PATSY Palmer has been enjoying life across the pond, after swapping blighty for the US.
But before she ditched London for LA she was well known for playing the feisty Bianca Jackson in EastEnders – here’s her story…
Who is Patsy Palmer? What was her early career?
Patsy Palmer was born Julie Anne Harris on 26 May 1972 in Bethnal Green, London.
She is an English actress and DJ.
Her mother first spotted her acting talent and encouraged her to go to Anna Scher’s famous acting school in London.
Upon enrolling at the school, and learning about an actress already with the name Julie Harris, Patsy adopted her current name by borrowing her mother’s maiden name and changing her given
name to a nickname of her mother’s first name, Pat.
Patsy made her screen debut in the television programme The Gentle Touch in 1984.
Like many other EastEnders stars, Patsy appeared on Grange Hill in 1986 and 1987.
She went on to have small roles in BBC’s Tricky Business (1989), Making News (1990), Clarissa (1991), Love Hurts (1992), Drop the Dead Donkey (1993), and The Bill (1993).
When did Patsy Palmer join EastEnders? Is she still in it now?
In 1993 Patsy was cast in the role of feisty Bianca Jackson in EastEnders.
Bianca’s on-off romance with Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) captivated millions of fans and their on-screen marriage in 1997 drew one of the biggest soap audiences ever – it also coined the phrase “Rickaaay”.
She remained in the role for six years, but quit in 1999 to spend more time with her family and to concentrate on other projects.
In May 2002 she reprised the role in a special spin-off entitled, EastEnders: Ricky and Bianca.
In 2005, Patsy publicly criticised EastEnders, branding the storylines ridiculous and unbelievable and stating that she “wouldn’t go back”.
However, in October 2007 the BBC announced that Patsy would be returning to the soap as a full-time character; she made her comeback on-screen in April 2008.
But in 2014 it was announced she was leaving the show, and she returned briefly in 2019.
What other TV work has Patsy Palmer done?
After quitting EastEnders the first time, Patsy worked on the first series of OK TV with Fiona Phillips in 1999.
That same year Patsy made a cameo appearance as herself in an episode of Kathy Burke’s sitcom, Gimme Gimme Gimme, which made light of her role as Bianca Jackson.
In 2001 she starred in a Sky 1 mini-series Do or Die.
Patsy has also released numerous work-out DVDs.
In 2005 she was partnered up with Anton Du Beke on Strictly Come Dancing.
Patsy has also had a stage career and starred in the one-woman musical Tell Me On A Sunday.
She also had a leading role in a UK tour of the musical Steppin’ Out and appeared in the original West End run of Mum’s the Word.
In 2020 she took part in the Masked Singer and also Celebrity Bake Off.
What is Patsy Palmer’s net worth?
Patsy has amassed quite a fortune since her rise to fame.
Her net worth is around £10M.
This is down to her acting work and her endorsements.
Is Patsy Palmer married? Does she have children?
Patsy has been married twice.
She has been married to Richard Merkell since 2000.
She has four children – Charley (born 1992), Fenton (born 2000), Emilia (born 2001), and Bertie (born 2010).
When the family moved to Malibu, Charley stayed in England to become an actor.
Does Patsy homeschool her children?
In April, 2018 Patsy revealed she homeschools kids Fenton, 17 and Emilia, 16, so the pair can focus on their careers in modelling and acting.
Speaking in a new interview, the ex-EastEnders star said: “They don’t really like school anyway, I hated it when I was a kid, so I’m never going to push them.”
Instead of school, the kids study classes online so they can have the flexibility to attend acting lessons and auditions.
Patsy adds: “It’s so far to go anyway. If they have a casting in the day it’s going to be hard for them to get there.”