WATCH: Impressionist Debra Stephenson plus Priti Patel, Angela Rayner, Sarah Millican, Cilla, Edith Piaf and Sandi Toksvig amongst others!

It’s going to be a hilarious journey from Billie Holiday to Billie Eilish, from Shirley Bassey to Kate Bush, from Celine Dion to Britney Spears.
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But amongst the singers you can expect celebs including Sandi Toksvig and Sarah Millican, plus politicians Priti Patel and Angela Rayner might just be putting in an appearance – all part of The Many Voices of Debra Stephenson. Debra will be performing at the Regis Centre in Bognor Regis on April 28.

Debra is perhaps best known for her roles as Shell Dockley in Bad Girls and Frankie Baldwin in Coronation Street. But impressions have reclaimed her. She co-starred with Jon Culshaw in BBC One’s The Impressions Show, and having voiced characters for ITV’s Newzoids, and Spitting Image, Debra is also a regular voice on BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers. She enjoyed performing live on stage in London with them last year. She was a regular team captain on the panel show The Imitation Game for ITV1 and most recently she appeared as a leading character in this year’s BAFTA nominated Holby City. Debra frequently appears on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch.

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“The idea for the show in Bognor is just quite simply to entertain people and to bring my show to people and to try to give them a great time. I did the show in Edinburgh last year, and I hadn’t toured with my act since before the lockdowns.

Debra Stephenson by Steve UllathorneDebra Stephenson by Steve Ullathorne
Debra Stephenson by Steve Ullathorne

"I think it must have been in 2018. I had a year off and then ended up having a lot longer off because 2020 was a wash out and so was 2021 and I just thought it was time to get back to it again. I just think it's really good to get everybody together and to give everybody a really fun time.

“I have been doing something similar to this since I was 12 or 13 and I suppose I've just built it up. I had a break to do a lot of acting when I was in Bad Girls and Coronation Street and all that but when I met John Culshaw I was really ready to come back to impressions again. Spitting Image came back but really I think live work is where the whole magic is. I just love it. When you're doing live work there is an exchange of energy with the crowd whether you are at a pop concert or a comedy show. There's just something magical about the togetherness that you get. It is hard to define what it is but it feels magical. There is an alchemy and something wonderful happens.

“With this show it is my tribute to my favourite singers through the decades. It starts with Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, people from that era and it goes right through the 60s with a lot of singers and also the 70s. Cilla has to be in there and Lulu is so much fun to do. I also put in Mary Hopkins. Mary Hopkins was signed to Apple Records after seeing her Opportunity Knocks and I love doing her, and from the 70s I'll be doing people like Joni Mitchell.

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“It's about 60-40 with the songs and the chat. I read out messages that were supposed to have come in to me from various people that can't be there giving reasons that are appropriate to them so you can expect people like Sarah Millican and Sandi Toksvig and a few others but politics is also a big part of the show.”