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Hannah Louise Spearritt (born 1 April 1981; Great YarmouthNorfolk)[1] is an English actress and former singer. She is an original member of the pop group S Club 7from 1999 until they split in 2003. Spearritt is also known for playing the role of Abby Maitland in the drama Primeval.

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 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Spearritt was born in Great Yarmouth to Michael and Jenny Spearritt. She is the youngest of three children. Her sister is former model and fashion designer Tanya Spearritt. Her uncle, Eddie Spearritt, from Lowestoft was a professional football player who played for Ipswich Town in the 1960s.[2] At the age of three, Spearritt modelled in a Mothercare catalogue.

Music career[edit]Edit

The group S Club 7 rose to fame by starring in their own BBC television series, Miami 7, in 1999 and have been widely referred to as inspiring a new generation of teenage TV musicals including High School Musicaland Glee.[by whom?] Over the five years they were together, S Club 7 had four UK No.1 singles, one UK No.1 album, a string of hits throughout Europe, including a top-ten single in the United States, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. They recorded a total of four studio albums, released eleven singles and went on to sell over fourteen million albums worldwide.[3] Their first album, S Club, had a strong 1990s pop sound, similar to many artists of their time. However, through the course of their career, their musical approach changed to a more dance and R&B sound which is heard mostly in their final album, Seeing Double. S Club 7 won twoBRIT Awards—in 2000 for British breakthrough act and in 2002, for best British single. In 2001, the group earned the Record of the Year award. Group member Paul Cattermole departed the group in 2002, and the group changed its name from S Club 7 to simply S Club. On 21 April 2003, during a live onstage performance, S Club announced that they were to disband.[4] S Club reunited in 2008 with only 3 of the 7 members (O'Meara, Cattermole and McIntosh). Spearritt, Barrett, Stevens, and Lee have been planning to reunite with S Club. On 12 June 2012, Spearritt denied the reunion plans and stated that she will not return to S Club or continue her music career and will keep on pursuing her acting career. She stated "It's cool that bands like Steps are getting back together, because it's worked out for lots of people. But I don't see it in my plans at all. In the future, I hope I'll still be working and being able to do what I love. I feel very lucky at the minute, and doing theatre has really opened more doors for me. So as long as I can keep doing what I love, I'm very lucky."[5]

Acting career[edit]Edit

1998–2002: Career beginnings[edit]Edit

When she was 12, she landed a part in the Lowestoft Players amateur dramatics society's production of Annie. Thereafter she successfully auditioned for the National Youth Music Theatre, and became part of the company.[1] While with the NYMT she met future S Club member and boyfriend Paul Cattermole, as well as her friend and future flatmate, actress Sheridan Smith. She appeared in the NYMT's productions Pendragon(1994–95)—performing in New York and Hong Kong, Tin Pan Ali (1996), and the West End musical Bugsy Malone (1997) — she was a member of the original cast.[1]

In 1998, she got a role in the television film The Cater Street Hangman,[1] playing the role of a maid who gets murdered. She had also made appearances on the National Lottery Show and Blue Peter. While Spearritt was studying mathematics, performing arts and media studies at college in Great Yarmouth, she auditioned for S Club 7 after seeing an advert in a magazine. In the last week of S Club's existence, Spearritt's management claimed she was at home in bed with the flu.

2003–05: Breakthrough film roles[edit]Edit

In 2003, she was in Los Angeles to audition for a role in the film Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, a fact that she revealed at the UK premiere of the film on 24 March 2004 in London. She got the role and three days after leaving S Club, she began filming. In March 2004, Spearritt successfully auditioned for a minor role in the horror film Seed of Chucky, which was seen by some as an attempt to distance herself from her squeaky clean S Club image.[6] Shortly after completing filming, Spearritt decided to take a break from show-business to travel and spend time with her family.

In early November 2005, she made her acting comeback in the BBC's Blessed, an eight-part sitcom. In Blessed, she played a minor role, appearing as a member of a fake girl band in two episodes. December 2005 saw Spearritt appearing in the unsuccessful West End musical, Snow! The Musical, at London's Sound Theatre. The musical was cancelled just three weeks into its run because of poor ticket sales - one show managed to attract an audience of only two people.[7]

2006–12: Primeval and stage[edit]Edit

In February 2006, it was revealed that Spearritt had landed a lead role in a brand new ITV series called Primeval. She plays the role of Abby Maitland, a reptile enthusiast who gets mixed up with time travellingProfessor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) after discovering a species of reptile she had never encountered. The series began on 10 February 2007. It paused for over three years before its fourth season aired on ITV in February 2011 with a group of new actors. Season five was viewed on Watch and was shown in early 2012 on ITV1.

In late 2006, Spearritt began filming for ITV1, for a guest part in Agatha Christie's Marple television mystery series.[8] The episode, entitled "At Bertram's Hotel", was broadcast on 23 September 2007. In 2010 she made a cameo appearance in a short film, Bubble Wrapped produced by her partner. In late 2011 she performed The Belle's Stratagem where she played the role of Lady Frances. In March 2012, Spearritt will take over the role of Pauline in a play called One Man, Two Guvnors in the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Personal life[edit]Edit

Spearritt met Andrew-Lee Potts in 1997 and they dated briefly. In 2006, they were both cast in Primeval and began dating again.[9] Potts proposed while they were on a holiday in Mallorca in 2008.[10] The couple once owned a home in London, where they lived with their dog, Stanley.[11][12] However, they split in early 2013, as confirmed by Potts. In addition to Primeval, the couple have collaborated in several Keychain Productions shorts and appeared together at 2013's Midlands Comic Con.[13]

Filmography[edit]Edit

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Miami 7 Herself Co-lead role; Children's BBC original series
2000 L.A. 7 Herself Co-lead role; Children's BBC original series
S Club 7 Go Wild! Herself Reality TV series
2001 Hollywood 7 Herself Co-lead role; Children's BBC original series
2002 Viva S Club Herself Co-lead role; Children's BBC original series
2005 Blessed Girl Thing member 3 episodes, first series
2007–11 Primeval Abby Maitland Main role (series 1–5)
2013 Death in Paradise Lily Shaw Series 2, episode 6
Films
Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Cater Street Hangman Lily TV movie
1999 Back to the '50s Herself Co-lead role
Boyfriends & Birthdays Herself Co-lead role
2003 Seeing Double Hannah Co-lead role
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Emily Sommers Main role
Seed of Chucky Joan Main role
2007 Marple: At Bertram's Hotel Tilly Rice TV movie

Stage work[edit]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1997–2004 Pendragon Lana New York theatre
1997–99 Bugsy Malone Louella West End
2005 Snow! The Musical Jilly West End
2011 The Belle's Strategem Lady Frances Southwark Playhouse
2012 One Man, Two Guvnors Pauline Haymarket Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]Edit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2007 TV Quick & TV Choice Awards Best Actress Primeval Nominated [14]
2008 Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program (with Mathieu Vig, Antoine Birot, Simon Thistlethwaite and Kevin O'Sullivan) Primeval Nominated
2012 National Theatre's Five Star Awards Best Comedy Actress
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