Maxine Peake, actor

Maxine Peake, actor

By BBC Radio 4

Maxine Peake is an actor and writer who first came to public attention in 1998 as Twinkle in the Victoria Wood sitcom Dinnerladies. She went on to play Veronica in Paul Abbott’s series Shameless and later became known for playing real people, including the Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams, and Sara Rowbotham, the former health worker who exposed the sexual abuse scandal in Rochdale in 2012.

Maxine was born in Bolton and after a rocky start at college – she was asked to leave her performing arts course after just two weeks but stuck it out – she won a scholarship to study at RADA. Three months before she was due to graduate she auditioned for Victoria Wood and won her first television role starring alongside Wood, Julie Walters and Anne Reid.

Victoria Wood advised her to take on a diverse range of roles in order to avoid being typecast as what Maxine calls the “fat, funny northerner”. She took the advice to heart and extended her range playing Myra Hindley, Martha Costello QC in the legal drama Silk and Hamlet in a critically acclaimed production at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester.

Maxine has also written plays including Beryl: A Love Story on Two Wheels about Beryl Burton, a Yorkshire woman who dominated 1960s cycling and held the record for the men’s 12-hour time trial for two years.

DISC ONE: Mersey Paradise by The Stone Roses DISC TWO: Puff the Magic Dragon by Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Red DISC THREE: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson DISC FOUR: The Four Horsemen by Aphrodite’s Child DISC FIVE: Evening of Light by Nico DISC SIX: Promised Land by Joe Smooth DISC SEVEN: A Whistling Woman by The Unthanks DISC EIGHT: I Saw the Light by Todd Rundgren

BOOK CHOICE: One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard LUXURY ITEM: A solar-powered epilator CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson

Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

Heart UK