married Nelson "Skip" Riddle in 1991, he is an American businessman, the eldest son of the composer, bandleader and arranger Nelson Smock Riddle.[29]



Year Title Role Notes
1973 The Lovers! Beryl Battersby
1974 Man About the House Chrissy Plummer
1993 The Higher Mortals Miss Bird
2006 Scoop Garden Party Guest
2007 Outlaw Iris


Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Wednesday Play Linda Episode: "The Apprentices"
Her Majesty's Pleasure Jennifer Bottomley Episode: "All God's Chillun"
Coronation Street Janice Langton 5 episodes
Z-Cars Joan 2 episodes
Hadleigh Lolly Episode: "Patron of the Arts"
1969–1970 The Dustbinmen Naomi 2 episodes
1970 Kate Rosemary Phelps Episode: "The Love of Two Women"
1970–1971 The Lovers Beryl Battersby
1970 Biography Hilde Episode: "I Measured the Skies"
1971 ITV Sunday Night Drama Julie Episode: "The Girl Upstairs"
On the House Beryl Bagley Episode: "Will the Real Harvey
Micklethwaite Please Stand Up?"
The Onedin Line Agnes Bascombe Episode: "Salvage"
1971–1972 The Liver Birds Gloria Titlark 3 episodes
1972 The Benny Hill Show Carol Fox Episode: "Show 12"
Scene Trish Episode: "Quiet Afternoon"
Z-Cars Nancy Roberts Episode: "Public Relations"
Thirty Minutes Worth Various Episode #1.1
1973 Full House Alice Episode #1.12
1973–1976 Man About the House Chrissy Plummer All 39 episodes
1977–1978 Miss Jones and Son Elizabeth Jones All 12 episodes
1977 The Cost of Loving Thelma Baynes Episode: "The Human Element"
1978 Play for Today Miss Selby Episode: "The After-Dinner Joke"
1980 Peter Cook & Co. Various
1981 Crown Court Leonora Davis Episode: "Leonora: Part 1"
1985 The Bright Side Cynthia Bright All 6 episodes
Mrs. Capper's Birthday Maureen
1988 Boon Dorothy North Episode: "Topspin"
1991 Fiddlers Three Ros West All 14 episodes
1992 Brookside Angela Heery QC Episode #1185
1993 Casualty Rosalind Paynter Episode: "Getting Involved"
1994 Smokescreen Sara Bean All 6 episodes
Blue Heaven Ivy Sandford All 6 episodes
1995–2001 The Queen's Nose Audrey Parker 24 episodes
1996 Life After Birth Sylv All 6 episodes
It Must Be Love Irene
1998 The Stalker's Apprentice Mrs Walwyn
1999 Peak Practice Amanda Blake Episode: "Alone"
2002 Footballers' Wives Marguerite Laslett 3 episodes
Holby City Helen Johnson Episode: "Touch and Go"
2004 Merseybeat Sheila O'Brien Episode: "Distant Vices"
The Afternoon Play Kathy Hughes Episode: "Viva Las Blackpool"
2004–2005 The Smoking Room Lillian All 17 episodes
2004 All About Me Sheila Episode: "The First Mrs Craddock"
2005 Down to Earth Frank's Wife Episode: "Trouble 'n' Strife"
Murder in Suburbia Wendy Archer Episode: "Estate Agents"
2006 Doctors Selena McKinnon Episode: "Running Time"
The Green Green Grass Petunia Lane Episode: "Brothers and Sisters"
2007 Blue Murder Dr. Pamela Haliiwell Episode: "Desperate Measures"
2007–2008 Emmerdale Hilary Potts Regular role; 71 episodes
2007–2010 The Large Family Linda Large Voice; All 52 episodes
2008 A Touch of Frost Gloria Collingham Episode: "Mind Games"
2010 Moving On Gail Episode: "Rules of the Game"
2010–2011 Rock & Chips Violet Trotter 2 episodes
2011 Doctors Sue Gillen 2 episodes
2011–2017 Mount Pleasant Pauline 49 episodes
2014 Jonathan Creek Hazel Prosser Episode: "The Letters of Septimus Noone"
2014–2016 Boomers Carol All 13 episodes
2015 Still Open All Hours Linda Episode: #1.6
2016–2018 Upstart Crow Mary Shakespeare All 20 episodes
2017–2019 Living the Dream Maureen 9 episodes
2018 Girlfriends Carole Hardcastle 5 episodes
Moving On Aggie Episode: "Lost"
2020 Grantchester Diana 4 episodes
Trying Sandra 4 episodes
2020– Coronation Street Elaine Jones 19 episodes[30]


  1. ^ "Paula Wilcox". IMDb.
  2. ^ "Paula Wilcox." United Kingdom: Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Web. 9 January 2012.
  3. ^ Bryony Gordon, Bryony Gordon (11 August 2014). "Paula Wilcox: 'These days it's the old ones who are naughty'". The Daily Telegraph. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Paula Wilcox has Great Expectations about playing Miss Havisham at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre « Express & Star". 8 October 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. ^ "The Benny Hill Show - Season 3, Episode 3: Show 12". 23 July 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Miss Jones And Son | Nostalgia Central".
  7. ^ "Paula Wilcox : Actress - Films, episodes and roles on". 13 December 1949. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "Paula Wilcox". BFI.
  9. ^ "The Smoking Room".
  10. ^ "Great Expectations for Paula Wilcox in Havisham role". Woking News and Mail. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  11. ^ Curley, Evelyn (19 June 2008). "Whatever Happened to the Cotton Dress Girl?". The Stage. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  12. ^ High, Chris (30 April 2010). "Canary". The Stage. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Following From In Front, Unofficial Rosie - BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  14. ^ Guide, British Comedy (2 March 2011). "Production starts on new Sky comedy drama Mount Pleasant". British Comedy Guide.
  15. ^ "Holby City". 21 May 2002. p. 90 – via BBC Genome.
  16. ^ "Down to Earth - S5 - Episode 10: Trouble 'n' Strife". Radio Times.
  17. ^ "Still Open All Hours - S1 - Episode 6". Radio Times.
  18. ^ Guide, British Comedy (25 January 2018). "Upstart Crow Series 3 guest stars announced". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  19. ^ Warner, Sam (24 February 2017). "Sky1 pulls plug on Mount Pleasant after final special". Digital Spy.
  20. ^ "Park Theatre (Feast Creative)". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  21. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (2 November 2016). "Enoch Powell play What Shadows is the most provocative theatrical act of the decade - review". The Telegraph – via
  22. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (2 November 2016). "Enoch Powell play What Shadows is the most provocative theatrical act of the decade - review". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  23. ^ "20 Questions with ... Great Expectations' Paula Wilcox | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  24. ^ Spencer, Charles (25 May 2010). "Canary at the Hampstead Theatre, review". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  25. ^ Billington, Michael (19 July 2009). "Theatre review: Dreams of Violence | Soho, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Full cast announced for La Cage Aux Folles". London Theatre Guide. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Three Things About Elsie: LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 audiobook by Joanna Cannon - Rakuten Kobo". Rakuten Kobo. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  28. ^ Beckerman, Hannah (14 January 2018). "Three Things About Elsie review – the tricks of memory at an old folks' home". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  29. ^ Gordon, Bryony (11 August 2014). "Paula Wilcox: 'These days it's the old ones who are naughty'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Coronation Street casts Paula Wilcox for new Geoff Metcalfe twist". Digital Spy. 6 July 2020. Retrieved 6 July 2020.

External linksEdit