She spent the first three years in Repertory theatres like Crewe and Coventry doing everything from Hamlet to the musical West Side Story Her first TV role was in a series called Kate starring opposite Phyllis Calvert and Penelope Keith.
Her first TV big break was the afternoon soap for ATV called General Hospital. Dressed in padding from her head to her neck she played fat nurse Hilda price. She followed this with a comedy series starring opposite Jimmy Tarbuck playing a variety of roles the most flamboyant being Norma Snockers in an uplift bra.
This was her introduction to the world of comedy for women in the 1970’s; ‘Tits and Arse’. She survived relatively unscathed. Perhaps the final pinnacle being ‘Confessions of a Driving Instructor’ showing her left breast in the back of a car with Robin Askquith.
Several West End performances ensued including a musical called ‘Bordello’ about the loves and life of the artist Toulouse Lautrec. ‘Strippers’ at the Phoenix Theatre, ‘Noises Off’ at the Savoy Theatre and ‘Look No Hans’ starring opposite David Jason at the Strand Theatre.
In 1983 she landed the role of the long suffering mother in the OXO commercials. This proved to be arguably the most successful Ad campaign ever and won many awards. They lasted 16 years in the first instance and 11 years later were back on TV.
At the same time she was appearing on the other side as Helen Herriott the vet’s wife in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. This led to the lead in a comedy series called ‘Second Thoughts’ which ran for seven years. Lynda played a divorced woman coping with two children and a new romance in the guise of James Bolam.
There was then a spin off titled ‘Faith in the Future’ starring Lynda and Julia Sawalha as her daughter. This comedy won the Best Comedy award in 1998 but was a victim of the takeover of London Weekend television.
After this she went to Russia to star as Alexandra in a Russian version of ‘Nicholas and Alexandra’. It was to be the biggest selling video in Russia and hopefully will eventually reach our shores. It was on the short list for best foreign film for the Oscars three years ago. Lynda then appeared alongside Amanda Redman, Peter Davison and Sylvia Syms in three series of ‘At Home with the Braithwaite’s’.
In 2003 she did a six month stint in the very popular series ‘The Bill’ playing a villain called Irene Radford. This led to guest appearances as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine in ‘Robin Hood’ and Mrs Wadlow in a series called ‘Bonkers’ and playing Michelle Ryan’s mum in the two parter called ‘Mr. Eleven’.
Recent theatre appearances have been in ‘Losing Louis’ opposite Alison Steadman at the Trafalgar Theatre, ‘Sugar Mummies’ at the Royal Court and ‘Vincent River’ at the Trafalgar Theatre studios.
Most notably in 2008 she created the role of Chris (as played by Dame Helen Mirren in the film of the same name) in ‘Calendar Girls’. She headed up the pre West End tour and starred in the West End with the play for six months. In Jan 2010 she opened the national tour at Chichester.
In the spring of 2005 Lynda joined the team as a panellist on the award winning, day time show ‘Loose Women’ where she is still a regular presenter amongst all the other things she is doing. Having always claimed that she would never marry again, Lynda married Michael Pattmore (or Mr Spain as he is known) on her 60th Birthday in 2008.
Lynda also took part in hit reality TV show, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ 2009, partnering Darren Bennett. Despite being an accomplished actress both on screen and stage, the experience was probably one of the most daunting she has ever undertaken as she has to perform as herself.
Her autobiography, ‘Lost and Found’ was published in February 2010 and reached number two in the Times best sellers list. She is returning to ‘Calendar Girls’ at the end of the year for three months and is writing her first work of fiction. She continues her work in ‘Loose Women’ and writes a fortnightly column for ‘Your’ magazine and various independent articles for publications like The Mail on Sunday travel section.
Lynda is an Ambassador for the charities Barnardo’s and the Alzheimer’s society.