2016 is proving to be another busy year for the wonderful June Whitfield. Now in her 91st year, June shows no signs of slowing down and retirement, thankfully, seems to be a dirty word.
Already this year June has appeared in EastEnders as Sister Ruth, made a return appearance to the BBC comedy series Boomers (alongside the likes of Alison Steadman and Stephanie Beacham) and will soon be seen reprising her role as Mother in the big screen version of Absolutely Fabulous. This film will see her co-star with another member of the Carry On alumni, Wanda Ventham.
Anyway, despite all these screen commitments, June has not forgotten her love for radio. June has been a prolific star of radio comedy and drama since the early days of her career in the 1950s. Who can forget her roles in the long running comedy series Take It From Here? She has appeared on radio with everyone from Leslie Crowther and Ronnie Barker to Frankie Howerd and Sid James. More recently June has played Agatha Christie's Miss Marple in several adaptations and also spent a couple of decades working with Roy Hudd on The News Huddlines.
June's most recent radio assignment is a bit of a departure. In A Girl Called Jack, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, June stars opposite Ray Winstone's actress daughter Jaime. This from the BBC website:
Jack Monroe is an unusual food writer, gaining celebrity from her unique blog about existing on the breadline. During that time, she hit rock bottom but kept fighting to eat well and give her son proper food, rather than live on processed, cheap products. Now successful and no longer on the breadline, she continues to campaign passionately for decent food and standards of living.
This new drama, starring Jaime Winstone and June Whitfield, revisits her past and her relationship with her beloved Grandma.
Jack's blog started in 2012 after a Southend local councillor attacked single mothers. Jack lived in a small flat with her young son. Having been made redundant from a well-paid job, she found herself struggling to get by on benefits while applying unsuccessfully for jobs. Her blog documented the difficulties of living on welfare and, particularly, how to feed her son a nutritious and enjoyable diet on just £10 a week. It became a huge hit. Jack became a journalist, published food writer and a social campaigner.
Sarah Daniels is an award winning radio writer. In 2014, she dramatised Nigel Slater's food memoir, Eating for England, for BBC Radio 4. She has drawn on Jack Monroe's written recipe books, blogs and direct conversations to reveal the personal story behind Jack's years of struggling and subsequent fame.
You can find out more and listen to the first episode via the BBC Radio 4 Website
You can visit Jack's blog here: Cooking On A Bootstrap
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