Liza Tarbuck

Liza Tarbuck
Born (1964-11-21) 21 November 1964
Liverpool, Lancashire,[1] England
Nationality British
Occupation Actress, television and radio presenter
Years active 1986–present
Parent(s) Jimmy Tarbuck (father)

Liza Tarbuck (/ˈlzə/ LEE-zə; born 21 November 1964) is an English actress and television and radio presenter.

Early life

Liza Tarbuck was born in Liverpool, Lancashire,[1] England. She is the daughter of comedian Jimmy Tarbuck.[2] She trained at the National Youth Theatre and RADA[2] graduating in 1986 alongside Clive Owen, Rebecca Pidgeon and Mark Womack.


Her first big break came in 1987 when she landed a starring role in the new Granada Television comedy series Watching, playing a character called Pamela opposite Emma Wray.[2] Liza stayed with Watching for its entire seven-year run. She also appeared as Angie in the 1988 Falklands War drama Tumbledown, which starred Colin Firth, Paul Rhys and David Calder.[2] In 2001, she took the title role in Linda Green, which ran for two series, ending in 2002.[2]

In more recent times, she has guest starred on the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras, and has appeared in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries as DI Fiona Knight. In 2004, Tarbuck appeared in Series 6 of the long-running BBC One comedy French & Saunders, as a fictionalised version of herself, where she had the role of Producer for "Saunders & French Productions" with Christopher Hague-Moody. In 2005, Tarbuck appeared as Mrs. Jellyby in the BBC One serial Bleak House.,[2] and in 2006 she appeared in episode six of the sitcom Saxondale, as a full-figured rock chick.

In 2007, she lent her voice to the animated Doctor Who adventure The Infinite Quest.[3] 2007 also saw her starring in the ITV1 comedy drama Bonkers.[4]

In 2009 Tarbuck starred as Staff Nurse Tina in her first role in a feature film, in The Be All and End All, and in 2016 she played the part of Anne Hathaway in the BBC Two comedy series Upstart Crow.

BBC Radio 4

Tarbuck played Helen Golightly in the BBC radio programme Clare in the Community from series 5 to series 9, taking over from Gemma Craven for BBC Radio 4. Liza has also appeared in other shows for BBC Radio 4 such as Just a Minute and a story about Jayne Mansfield.


After a seven-year break from television, she presented the fashion programme She's Gotta Have It in 1998.[2] Her exuberance, humour and presenting skills landed her a presenting job on The Big Breakfast where she forged a successful partnership with Johnny Vaughan along with Sara Cox and Richard Bacon.[2] In 2001, she teamed up with her father for a celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?[2] In the early 2000s, she hosted the Sky One game show Blockbusters and has been a guest presenter on Have I Got News for You. In 2003, Tarbuck hosted Channel 4's Emmy Award winning panel-discussion/gameshow Without Prejudice?.[2]

Tarbuck has also hosted a late-night edition of Win, Lose or Draw, and has also presented Britain's Top Dog, as well as narrating the last series of the British documentary Airport in 2005.

She has also presented a one-off quiz for Five called I Blame The Spice Girls to celebrate Five's tenth birthday. She has also been one celebrity to appear in a series of adverts for the UK supermarket Asda.

Tarbuck signed a deal with Sky One to present a show called Pet Nation alongside Huey Morgan in 2010.

She has also narrated the Channel 4 dieting show Supersize vs Superskinny since 2008.

BBC Radio 2

During September 2007 she co-presented the weekday afternoon show on BBC Radio 2 with Mark Radcliffe, whilst Steve Wright was on leave. In December 2007 (and again in January and March 2008), she once more hosted the show, this time as a solo presenter. In July 2008 she once again co-presented with Radcliffe.

In December 2008 and January 2009 she presented the Saturday morning slot on BBC Radio 2 with Martin Freeman. For a week in March 2009 Liza stood in for Sarah Kennedy's popular Dawn Patrol show. In August 2009, she stood in for Jonathan Ross on his Saturday morning show on Radio 2; alongside her on the show was Huey Morgan of Fun Lovin' Criminals. The pair presented the show again in November 2009.

In July/August 2010, Tarbuck stood in for Simon Mayo on his BBC Radio 2 Drivetime Show for three weeks. She stood in for him again from 18–22 April in 2011, from 1–19 August in 2011, 14–18 February in 2012 and Monday 15 July 2013. Popular with listeners, Liza stood in for Simon Mayo again 6–10 April 2015 and on the 14th June 2016. Liza visited Mary Berry at her home for a BBC Radio 2 2015 Christmas Eve special

Since May 2012 Tarbuck has presented a BBC Radio 2 show, between 6pm and 8pm, on Saturdays, replacing a show presented by Alan Carr and Melanie Sykes.[5][6]

Film and television appearances


  1. 1 2 'Lancashire' is correct. 'Merseyside' did not exist before 1 April 1974
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Drama Faces – Liza Tarbuck". BBC. 21 November 1964. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  3. "Doctor Who – News – The Infinite Quest". BBC. 5 November 2007. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  4. "Bonkers | Primetime | What's on TV – Top TV listings guide, plus soaps, news, prizes and previews". 17 January 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  5. "Liza Tarbuck gets Radio 2 Saturday nights". Radio Today. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  6. Millar, Paul (8 March 2012). "Liza Tarbuck to replace Alan Carr on BBC Radio 2 'Going Out' show – Media News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
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