was the lead singer with the Nolans from 1974 until the end of 1996 when
she decided to pursue a solo career. With her sisters she enjoyed
phenomenal success both in this country and abroad, appearing on every
major television show possible including The Royal Variety Show.
The girls were also given four TV specials of their own. The Nolans recording successes have given them an amazing number of hit singles and albums culminating in over twenty gold, silver and platinum discs.
A Channel 4 documentary broadcast in 2000 argues that the Nolans were the blueprint for all the subsequent white girl groups that followed, including The Spice Girls.
She travelled all over the world, Australia being her favourite country, but the girls greatest triumphs have been in Japan, beginning with the Tokyo Musical Festival where they were the first ever European Act to win the much coveted grand prize where the competition included the likes of Randy Crawford and Jermaine Jackson.
From there they went on to sell
an incredible 9.3 million records (exceeding The Beatles sales). The highlight
of Bernie's career has to be when she & her sisters were asked to do
a European tour in 1975 supporting their hero, Frank Sinatra.
Her first solo projects included co-presenting a children's show 'On The Waterfront' and in 1993 she starred at the Neptune Theatre, Liverpool in a musical adaptation of Dennis Wheatley's classical tale of the occult, 'The Devil Rides Out'. This was her first acting role. In February 1995 Bernie appeared in her first musical as a solo artist playing Oolie/Donna in 'City Of Angels'.
Then she played Grace Farrell in 'Annie', Maria in the 'Sound Of Music' and Eliza Doolittle in 'My Fair Lady'. She also tackled her first straight play in 'Mask For Murder' at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, quickly followed with touring roles as Robin in 'Godspell' and as Bridget in 'A Slice Of Saturday Night'.
During the summer of 1997 Bernie appeared at the prestigious Blackpool Opera House in her critically acclaimed role in 'Oh What A Night'. Following that, Bernie toured with Bill Kenwright's production of 'Blood Brothers' in the lead role of Mrs Johnstone for two years.
The critics were unanimous in their
verdict: "a voice that can strip paint, cut glass or reduce an
audience to tears in seconds, the evening triumphantly belongs to Bernie
Nolan." and "Head and shoulders above the rest; with soul,
authenticity and a powerful voice, she played the part perfectly."
As a result of Bernie's huge success in "Blood Brothers" she was offered a major role in "Brookside" as Diane Murray and enjoyed two happy, award winning years there. Her growing reputation as a talented actress led to her accepting a role as Sgt Sheelagh Murphy in 'The Bill' in Feb 2003.
After departing The Bill in 2005, Bernie released her first solo album 'All by Myself', she also found time to make a fitness DVD. She appeared in Channel 4's 'The Games' as an athlete and Channel 5's the 'All Star Variety Show' as a drummer and then got back to her roots at the Blackpool Opera House in her own production called 'Soap Queens,' doing what she loves best, powerhouse singing!
"Bernie Nolan was a very special woman. Brave, funny and hugely talented" - Television presenter and columnist Lorraine Kelly.
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