Rita Tushingham, actor

Rita Tushingham, actor

By BBC Radio 4

Rita Tushingham first won international acclaim as a teenager, playing Jo in the film A Taste of Honey. Her performance in this 1961 kitchen sink drama earned her a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. She starting shooting the film on her 19th birthday.

She went on to play roles in the Leather Boys, the Knack… and How to Get it and Doctor Zhivago. Now 80, she continues to perform and recently appeared in two BBC television drama series - Ridley Road and The Responder - and in the film Last Night in Soho.

Rita was born in Liverpool and at 16 joined the Liverpool Repertory Company as a student assistant stage manager. Her first role was as the back legs of a horse in Toad of Toad Hall. In 1960 she responded to a newspaper article which invited ‘ugly’ unknown girls to apply for the part of Jo in a film adaptation of Shelagh Delaney's play A Taste of Honey, to be directed by Tony Richardson. The film challenged many taboos of the time, including teenage pregnancy and interracial relationships.

After the British film industry went into decline in the 1970s Rita started working in Europe. In 1988 she went back to her roots and played Celia Higgins in Carla Lane’s Liverpool sitcom, Bread. Rita lives in London and is a passionate supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

DISC ONE: You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry & the Pacemakers DISC TWO: Tutti Frutti by Little Richard DISC THREE: Penny Lane by The Beatles DISC FOUR: Every Time We Say Goodbye by Ella Fitzgerald DISC FIVE: The pas de deux from the second act of Giselle, performed by The Pro Arte Orchestra, conducted by Marcus Dods DISC SIX: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel DISC SEVEN: An extract from I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue - Potted Plots, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 22nd May 2006 DISC EIGHT: Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley

BOOK CHOICE: Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable LUXURY ITEM: A photograph album CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel

Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Paula McGinley

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