Where the stars of Merseyside sitcom Watching are now

The hit ITV sitcom Watching was such an enormous success it lasted practically seven years.

Many of its stars went on to change into family names in TV and film whereas others disappeared from the limelight.

The present – which commonly attracted over 13 million viewers – adopted the on a regular basis lives of a Merseyside household, one in all whom was an avid birdwatcher.

The sitcom centred round an unlikely romance between good mouthed Brenda from Liverpool and Malcolm from Meols on the Wirral, the “posh” a part of Merseyside.

The title refers to Brenda and her sister Pamela’s passion of “folks watching”, and to Malcolm’s passion of birdwatching.

The hit present helped launch profitable performing careers for most of the solid, a few of whom went on to star in EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

There was additionally an off-screen romance between two of the co-stars and one actress from the present achieved Hollywood fame, whereas one other turned their again on showbiz.

The Daily Star online took a have a look at the place the celebrities of the present at the moment are – and what they’ve achieved of their performing careers.

Paul Bown (Malcolm Stoneway)

The Staffordshire-born actor bought his huge break because the lead position as birdwatcher Malcolm.

Paul, now 63, has gone on to have a profitable TV profession and appeared in common reveals together with Coronation Street, Casualty, Holby City, Endeavour and Father Brown.

In Corrie he starred as Roy Cropper’s brother and has appeared in a variety of dramas together with A Confession, alongside Martin Freeman, and likewise in Bancroft.

A enjoyable truth is that Paul starred alongside Rowan Atkinson within the first-ever episode of Mr Bean and likewise had a cameo within the hit movie The Damned United, starring Hollywood actor Michael Sheen.

Emma Wray (Brenda Wilson)

Birkenhead-born Emma was an ideal hit for the Merseyside-based present, for which she sang the memorable theme tune “What Does He See in Me?”.

Recognisable because the loud character Brenda, she was compelled to experience in Malcolm’s sidecar of his Norton bike on his comical birdwatching journeys.

And it was her method of rubbing up Malcolm’s domineering mom, Marjorie, performed by Patsy Byrne.

Emma additionally performed a significant position in Yorkshire Television’s Stay Lucky, however maybe surprisingly packed up performing in 1999 after her final position as Donna within the TV collection My Wonderful Life, and is now reportedly a nanny.

Emma, 56, dated Watching co-star – and future EastEnders stalwart – Perry Fenwick and loved success with roles in well-known reveals Boon and Minder throughout her 12-year performing profession.

Liza Tarbuck (Pamela Lunch)



a close up of Liza Tarbuck: Lisa Tarbuck pictured in 2005


© Getty Images
Lisa Tarbuck pictured in 2005

Famously often known as the daughter of Liverpool comic Jimmy Tarbuck, Liza skilled on the National Youth Theatre and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Her huge break got here in Watching when she performed Brenda’s sister, earlier than occurring to star because the character Angie within the 1998 Falklands War drama Tumbledown alongside Hollywood A-lister Colin Firth.

Later the actress performed the title position in BBC One comedy-drama Linda Green and visitor starred in Ricky Gervais’ hit comedy collection Extras.

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The 56-year-old has a string of performing credit to her names, which incorporates roles in reveals French and Saunders, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Saxondale, Bleak House, Bonkers and Doctor Who.

Liza offered the style programme She’s Gotta Have It and Sky One’s Blockbusters, in addition to having been a visitor presenter on the BBC present Have I Got News for You. and The Big Breakfast with Johnny Vaughan, Sara Cox and Richard Bacon, however she famously stop the hit Channel 4 present after only a yr within the job.

As nicely as an extended listing of TV jobs, Liza has additionally discovered success on radio and has narrated the Channel 4 weight-reduction plan present Supersize vs Superskinny since 2008.

Perry Fenwick (Terry Milton)

London-born Perry additionally made his TV breakthrough within the present, earlier than going to land the position as iconic position of Billy Mitchell in BBC hit cleaning soap EastEnders.

The 58-year-old has performed the character in Albert Square ever since 1998 having initially having solely been meant to be a visitor character.

Perry additionally appeared in TV reveals Inspector Morse, comedy The Brittas Empire, Minder, On The Up, The Thin Blue Line and legendary detective present Bergerac, starring John Nettles.

He dated Watching co-star Emma Wray and was famously married to former Coronation Street star Angela Lonsdale.

The couple break up in 2010 after 5 years of marriage.

Perry has quite a few movie credit to his title, together with Empire State, The Winslow Boy and Mona Lisa.

But it’s his position as Billy Mitchell, which has now performed for over 20 years, which most TV followers will know him for.

Patsy Byrne (Marjorie Stoneway)



Patsy Byrne wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Patsy Byrne as Nursie in BBC comedy series Blackadder II


© Mirror Screen Grab
Patsy Byrne as Nursie in BBC comedy collection Blackadder II

Many TV followers will know Patsy for her position as Nursie within the hit comedy Blackadder.

But it was as Malcolm’s domineering mom Mrs Stoneway the place Patsy actually got here into her personal.

Trained on the Royal Shakespeare Company, Patsy sadly died aged 80 in 2014.

She had a adorned TV and movie profession which included roles in Inspector Morse, 2point4 and Children, Les Miserables, David Copperfield and Stealing Heaven to listing just a few.

She additionally starred in hit ITV collection Heartbeat and in a powerful performing profession which spanned over three many years.

Philip Fox (Sidney Clough)

The actor got here inside a whisker of starring in hit comedy Blackadder, however the pilot wasn’t broadcast and fellow actor Tony Robinson famously landed the position of iconic dogsbody Baldrick.

But irrespective of, Philip has since gone to take pleasure in a profitable TV, movie and radio profession.

His appearances embody Waking The Dead, People Like Us, Maxwell, Don’t Tell Father, Midsummer Murders, Foyle’s War and comedy reveals together with I’m Alan Partridge.

He is well-known for his radio work with BBC Radio 4, which incorporates reveals The Art of Deception, The Razor’s Edge, The Yellow Dog and Inspector Cadaver.

A enjoyable truth is made a cameo within the Superman IV movie and likewise landed a credit score within the film Maurice, starring Hollywood huge gun Hugh Grant.

John Bowler (David Lynch)



John Bowler wearing a suit and tie: John Bowler went on to star in Emmerdale as well as EastEnders and Corrie


© ITV
John Bowler went on to star in Emmerdale in addition to EastEnders and Corrie

John studied performing in Glasgow earlier than touchdown his break on Watching, showing within the collection throughout his early profession as a budding actor.

And now, aged 68, John has loved a distinguished profession.

The skilled actor has the weird feather in his cap of getting appeared all three of the large soaps, EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

But he’ll arguably be most remembered for his position as PC Roger Valentine in 229 episodes of the hit ITV police drama The Bill.

He’s additionally starred in well-known TV reveals Casualty, Law and Order UK, WPC 56, Holby City, DCI Banks, Doctor Who, Father Brown and, since 2019, Emmerdale because the character DI Goldberg.

John made a cameo in Corrie in 2002 after which a yr later plated the character Dougie Slade in six episodes, earlier than a clear sweep of the soaps together with his current appearances in ITV’s Emmerdale.

Elizabeth Spriggs (Aunty Peggy)

Ten years after her performing debut in 1968, Elizabeth received a coveted Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for her star efficiency in Love Letters on Blue Paper.

She additionally acquired a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her position within the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman.

The common actress additionally starred in field workplace smash within the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as her profession grew and grew to Hollywood fame.

Elizabeth, who died aged 78 in 2008, landed coveted roles in Richard’s Things, Impromptu and Paradise Road, and celebrated a nice TV profession which spanned a staggering 50 years.

She appeared in an entire host of well-known reveals together with Casualty, Heartbeat, Doctor Who, The Royal, Midsomer Murders, Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Swiss Toni.

Her star-studded funeral was attended by a string to prime actor together with Peter Vaughan, Jeremy Irons and Robert Hardy.

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