Tina Heath

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Tina Heath (born 1953) is a British actress and former television presenter. She and husband Dave Cooke have two children.


Early career

Her first television appearance was in 1969, when she appeared in Broaden Your Mind on BBC 2 alongside Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor. [1] A one-off appearance in Z-Cars followed in 1970. [2] She appeared in the Look and Read serial Cloud Burst in 1974.

Lizzie Dripping

In 1973, she played the title role in the children's television serial Lizzie Dripping after first playing the character in an episode of Jackanory Playhouse in 1972. [3] Her character was supposed to be 12 years old, but in fact Heath was already 20 at the time. [4]

Further Television Appearances

The BBC serial production of Jane Eyre (1973 TV series) , (1973), followed, and Heath played the character of Helen Burns, the fourteen-year-old boarding-school girl who is cruelly birched by Miss Scatcherd, and who befriends the ten-year-old Jane when Jane is a newcomer to Lowood Institute.

Other television appearances included a BBC Play of the Month production of The Linden Tree by J.B. Priestley, in September 1974; [5] Crown Court , (Regina versus McDowell), 1974, (which replaced 'The Traffic Warden's Daughter', which wasn't originally aired); Churchill's People in 1975; [6] Muriel Spark's The Girls Of Slender Means ; [7] and The Sweeney , in 1976. [8]

The Sunday Gang

Her first television presentational role was on BBC 1's The Sunday Gang which ran from August 1976 on Sunday mornings, [9] a role that continued for two years, where she met her future husband, Dave Cooke, who worked as musical director on the show. (Cooke took part in the 1981 A Song for Europe contest as part of the group 'Headache', placing 7th of the 8th entrants.) [10] Heath continued to act during this period, appearing in BBC Two's Maiden's Trip in 1977. [11]

Blue Peter

On 5 April 1979, she joined the children's series, Blue Peter , and left on 23 June 1980 to have her daughter, Jemma Victoria Cooke. She was the first incumbent Blue Peter presenter to become pregnant. [4] During her 14-month stint, she had an ultrasound scan live on television and climbed to the top of Westminster Abbey, while heavily pregnant. [4]

In 1981, she returned to Blue Peter, to model corsets alongside her successor, Sarah Greene. In 2001, she appeared in the special Blue Peter pantomime Rock n' Roll Christmas, where she played the role of 'Miss Dripping'.[ citation needed ]

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  1. "Broaden Your Mind". The Radio Times. BBC Genome. 18 December 1969. p. 29. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  2. "Z Cars: Playing for Keeps: Part 2". The Radio Times. BBC Genome. 10 December 1970. p. 32. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  3. McGown, Alistair D. & Docherty, Mark J. (2003) The Hill and Beyond: Children's Television Drama - An Encyclopedia, BFI Publishing, ISBN   978-0-85170-879-9, p. 76
  4. 1 2 3 I Love Blue Peter - Tina Heath presenter biography, bbc.co.uk; accessed 25 July 2020.
  5. "The Linden Tree". The Radio Times. BBC Genome. 5 September 1974. p. 28. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  6. "Churchill's People". The Radio Times. BBC Genome. 3 April 1975. p. 34. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  7. "The Girls of Slender Means". The Radio Times. BBC Genome. 1 May 1975. p. 21. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  8. Series 3, episode 9, "Down to You, Brother", where she played Deborah Meadows.
  9. "The Sunday Gang". The Radio Times. BBC Genome. 26 August 1976. p. 20. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  10. "A song for Europe 1981", Songs for Europe
  11. "Maidens' Trip: Stage 1: Maggie". The Radio Times. BBC Genome. 9 June 1977. p. 31. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
Preceded by Blue Peter Presenter No. 10
Succeeded by