Claire Sweeney is an actress, singer and TV presenter.
She could most recently be seen on stage starring as Irene Roth in Crazy For You, Baroness Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray (all on National Tour). Prior to these, Claire toured in the hit show Sex In Suburbia, which she co-wrote, following it’s hugely successful run at the Royal Court Liverpool. She recently guest starred as Maxine in the hit ITV comedy Benidorm, was special guest on the hugely successful Jane and Friends, and could be heard hosting her very own weekly musical theatre-themed show on Magic FM.
Claire trained at the Elliot Clarke Stage School in Liverpool and the Italia Conti Stage School in London. Her extensive acting work on television includes playing regular character Lindsay Corkhill in Brookside, the fiery Katrina in the award-winning drama Clocking Off, Lindsey Kendal in the popular BBC series Holby City, Roz in BBC1’s hit drama Merseybeat, and Amanda in comedy drama Candy Cabs.
Claire’s West End roles include Roxie Hart in Chicago and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, playing opposite Patrick Swayze. Claire played the title role in Educating Rita alongside Matthew Kelly and prior to that, played Paulette in the UK tour of the award winning Legally Blonde. In 2011, she starred in a new production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Don Black’s one-woman show Tell Me on A Sunday. Other theatre credits include White Christmas, Shout!, Fosse (World Tour), The Play Wot I Wrote, and the UK Tour of John Godber’s September in the Rain, alongside John Thomson. She has also performed duets with International Opera starts Bryn Terfel and Jose Carreras at The Royal Albert Hall, and headlined the Lytham Proms Festival.
As a television presenter, Claire authored the one-hour ITV primetime documentary Claire Sweeney: My Big Fat Diet. She presented four series of 60 Minute Makeover (ITV1) and hosted Saturday night shows Here Comes the Sun (BBC1) and Challenge of a Lifetime (ITV1). Claire presented three live specials of I’m Famous and Frightened for Living TV. She appeared in the first and most successful series of Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother, was a regular panellist on Loose Women, appeared on Celebrity Come Dine with Me, and was a contestant on the first ever series of Strictly Come Dancing. Claire has also enjoyed taking part in The Royal Variety Show and BBC1’s primetime Saturday night series Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, in which she made it to the finals.
Recently, Claire has been a regular presenter on The Wright Stuff, filmed various segments for the Lorraine Show, made a guest appearance in Back in Time for Tea (BBC2), filmed the ITV series Secrets from The Asylum, and was one of the special celebrity guests on Through the Keyhole.
Claire has worked as the Forces Sweetheart, entertaining British Troops abroad, and was the first entertainer to visit the troops in Afghanistan and Oman. She was delighted and honoured to perform at A Party To Remember broadcast live on BBC1 from Trafalgar Square in celebration of VE Day and sang live at The Royal Albert Hall for VE Day live on the BBC. She also mesmerised audiences at The Festival of Commemoration in Horse Guards Parade, performing live to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in the presence of HM the Queen. Claire was recently made an Ambassador for the Variety Club and was the leading force in raising one million pounds to build a new wing for Claire House as part of the Sparkling Star Campaign. Over the years Claire has made several trips to Africa for her Aids charity work, a cause she holds close to her heart.
Claire’s solo album, simply entitled Claire, reached the top 5 of the UK charts. She featured on the album Give Me A Smile, a compilation of songs with the legendary composer and conductor Carl Davis. In 2010, Claire performed in a series of concerts with Carl entitled Battle Of Britain – 70th Anniversary with three of the country’s finest orchestras.
Claire has been the face of Marks & Spencer and an Ambassador for Fashion World, designing her own range for their Spring / Summer and Autumn / Winter collections. She was also recently made a Celebrity Ambassador for SlimFast.
2014 saw her most important production to date – the birth of her first child Jaxon.
In 2019 Claire appeared in TV comedy Scarborough and toured the country as the one and only Shirley Valentine.