DE­BRA RE­VEALS WHY COM­ING TO ED­IN­BURGH

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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

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