- Made her West End debut in 1990 in Blood Brothers.
- Daughter of television scriptwriter, Geoffrey Lancashire, who notably worked on the British soap Coronation Street; she joined the show in 1991 as popular recurring character, Raquel Watts.
- Signed an exclusive deal with British broadcaster ITV in 2000, worth 1.3 million pounds, making her Britain's highest-paid actress.
- Played Adelaide in Guys and Dolls on the West End in 2005.
- 2014, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Winner
- 2013, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 2012, Olivier Awards — Best Actress in a Musical: Nominee
- 2005, BAFTA Television Awards — Best New Director - Fiction: Nominee
- 2015, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
- 2016, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Nominee
- 2017, National Television Awards — Drama Performance: Winner
- 2015, National Television Awards — Drama Performance: Nominee
- Michael Hargreaves — Son
- Gary Hargreaves — Ex-husband
- Hilda Lancashire — Mother
- Peter Salmon — Husband
- Thomas Hargreaves — Son
- Geoffrey Lancashire — Father
- Joseph Peter Salmon — Son
- Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, England
- Birth Place: Oldham, Lancashire, England
- Profession: Actor
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