Clare Grogan

Kochanski number one is played by Clare Grogan, who had a fairytale entry into showbiz.

Clare Grogan

Look up "perky" in the dictionary and there's a good chance a picture of the first Kristine Kochanski will be found there. Well, only if the dictionary in question belongs to Dave Lister, who is completely obsessed with his ever-grinning crewmate. It was originally implied that it was all an unrequited infatuation on Lister's part, but much later on it was suggested that - inexplicably enough - the slobbish slacker did indeed manage to bed this luscious lass. Whether he did or not, we really don't want the picture of a nudie Lister in our head but unfortunately there's no way of removing it short of a hi-tech memory rubber. We'll see what Holly can come up with...

Kochanski number one, ie. Clare Grogan, had a fairytale entry into showbiz: she was talent-spotted by director Bill Forsyth while working as a waitress in Glasgow. Nice to see you, to see you nice, ah! Oh wait, wrong Forsyth! Anyway, perhaps she was reciting Shakespeare as she served up his haggis as a mere six months after meeting Grogan, Forsyth cast her in his classic feel good comedy Gregory's Girl, and Grogan subsequently swapped clearing tables for a steady acting career. Gregory's Girl turned her into gentlemen of a certain age's dream date, and she went on to play a very funny Sinead O'Connor esque role in Father Ted, pop up in Skins and even turned up in EastEnders as one of Ian Beale's love interests (bet she was, er, delighted to land that part).

And let's not forget that the talented Ms Grogan was also the 80s popstress who gave us the immortal track Happy Birthday, which we assume has a cringeworthy rejuvenation every time she gets a year older – just what you want on your birthday, an embarrassing look back at your less than attractive leg warmer wearing days as you blow out an increasingly large amount of candles. Clearly Grogan is a glutton for punishment though, as in 2007 she joined the army of celebrities involved in the Comic Relief single I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) along with Peter Kay and the gang – we know it's for charity, and perhaps it's supposed to be so annoyingly catchy that it reminds you to donate, but honestly, any other song would have done. Even Grogan's own flop Love Bomb would have been more bearable thank watching Peter Kay on a running machine. No one needs that.

Life hasn't always been such a breeze for this modern day Cinderella, as while Grogan enjoyed her fair share of glitzy parties and plush hotel rooms, she got caught by a stray bottle in a pub brawl, leaving her with a scar down the left side of her face. Now happily married to one of her Altered Images band mates, Grogan has written a children's book, Tallulah and the Teenstars, which follows the life of a teenage girl who sets up a pop band. No points for guessing the inspiration behind that one. We bet Grogan's character avoids the snogging Ian Beale era though!

Unable to avoid her teeny bopper past, Grogan was enlisted to join a variety of other 80's pop sensations (if you can call Altered Images a sensation??) for the Here and Now Tour, but luckily for this Scottish lass, it appears she will mostly be remembered for her successful stint in Red Dwarf and her ability to get Lister (and most male viewers) all of a quiver. Although, having said that, Grogan's replacement Chloe Annett had many a solar system in a spin too. Battle of the Kochanski's anyone? We'll get the video camera.

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