Crissy Rock

Not to be confused with Chris Rock.
Crissy Rock
Born Christine Murray
(1958-09-23) 23 September 1958
Liverpool, Merseyside England
Nationality British
Occupation Actress, Comedian
Years active 1994–present
Employer ITV
Television Benidorm (2007–12, 2015)
I'm a Celebrity... (2011)
Spouse(s) Philip Shaw (1975–?; divorced)
Children Tracy Joyce Shaw
Hayley Shaw

Crissy Rock (born Christine Murray; 23 September 1958) is an English award-winning actress, stand-up comedian, 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 when she was axed from the show, although she returned in Episode 6 of Series 5 for a cameo role, and then again for two episodes of Series 7 in 2015.[1]

She appeared in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! 2011. In December 2012, she appeared on Celebrity Come Dine With Me.[2] For her performance in Ladybird, Ladybird, she won the Silver Bear for Best Actress award at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Personal life

Rock was born as Christine Murray in Liverpool in 1958 to Edward and Margaret (née Bryan) Murray. As of September 2012 she lives in Peterlee, County Durham. Her parents had married at St Nathaniel's Anglican chapel several months before her birth.

Her best-selling autobiography This Heart Within Me Burns was published in 2011, and chronicles the ups and downs of her troubled life, including childhood abuse, violent relationships, bankruptcy and homelessness. The book made the top ten of the Sunday Times best-seller list for seven months and was released as a paperback in 2012 having hit 35,000 sales.[4] The autobiography revived her career and Rock went on to make regular appearances on ITV's This Morning programme to discuss the book and her life.



Rock started her career as a comedian in the late 1980s. She appeared nationwide on Bob Monkhouse's BBC Television show Bob Says Opportunity Knocks,[5] 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 1991, following a period of ill health, Crissy returned to the stage, taking bookings on the club and cabaret circuit. Within months, she was voted runner up in the "Club Comedian of the Year" competition for the Merseyside region.

By 1993, her career had started to take off. She performed her act in clubs in Blackpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, South Wales, and London. By 1994, Rock was bill-topping at the Central Pier and the famous Blackpool Tower.[6]

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.[7] In the mid-2000s, Rock left the UK and relocated to Benidorm, where she established herself as a female stand-up comedian, playing ten shows a week.

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".[8]

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.[9]

In December 2013, Rock appeared as the Wicked Queen in a production of Snow White at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre.[10]

On 15 March 2014, Rock led the cast of new comedy Dirty Dusting at the Bedworth Civic Hall.[11] In April 2014, Rock starred alongside Duggie Brown in Escorts the musical at the Theatre Royal St Helens.[11]

Film and 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 ,[12] 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 on Channel 4's game show Pull The Other One. In 1999, Rock played alongside Pete Postlethwaite in the BBC crime drama Butterfly Collectors, Nancy Banks-Smith who, writing in The Guardian said: “Crissy Rock..just switch her on and watch her go”.[4] 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 Parkinson and Gaby Roslin).[13]

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.[4]

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. She is currently filming three new films: In Search Of The Miraculous, Death Of An Angel [14] and Still Waters.[15]

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. She appeared alongside Sarah Hadland.


Rock published her autobiography This Heart Within Me Burns in 2011. Ghost written by author Ken Scott, the book was a best-seller in Britain, and Rock went on a book signing tour to promote it. 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'.[16]

Encouraged by this success, Rock teamed up with Ken Scott again 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.[17] Ken Scott has recently written: "Look out for more Sam Kerr in the not too distant future", suggesting that there are more books in the pipeline.[18]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role
1994 Ladybird, Ladybird Maggie Conlan
1995/2000 Peak Practice Marion Daley/ Marion Richards
1996 Springhill Anita Cartlege
1996 Dalziel and Pascoe Annie Greave
1996 Brazen Hussies Sandra Delaney
1999 Butterfly Collectors Maureen
1999 Dockers Jean Walton
2001 Brookside Amber Costello
2002 Nice Guy Eddie Madame Flo
2007 Trial & Retribution Sylvia Ryan
2007–2011, 2012, 2015 Benidorm Janey York
2008 The Commander Adele Davis
2009 A Boy Called Dad Chip Shop Woman
2011 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Herself
2012 Celebrity "Come Dine With Me" Herself
2013 The Chase Herself



  1. Greenwood, Carl (21 March 2014). "Benidorm: Johnny Vegas and Crissy Rock to make sitcom return five years after leaving the show". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  2. "Benidorm: Crissy Rock (Janey) axed from the show! – Throng". 18 May 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  3. "Berlinale: 1994 Prize Winners". Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 "Crissy Rock profile". 5 December 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  5. "Crissy Rock – Comedian – Booking Information". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  6. "Artist Profile: Crissy Rock". Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  7. "Shellfish – Judith Johnson – 1998 – Productions". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  8. "CRISSY ROCK LIVE! Star of ITV hit series Benidorm & I'm a Celebrity". PLAYHOUSE Whitley Bay. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  9. "Crissy Rock – From Benidorm to the Jungle and Back at Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  10. Amanda Harrington and Crissy Rock to appear in panto as part of a new season unveiled at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre,; accessed 11 November 2015.
  11. 1 2 "Side splitting musical at Theatre Royal (From St Helens Star)". 17 February 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  13. "Acts & Bands – Comedy & After Dinner Speakers – Crissy Rock". LNP Sound. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  14. "Crissy Rock @ Kenneth Earle Personal Management Talent Agency – Kenneth Earle Personal Management". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  15. Still Waters (2013),; accessed 11 November 2015.
  16. "Crissy Rock". Bold Management. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  17. "Revenge is Sweeter than Flowing Honey: Crissy Rock, Ken Scott: Books". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  18. "The Next Nancy Drew?". Retrieved 31 July 2014.

External links

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