Created 25th September 2003
Played by Roberta Kerr
|Before landing the role of Jan Glover, Roberta Kerr played marriage-wrecker Wendy Crozier, taking Ken Barlow from his wife Deirdre, in Coronation Street.|
The following is taken from 25 Yeas of Emmerdale (1997) repubublsihed as "The Emmerdale Companion" (1998) by Anthony Hayward
As secretary Wendy Crozier in Coronation Street, actress Roberta Kerr was a marriage-wrecker, taking Ken Barlow off the straight and narrow and leading his wife, Deirdre, to kick him out. In Emmerdale, she is the strong, dependable Jan Glover, backbone of a family who have kept bouncing back after taking many knocks, the worst being the death of her son Dave.
'Jan's very different from me in many ways,' says Roberta. 'The first thing I had to do when taking the part was to slow down because I'm a busy sort of person and a fast speaker. Jan is a country type, has three teenagers and hasn't enjoyed a good education. She is fairly black and white in her opinions. I also tried to make her quick to anger - she has slapped Linda's and Kathy's faces, and thrown a drink in Kim Tate's face. However, 1 have had to make Jan more placatory as time has gone on because there has to be a balance with her husband, Ned, who will have a fight rather than talk about things.'
But Roberta also admits to similarities between herself and Jan, who has always been willing to take on any work to bring money into the Glover household. 'I love being outside and getting my hands dirty,' she says. 'I often go camping and walking - I love getting back to nature. I'm not a glamorous sort of person in real life, but if I'm going to a function, I can do it!'
Born in Southampton, Roberta attended drama classes as a child and gained acting experience because her father was involved in amateur dramatics. Her first professional experience after leaving school was in stage tours and repertory theatre. Her first television role was as the mother of a cot-death victim in the original series of the medical serial The Practice. But the storyline - and all Roberta's scenes - were cut because there were concerns that the issue was too harrowing for a programme screened in the middle of the evening.
The actress was first seen on television in another soap, Brookside, as Sally Haynes, who lived with grumpy Harry Cross's son, Kevin, and experienced the ordeal of giving birth prematurely and their baby dying. 'I tend to get asked to do a lot of angst-ridden parts on television,' says Roberta, who also appeared in six episodes of the soap Albion Market and the film The Nature of the Beast, in which her husband was played by David Fleeshman, who acted Charlie Aindow in Emmerdale. 'In Medics, I was the mother of a child who was badly burned.'
Roberta is married to actor Graeme Kirk, who played Kenton Archer in the long-running radio serial The Archers. She acted in it herself for almost a year, taking the part of Maureen Travis. But it was her role as Wendy Crozier in Coronation Street that brought Roberta national recognition. 'I live in Lancaster and, being close to Manchester, a lot of people there watched Coronation Street,' she says. 'I had to stop going to Sainsbury's for two years after that. I got myself in such a state at the checkout, coping with my baby son, Jack, and the trolley and paying.
'It's completely different now. In EmmerdMe, I'm
working further away from home, which is helpful. Also, in real life,
I look quite different from Jan Glover, although there's always that
disconcerting moment in the swimming baths' communal changing-room when
you are standing completely naked and suddenly someone says, "Do you
enjoy working on Emmerdale?"'