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Jill Halfpenny was born 15 July 1975 in Gateshead. She attended St Edmund Campion RC School (now Cardinal Hume RC School) in Wrekenton. Jill is a former student of the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art (1994–1996) and also went to drama school First Act Theatre in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne and to the Reavley Dance School in Felling, Gateshead.
Jill began her acting career at the new Tyne Theatre and Northern Stage and her first TV role was in the popular children’s series Byker Grove. Jill’s work has included appearances in, Humans, In the club, Shameless, EastEnders, Coronation Street and Waterloo Road for television. Jill won an Olivier award for Legally Blonde which ran in London’s west end and she then went on to perform in Abigails Party.
In 2004, Jill won Strictly Come Dancing, dancing with professional Darren Bennett. The couple received the full 40 marks from the judges in the final.
In November 2013 Jill was granted the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Gateshead.
In September 2014, along with Tim Healy, Jill narrated the history of the North East of England as part of the Great North Run Million opening ceremony.