She soon got her first break in Paul Abbot’s ITV drama Reckless, starring Robson Green and Francesca Annis. A higher profile started to grow with three series of the BBC 1 TV drama, penned by Kay Mellor, Playing the Field, in which she played the loveable but ditzy Diane Powell; and another three series of Bad Girls, for which Debra was twice nominated for Best Actress at the National Television Awards and won most popular actress at The TV Quick Awards, for her role as the evil Shell Dockley.
In 2004, Debra became one of the nation’s favourites for her portrayal of Frankie Baldwin in Coronation Street, where she stayed for almost 3 years. She has enjoyed the honour of singing solo at many prestigious venues including The Albert Hall, Wembley Arena and her proudest moment was singing the National Anthem at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium as well as the England Football Team!
Over the years Debra has enjoyed making appearances on many light entertainment TV shows such as Stars In Their Eyes, which she took part in twice, performing as Kate Bush and Kylie Minogue; we also saw her as Michael Jackson on Let’s Dance for Sport Relief, and more recently she scored joint highest marks on the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.
Debra has also been known to turn her hand to presenting, for example the National Lottery Midweek draws and perhaps more notably an immersive style documentary called Prisons for Virgin TV, which involved Debra getting up-close and personal with the inmates of Alemeda County Jail, USA.
At the moment Debra is probably best known for her impressions of the likes of Davina McCall, Ann Robinson and Cheryl Cole in The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson, in which she starred in 3 series for BBC1, along with her comedy counterpart Jon Culshaw. However, she has kept her hand in with straight acting having more recently played serious roles in dramas such as ITV’s Waterloo Road, Channel 4’s Upfront: The Postcode Lottery and BBC1 children’s drama Rocket Island. Debra’s most recent project combined her love of comedy and cookery in the genremashing, cutting-edge cook-show with a comic twist, “Fanny and Friends”, in which Debra brings Fanny Cradock “back from the dead” to host a brand new programme for Channel 4. The pilot was recently screened on More 4 as part of a whole evening of Fanny’s favourite recipes, entitled “A Night in with Fanny” as part of Channel 4’s Stand up for Cancer charity campaign.
Debra’s act will take you through an adventure of vocal impressions from the 50’s to the present day, including Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Tina Turner and Adele.