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Clarke, Margi (1954-)

Actor, Presenter, Singer

Main image of Clarke, Margi (1954-)

From her breakthrough role in Letter to Brezhnev (d. Chris Bernard, 1985) to her no-nonsense fronting of The Good Sex Guide (ITV, 1993), Margi Clarke (hard 'g') has made the most of a persona fusing a platinum blonde bombshell look with sharp-tongued Scouse wit.

Born in Kirkby, she began her media career presenting Granada's magazine show What's On (1978), and spent the early eighties performing in various punk bands under the name Margox. In 1983, she starred in her younger brother Frank's play Letter to Brezhnev, and repeated the role in the cinema version, winning the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Subsequent big-screen appearances include the title role in boxing drama Blonde Fist (d. Frank Clarke, 1991) and a trio of offbeat comedies by Finnish siblings Aki and Mika Kaurismäki.

But it was on television that her career flourished. After standing in for Paula Yates on The Tube (Channel 4, 1982-87), she took a regular role in Debbie Horsfield's raucous factory drama series Making Out (BBC, 1989-91). After The Good Sex Guide won her a Royal Television Society award, she co-presented daytime fashion show Swank (ITV, 1994) alongside designer David Emmanuel.

At the turn of the millennium, she appeared in two high-profile soaps, as Deirdre Rachid's cellmate Jackie Dobbs in Coronation Street (ITV, 1998-9) and a stint on Family Affairs (Channel 5, 2001-2), while 2002 saw a cinema comeback with Revenger's Tragedy (d. Alex Cox) and 24 Hour Party People (d. Michael Winterbottom). More recently, she has been capitalising on her nickname 'The Queen of Liverpool' by playing a high-profile role in the 2008 City of Culture celebrations.

Michael Brooke

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Thumbnail image of Letter to Brezhnev (1985)Letter to Brezhnev (1985)

Fresh, lively romance about love across the iron curtain

Thumbnail image of Tube, The (1982-87)Tube, The (1982-87)

Hip, irreverent music show from Channel 4's early years

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