Crissy Rock is an English award-winning actress, stand-up comedienne, and best-selling author, most notable for her role as Maggie Conlan in the 1994 film Ladybird, Ladybird, and as Janey York in Benidorm whom she played from 2007 until 2011 and returned in Episode 6 of Series 5 for a cameo role, and then again for two episodes of Series 7 in 2015.
Rock started her career as a comedienne in the late 1980s. She appeared nationwide on Bob Monkhouse's BBC Television show Bob Says Opportunity Knocks, where she was given the highest marks for any comedy act on the series. Monkhouse said: "She has the art of timing and had me in stitches."
In 1998, Rock toured the United Kingdom in a drama called Shellfish, in which she played the role of the pivotal female role of Pat. The Guardian newspaper wrote: Pat is an utterly believable portrayal of a woman making a last grab at happiness. In the mid-2000s, Rock left the UK and relocated to Benidorm, where she established herself as a female stand-up comedian.
Following the success of the TV show Benidorm she returned to the UK in 2008 and continued to perform her stand-up act in clubs around the country. Rock's comedy has been described as "outrageous" and "emotional".
In 2011, Rock released her debut DVD: Crissy Rock – Live!, recorded at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre. From December 2011 to January 2012, Rock played the role of the Fairy Godmother in Billingham Forum's Christmas pantomime production of Cinderella. In December 2013, Rock appeared as the Wicked Queen in a production of Snow White at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre. More theatre followed including leading the cast of new comedy Dirty Dusting, then starred alongside Duggie Brown in Escorts the musical at the Theatre Royal St Helens.
Film & Television
Rock's debut acting performance was as Maggie Conlan in Ken Loach's award-winning 1994 film Ladybird Ladybird. Loach later recalled: "I cannot think of anyone I have worked with who shines more brightly than Crissy Rock". Her performance won her numerous awards, including 'Best Actress' at the Berlin Film Festival (Tom Hanks won best actor), 'Best Actress' at London Film Critics Awards (Hugh Grant won Best Actor), and she received a 'Best Newcomer' nomination in the Evening Standard Awards. Film critic Gene Siskel said on the CBS This Morning programme: "No Oscar ceremony will be complete without a nomination for this brilliant performance."
In 1995, Rock appeared on primetime ITV in Peak Practice, Celebrity Squares and Funny Girls. She also performed on Sky One's Stand and Deliver. In 1996, she played Annie Greave in episode three of the BBC detective drama Dalziel and Pascoe, had a regular television role as nosy neighbour Anita Cartledge in Springhill , and starred alongside Julie Walters and Robert Lindsay in the BBC comedy play Brazen Hussies.
In 1997, she played alongside Billie Whitelaw in the six part BBC1 series Born To Run. She also made regular appearances onChannel 4's game show Pull The Other One. In 1999, Rock played alongside Pete Postlethwaite in the BBC crime dramaButterfly Collectors, Nancy Banks-Smith who, writing in The Guardian said: “Crissy Rock..just switch her on and watch her go”. This was the first of two plays in which she featured in that year, the other was as Jean Walton in Jimmy McGovern's BAFTA nominated Channel 4 play Dockers, with Ken Scott and Ricky Tomlinson. In the same year, she was acclaimed for her presenting debut on BBC TV's Millennium Night Show (with Michael Parkinsonand Gaby Roslin).
In 2000, she played the regular role of the unnamed newsagent in the BAFTA nominated BBC One drama series Clocking Off. In 2001, Rock starred as Amber Costello during a four-week stint in Channel 4's popular soap opera Brookside. In 2002, she worked with Ricky Tomlinson again, when she played Madame Flo in his six part BBC series Nice Guy Eddie. She also starred in a short film called Hero, which won the Hamburg and Dresden International Festivals in three categories, also the London International Film Festival for short subjects.
Following a five-year hiatus in acting, Rock was cast, without audition, in the two part Closure episode of Lynda La Plante's Trial & Retribution series for ITV in 2007. The following year, Plante cast her in another of her TV productions: The Commander. She said: "Crissy has a power of emotions that is so rare".
In 2008, Rock took on the role of loudmouthed hotel manageress Janey York in ITV's highly successful comedy series Benidorm. In 2012, Rock filmed "The Air That I Breath", based on the 1970s TV series Hazell. Over the years, she has appeared in various feature films, including Under the Skin, with Samantha Morton, Act of Grace, in which she played Leo Gregory's mother, and A Boy Called Dad.
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
Rock took part in the 11th series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. She came 6th and left on Day 19. On 8 December 2011, days after returning from Australia, she appeared on Gabby Logan's Channel 5 show Live with Gabby in which she reflected on her 19 days in the jungle, her weight loss and her DVD.
Rock published her autobiography This Heart Within Me Burns in 2011. The book was a best-seller in Britain, the sales for the hardback edition hit 35,000, and it was subsequently released in paperback. This Heart Within Me Burns was described as 'an inspirational piece of literature'.
Encouraged by this success, Rock teamed up with Ken Scott to pen the first of a series of novels centring on fictional journalist Samantha Kerr. The first book,Revenge Is Sweeter Than Flowing Honey was published in February 2014.