Julia Sawalha

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Julia Sawalha (born 9 September 1968) is a British actress best known for her roles as Saffron Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous, Lynda Day, editor of The Junior Gazette in Press Gang and Lydia Bennet in the 1995 television miniseries of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. She currently plays Dorcas Lane in the BBC's costume drama Lark Rise to Candleford.


Early life

Sawalha was born in London, the daughter of Roberta and actor Nadim Sawalha. She was named after her grandmother, a Jordanian businesswoman who had received an award from Queen Noor for enterprise. She is of Jordanian, English, and French Huguenot ancestry.[1] She was born into an acting family: her father Nadim is an actor who appeared in the James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me and The Living Daylights, while her sister Nadia starred in the soap EastEnders and is now a television presenter and chat show host.


Sawalha made her debut in the 1982 BBC mini series Fame is the Spur[2] and in 1988 played a small role in Inspector Morse on the episode "Last Seen Wearing". She first gained attention for her starring role in the Bafta award-winning ITV teenage comedy/drama Press Gang which ran from 1989 to 1993. The on-screen chemistry between the two leads was reflected off-screen, as she and co-star Dexter Fletcher had a relationship for several years. From 1991-94, she starred in the ITV family comedy Second Thoughts and continued with her character, Hannah (Lynda Bellingham's daughter), in the British Comedy Award-winning Faith in the Future (1995–98). In 1994 she played Mercy (Merry) Pecksniff in the BBC production of Martin Chuzzlewit.

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