25 Facts About Barbara Dickson


Barbara Dickson is a two-time Olivier Award-winning actress, with roles including Viv Nicholson in the musical Spend Spend Spend, and was the original Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell's long-running musical Blood Brothers.


Barbara Dickson was born in Dunfermline and went to Woodmill High School and Dunfermline High School.


Barbara Dickson's father was a cook on a tugboat at Rosyth Dockyard and her mother was from Liverpool.


Barbara Dickson went to Camdean Primary School and Pitcorthie Primary School when she moved to Dunfermline.


Barbara Dickson's singing career started in folk clubs around her native Fife in 1964.


Barbara Dickson became a well-known face on the British folk circuit of the late 1960s and early 1970s, but changed her career course after meeting Willy Russell.


Barbara Dickson was at that time a young student running a folk club in Liverpool.

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Barbara Dickson showed Dickson the first draft of what later became the award-winning musical John, Paul, George, Ringo.


Barbara Dickson contributed two tracks to Scouse the Mouse a children's album with Ringo Starr and others.


Also during the late 1970s, Barbara Dickson contributed backing vocals to two best-selling albums by the Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty: City to City and Night Owl.


An abridged version of the song "Best of Friends", sung by Barbara Dickson, was used as the closing theme for Andy Robson, an ITV children's television series broadcast during 1982 and 1983.


Barbara Dickson has reprised the role many times, the latest being 2004 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.


Later in 1984, Tim Rice approached Barbara Dickson to take part in the recording of the concept album for the musical Chess in the role of Svetlana.


In 1984, Barbara Dickson starred in her own television special for BBC2, in which she travelled around Scotland.


Barbara Dickson was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1998, when she was surprised by Michael Aspel at the Groucho Club in London.


In 1999, Barbara Dickson starred in Spend Spend Spend, a new musical by Steve Brown and Justin Greene.


Barbara Dickson went on to star in the UK tour of the show.


Barbara Dickson has returned to TV in the BBC daytime drama series Doctors and her episode, "Mama Sings The Blues", was broadcast in March 2008.


In 2003, Barbara Dickson worked with Russell again, providing backing vocals for his album Hoovering the Moon.


Between February and March 2011, Barbara Dickson undertook a tour of the UK and Ireland to promote her new studio album, Words Unspoken.


In March 2022 Barbara Dickson starred in Radio 4's 'The Road and the Miles to Dundee' written by Val McDermid and directed by Turan Ali.


In 1984, Barbara Dickson married former actor Oliver Cookson, who now works as an Assistant Director in television for the BBC, and has three sons.


Barbara Dickson was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours in 2002 for her services to Music and Drama.


The crisis resulted in Barbara Dickson taking a four-week break from her starring role: once she sufficiently recuperated, Barbara Dickson moved to London's West End, when Blood Brothers Liverpool run transferred there.


Barbara Dickson admitted that her personal crisis led to many years of stage fright and she withdrew from public performing until therapy helped to work through her anxieties.

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