DEBRA REVEALS WHY COMING TO EDINBURGH
The former Coronation Street and Bad Girls actress first got together with her husband in the city, so it holds great memories for them. Debra, 45, is heading to the capital with the musical Son Of A Preacher Man, which is based on the music of Dusty Springfield. She said: “My husband is going to join us in Edinburgh, because it is a very special place for us. “He is more of a Glasgow boy – he’s from just outside – but we got together in Edinburgh all of 25 years ago and we like to come up and have a night away now and again, just the two of us. “We’ll definitely have a night when I’m there and then he’ll get down the road again to look after the kids.”
Debra and her husband, James Duffield, have two children, Max, 15, and Zoe, 11.
They first met in Manchester, where they were both studying, but it only turned to romance when she went to the Edinburgh Festival as a 20-year-old.
Debra said: “We were friends from Manchester but he had gone back to Scotland.
“When I said I was coming up to do the Edinburgh Festival, he said he would come over and see one of the shows. So he did, and the rest is history.
“We had a good night, we found romance in Greyfriars Bobby – the pub that is.”
Although she has been back to Edinburgh many times, Debra has never
returned to the festival, mainly because she has been too busy.
Apart from acting, she’s appeared on Stars In Their Eyes and danced on the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special and Let’s Dance For Sport Relief.
As an impressionist, which was her first love, she is best known for BBC1’s The Impressions Show with Culshaw & Stephenson, and also appears on ITV’s Newzoids and Radio 4’s Dead Ringers.
Debra said: “My dad did impressions and I was always listening.
“The first one was Kate Bush. I also used to listen to my nan’s radiogram, a 1960s one, and she had all the records – Shirley Bassey, Cilla Black, Barbra Streisand, Cleo Laine, the Carpenters – and I would do them all because I used to listen to them again and again.
“She had Dusty Springfield records
as well, so this is like the perfect musical for me.”
Son Of A Preacher Man, which is choreographed and directed by Craig Revel Horwood and also stars X Factor finalist Diana Vickers, is her first musical.
Debra plays Alison, one of a trio of heartbroken characters who seek counsel from a love guru in Soho.
The musical has also inspired her to add Dusty to her repertoire of impressions.
Debra said: “I’ve always found it more difficult to do those smoky voices…but I’m working on it.” Son Of A Preacher Man is at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, from October 17 to 21. For tickets, go to www. edtheatres.com or call 0131 529 6000.
HAPPY TO BE BACK Debra will be in Edinburgh later this month
WHERE IT BEGAN Debra and James got together in Edinburgh pub FAMILY Couple with son Max
HIT SONGS Springfield