Janine Birkett was born in Northumberland. She has done a number of plays for BBC radio including the longrunning series My Uncle Freddie, in which she played Aunty Bella. She was Billy’s mam, Jenny, in the film Billy Elliot and was also a regular in the BBC children’s series Byker Grove. Other TV appearances include: Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Holby City and Inspector George Gently. Janine has toured extensively with Northumberland Theatre Company; was a founder member of the Northern Stage Ensemble in Newcastle; and has worked for Live Theatre Newcastle’s new writing company, as well as doing theatre work nationally.