Patsy Palmer (born Julie Harris on 26 May 1972 in Bethnal Green, London) is an English actress and television personality.
Palmer made an early television appearance on the children's drama show Grange Hill, but is best-known for playing Bianca Jackson in the popular British television soap opera EastEnders. Originally in the cast from 1993-1999, Palmer returned to Eastenders in April 2008. She has also appeared in a number of TV dramas, and released an autobiography, All of Me in 2007. She lives with her husband and three children in Brighton, East Sussex, UK.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Career
o 2.1 Early career
o 2.2 EastEnders
o 2.3 Other work
* 3 Personal life
* 4 References
* 5 External links
 Early life
Patsy Palmer was born Julie Harris and grew up in east London. Palmer's mother is a dressmaker, her father separated from her mother when she was eight years old.
She was brought up along with her two elder brothers, Albert and Harry, by her mother Pat. It was her mother who first spotted her acting talent and encouraged her to go to Anna Scher's famous acting school in London (where many other EastEnders stars such as Sid Owen, Gillian Taylforth and Susan Tully also trained). Palmer was bullied at school, and has said that acting was a form of escape.
Aged six she starred in a West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and by the age of 12 she had written her own play about prostitution and won an award at the London Festival of Plays.
Needing to change her name professionally to avoid a conflict with another actress in Equity, Palmer — in a private tribute — adopted her mother's own maiden name, Patsy Palmer.
 Early career
She made her screen debut in the television programme The Gentle Touch in 1984. Like many other EastEnders actors, Palmer appeared on the children's drama show 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); The Bill (1993) and she also appeared as an acne ridden teenager in a Clearasil advert.
In 1993 she was cast in the role of fiesty Bianca Jackson in BBC's flagship soap opera, EastEnders. A popular character, 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 — more than 22 million. 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. She reprised the role in May 2002 in a special spin-off entitled, EastEnders: Ricky and Bianca. The two part, hour long special was filmed in Manchester and reuinted Bianca and Ricky for the first time in over two years.
In 2005, Palmer publicly criticised EastEnders, branding the storylines ridiculous and unbelievable and stating that she "wouldn't go back to EastEnders". However, on 29 October 2007 the BBC announced that Palmer would be returning to the soap as a fulltime character and will make her comeback on-screen in March 2008. Palmer has commented "I can't wait to explore what Bianca has been doing with her life and seeing what she is going to get up to next" and executive producer of EastEnders, Diederick Santer, added, "I'm delighted to welcome Patsy Palmer home to EastEnders. Bianca is one of the most popular characters the show has ever had".
 Other work
Palmer appeared as Clare in the detective series McCready and Daughter, which aired for a pilot and one series between 2000 and 2001. She made an appearance in He knew he was right for the BBC in 2004 and in 2001 she was seen in the television mini-series, Do or die, which aired on Sky One. In 1999, Palmer made a cameo appearance as herself in an episode of Kathy Burke's sitcom, Gimme Gimme Gimme; it made light of her role as Bianca Jackson.
On stage she has starred in the one-woman musical Tell Me On A Sunday, which toured the UK and played in London's West End. She also had a leading role in a UK tour of the musical Steppin' out; appeared in the original West end run of Mum's the word, and acted in We happy few by Imogen Stubbs, which played a short run at the Gielgud Theatre.
Palmer stood in for GMTV's Lorraine Kelly, presenting her Lorraine Live section for a week in 1999, reporting from Miami on fashion, lifestyle, health and fitness. She has also co-hosted Channel 4's Big Breakfast as a guest presenter for a week. Palmer has released a number of hit fitness videos and DVDs, Patsy Palmer - The club workout (2000), Patsy Palmer - The urban workout (2002) and Patsy Palmer's Ibiza workout (2002). In 2006 Palmer made an appearance in The Allstar Workout. Palmer's film work includes the shorts Another Green World and Love Story, directed by Nick Love.
In 2005 Palmer took part in BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show, to raise money for the Children in Need fund. She has also made a cameo appearance with Catherine Tate's sketch show The Catherine Tate Show. In February 2007, she was a jury member on the BBC programme The Verdict where various celebrities ruled on a contemporary and controversial case, based on evidence and examples from real life.
Palmer's autobiography All of Me was released in the UK on 5 April 2007. In it she describes her ascent to fame, her struggle with addiction and how she has battled to overcome her problems. In addition to acting, Palmer has set up her own company, Palmer Cutler, with a friend, selling beauty and self-tanning products.
In 2008 a short film staring Palmer was released by housing and homelessness charity Shelter 
 Personal life
Palmer's first marriage to film-writer and director Nick Love in 1998 lasted only 5 months, and she re-married in August 2000 to taxi driver Richard Merkell. They now have two children; Fenton (born June 2000) and Emilia (born July 2001). She also has another son called Charlie (born 1992) from her previous relationship with boxer Alfie Rothwell.
She currently lives with her husband and three children in Brighton, East Sussex, England.
Palmer's brother, Harry Harris, is married to Lindsey Coulson, the actress who played her on-screen mother Carol Jackson in EastEnders.
Palmer has admitted to being a drug and alcohol addict and revealed that during her stint on EastEnders she frequently turned up on set either still "high" or "horribly hungover". She has said that she started experimenting with alcohol and drugs from the age of eight and her addiction lasted for 24 years. She's been clean of drugs and alcohol since September 2004 and still goes to AA meetings regularly.
Palmer suffered from bullying during her school years. Because of this she has lent her support to the Department for Education's anti-bullying campaign in 2000.
She is close friends with Sid Owen (Ricky Butcher). They stated in an interview that they go everywhere together since people constantly ask Palmer "Where's Ricky?
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Patsy Palmer @british tv soap awards 3.5.08 x4
Patsy Palmer arrives for the British Soap Awards at BBC Television Centre (May 9) x2
Patsy Palmer x1
Patsy Palmer - 12th British Soap Awards in London, 8.05.2010 - 14x
Patsy Palmer x1
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