As patron of Rosy, Lady Rotherwick works tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for families who have children with terminal illnesses. Her own involvement started as a result of her own personal when she suffered what she refers to as “the nightmare of losing my child”.
One of England’s most enduringly successful character actors, Robert Hardy is noted for his versatility and depth. Born in Cheltenham in 1925, he studied at Oxford University and, in 1949, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Television viewers most fondly remember him as the overbearing Siegfried Farnon in “All Creatures Great and Small” (1978) but his most critically acclaimed performance was as the title character of “Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years” (1981). His portrayal of Britain’s wartime leader was so accurately observed that, in the following years, he was called on to reprise the role in such productions as The Woman He Loved (1988) (TV) and “War and Remembrance” (1988).
Unlike some British character actors, Hardy has never been recognised by Hollywood and his work in films has therefore been restricted to appearances in predominantly British-based productions such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Frankenstein (1994) and Sense and Sensibility (1995). He has been awarded the CBE for services to acting.
Simon Parkin grew up in Manchester and worked on no less than three hospital radio stations through his teenage years before landing his first professional radio engagement at Radio Tees. Children’s BBC followed soon afterwards. Simon arrived in December 1987 as presenter of the Christmas holiday morning links. During his time at Children’s BBC Simon introduced almost all variants of the service, including afternoons in the Broom Cupboard, Birthdays in the morning, Now On Two and three seasons of BFT. Simon left Children’s BBC in February 1992. He became GMTV’s children’s presenter from the station’s launch, fronting a host of shows including It’s Not and Parkin’s In….
In more recent years, Simon returned to radio, hosting shows on a number of stations including RealRadio, Bath FM, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Somerset Sound, where he can still be heard on Saturday mornings.
Tina Hobley graduated from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in 1995 and took on a wide range of theatrical roles, including production tours of the Middle East and Asia. She went on to star in a number of notable television dramas including Coronation Street (as Samantha Failsworth) and Harbour Lights (as WPC Melanie Rush). She is best known for her current role as feisty Ward Sister, Chrissie Williams, in the award winning BBC medical drama Holby City.
Tom Ward was born in Swansea, to the poet and academic John Powell Ward and Sarah Ward OBE, a farmer.
Tom was sent to the Dragon School in Oxford and The King’s School, Canterbury. He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lincoln College, Oxford. He joined the drama society, and subsequently decided to pursue acting as a career.