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  What are the papers saying? Some true, some not so true!



Claire joins Terfel's Faenol babes Jun 20 2002

FORMER Brookside star Claire Sweeney will join the line up of top artists at this year's Faenol Festival, fronted by North Wales' international opera star Bryn Terfel. She replaces West End star Ruthie Henshall who has had to pull out because of a change in her schedule. Claire joins former EastEnders star turned singing sensation Martine McCutcheon. Olivier Award winner Martine, who began her career as Tiffany in the hit soap, has since achieved West End success with her performance in My Fair Lady. Claire and Martine will join Bryn Terfel for Music Under the Stars, an evening of songs from musicals including My Fair Lady, Les Miserables, Chicago and Miss Saigon. Also appearing at the at the North Wales musical extravaganza is highly- acclaimed American soprano, Renée Fleming. Yesterday Pantlas-born Bryn Terfel, who now lives on the outskirts of Caernarfon, was on his way to Munich. On his behalf, Peter Tansom, of the Cardiff-based Harlequin Agency, said: "Bryn was very disappointed when Ruthie Henshall pulled out, but was excited when he heard Claire could make it. They've already met. Claire interviewed Bryn at the Royal Opera House. They got on like a house on fire." Steve Porter, of festival organisers IMG Arts and Entertainment, said luring Claire was quite a coup. He said: "Basically we had to try to replace Ruthie Henshall. Obviously we have a standard and reputation that we need to keep up. Claire's name was mentioned as a logical replacement. "The stars are invited by Bryn and thankfully she agreed." The hugely-successful festival will be held for the third year in succession at the Faenol estate, near Caernarfon, from August 23 to 25. Twenty-five pence of every ticket sold will be donated to the Ty Gobaith yng Nghymru - Hope House in Wales appeal of which Bryn Terfel is a patron.


CLAIRE BACK IN BROOKIE 
CLAIRE Sweeney is returning to Brookside to play lesbian single mum Lindsey Corkhill. The 31-year-old Liverpudlian left the Channel 4 soap earlier this year and has since launched a singing career after appearing in the West End musical Chicago. "I'm a real home bird and Liverpool is still home," said Claire. "I'll go back to Brookside for a week or two later this year. I'd like to think the door will always be open for me." Claire's only problem is her weight - she has put on nearly a stone since she left Chicago.


Claire Sweeney to promote Irish lottery 

Claire Sweeney has been recruited to help promote a lottery game. The actress will be used to advertise Irish Lottery Bet. The game was introduced in 1999 to counter the impact the National Lottery had on bookmakers. More than a million people play Irish Lottery Bet every week by buying a £1 ticket at any of the UK's 8,500 betting shops. Former Brookside star Claire recently appeared in the hit West End musical Chicago and release her debut album on July 15. Story filed: 18:37 Wednesday 19th June 2002


Claire Sweeney reveals new album details

Claire Sweeney says her debut album will contain a mixture of 15 ballads and show tunes. She has already recorded 11 songs for the album, which is part of her new three-album record deal. The Chicago star says she played the tracks to her mum to get an honest verdict." I must say my heart was in my mouth as she's always so honest with me," she told the Sunday Express magazine. "Thankfully she loved it - though I think some of the songs surprised her a bit. It's not all big show tunes, by any means. Claire says she's really excited about getting a stylist for the new album. She adds: "I've always done my own shopping and when I'm in town I've often passed the shop window of designer Emanuel Ungaro. His clothes are absolutely gorgeous but I've always walked straight by, thinking there's no way I can afford them." Now I've been told that my stylist wants to dress me in Ungaro. How fantastic is that?" Claire's first single will be a cover of Brian May's 1992 hit Too Much Love Will Kill You. She has asked the Queen guitarist to help her record the cover.


03.06.02

I have a little bit of news to report today. From a BBC online chat that I didn't know about....grrr...Anyway, the chat was with Claire, Chris Price and Jessica Garlick. 
Andrew D: Hi Claire! What programmes on TV are we going to see you on this year?

Claire: At the moment I'm in talks with lots of TV companies, and I've been in talks about a BBC drama, but at the moment nothing is definite. I'd love to do more presenting - I've really enjoyed it. I've just been recording an album at the moment which is out in May, so I'll be focusing on promoting that over the next few months. In fact, one of the blokes I've been working with on the album was involved in Come Back, the winning song, today.


TV babe's a Claire winner

LIFE is just splashing for former Brookside babe Claire Sweeney. The Scouser hitched up her frock to reveal a smashing pair of pins as she frolicked on famous Venice Beach in Los Angeles. The 31-year-old then went rollerblading along the seafront. Celebrity Big Brother star Claire is in California to record a pop album. No doubt more Beach Boys than Mersey beat.


CLAIRE FIGURES IT OUT 

SHE'S no longer starring in Chicago but Claire Sweeney is determined to keep the svelte figure she gained doing all those vigorous dance routines.
The former Brookside star tells us she's hired a personal trainer to stop her piling on the pounds. "When I was in Chicago I could eat as much as I wanted and I still stay trim," says Claire, who soon jets off to Los Angeles to finish recording her album. "But now I have to watch myself so I hired this fitness instructor to put me through my paces. I've just moved to Pimlico in London and he's always dragging me to Battersea Park. You can find me doing sit ups by the Peace Pagoda."


Hot People: Claire homes in on new pad 

EX-Brookie star CLAIRE SWEENEY is splashing out an amazing £650,000 for a small two-bedroom flat in London. Claire - now starring in Chicago in the West End - has set her heart on the trendy apartment in London's posh Chelsea. 


CLAIRE'S DAREDEVIL TV SHOW IS AXED

When she signed a £200,000 deal to host a prime-time Saturday show for ITV, Claire Sweeney was described as 'the new Cilla Black'. But the much-heralded 'Challenge of a Lifetime' has been scrapped after only one series. And the 30 year-old actress is understood to be contemplating BBC dramas and A FLEETING RETURN TO BROOKSIDE, the Channel 4 soap in which she made her name. ITV's decision to scrap Challenge of a Lifetime has prompted some to suggest that Miss Sweeney's star may be on the wane after she rocketed to fame in just under a year. For six years she had played Lindsey Corkhill on Brookside, but it was Celebrity Big Brother last March that made her a household name. He singing and acting talents demonstrated on the Channel 4 show won the hearts of the nation and she found herself in demand for chat shows and appearances. Conservative estimates put her earnings for the past year at more than £3 million. She has starred in the West End musical Chicago, signed a £1 million recording deal, and won a £400,000 contract to model Marks and Spencer lingerie. But Challenge of a Lifetime pulled in smaller audiences than expected.It featured members of the public taking part in daredevil stunts. Miss Sweeney would take the place of contestants who were too scared. But the expensive show averaged only 3.6 million viewers. A source said: 'Any show that pulls in less than 4 million viewers across the series isn't likely to come back'. Another insider said: 'There were high hopes for the show and Claire is popular, but it became apparent quite quickly that it wasn't the right format.' Miss Sweeney is starring in Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre until March. She is reportedly earning around £10,000 a week, but has received mixed reviews - some critics said she was 'too nice' to play the scheming murderess Roxy Hart. She also made a BBC2 series about theatre called A Week in the West End, screened this month. Sources said that she is in talks with the BBC and ITV and has been asked by an independent producer to play a role in a new BBC drama, which she has yet to decide if she will take. An ITV spokesman said: 'ITV and Granada are working with Claire on developing a number of new ideas.'


Oh brother, Claire's in the big time

CLAIRE Sweeney, the former Brookside soap actress, has joined the ranks of the show business elite. Conservative estimates put her current earnings at more than £3 million. Sweeney, who played Lyndsey Corkhill in Brookside for six years, became a household name after appearing in Celebrity Big Brother last March. Her popularity grew during the show and she made it to the final two, but on leaving the house she became a big star and her earnings rocketed.  Marks & Spencer signed her to promote its lingerie in a £400,000 deal and she was paid £250,000 to present ITV's Challenge Of A Lifetime. At the end of 2001 she took over the part of Roxie, left, in the hit West End musical Chicago, which is thought to earn her up to £10,000 a week. And she recently signed a record deal worth £1.5 million.  Sweeney's biggest luxury? The telephone - 'sending text messages at all hours of the day and night to keep in touch with friends and family'. She reveals how she spends her wealth in the latest issue of Financial Mail's sparkling new magazine, MONEY, on sale now.


Star shuns her real dad Feb 22 2002

SOUTHPORT man Albert Brown has told the Visiter how sad he felt to be publicly shunned by his celebrity daughter Claire Sweeney last week on the TV show This Is Your Life. The cruise ship entertainer says he was shocked and sad to learn his daughter, Brookside and Celebrity Big Brother star Claire Sweeney, had described him as a scaffolder who she hadn't seen for 25 years. He told the Visiter: "I've just got back from a cruise in Spain and so I had no idea Claire had been on This Is Your Life, until I picked up the phone in Madeira and there was a long list of newspapers and other media people wanting to talk to me. "The whole thing is rather sad really because Claire said she was devastated when her step-father went to prison, but she described me as 'Albert Brown, a scaffolder I haven't seen for 25 years'. "That's not true on either count - I have been an entertainer for 34 years and she came here to my home while she was rehearsing for a show not so long ago. "I don't mind talking a bit to the Visiter because it's my local paper but the press went crazy when Claire went on Celebrity Big Brother last year as well, and again now. All we really want is to get on with things." Albert will shortly be leaving Southport on another cruise trip to the Carribean, but his son Adam has also inherited the family flair for entertainment and will be staying in the resort to further his theatrical training.


This is your life

FORMER Brookside star Claire Sweeney burst into tears when Michael Aspel surprised her with the famous words "this is your life". The 31-year-old actress had been lured to the Abbey Road recording studios in London to record a song when Aspel struck. The This Is Your Life host crept in and tapped her on the shoulder before presenting her with the famous red book. An insider for the long-running show said: "She had no idea. It was a classic strike. She just began screaming. She didn't become coherent for quite some time. "We got her down there on the pretext of doing some recording for A Song For Europe. It is unusual for someone at such a relatively early stage in their career to get this treatment. It is a testament to her popularity that she was chosen." Claire, who starred as Lynsey Corkhill in the Mersey soap, shot to fame during Celebrity Big Brother last year. She has gone on to present her own TV show Challenge Of A Lifetime and has been lined up to host a new BBC series interviewing the stars of theatre and musicals. Claire is currently starring in the lead role of Roxie Hart in the West End musical Chicago. She was also chosen to model lingerie for Marks and Spencer.


Claire Sweeney to host Song For Europe

BBC1's Song For Europe 2002 is to be presented by Claire Sweeney.She will be joined by Liquid News host Christopher Price on the show on March 3.It will feature performances from Jessica Garlick, Heartbeat's Tricia Penrose, pub band Surf 'N' Turf and '80s singer Zee Asha.


The Sun (1.18.02)

CHARLOTTE CHURCH, MARTINE McCUTCHEON, CLAIRE SWEENEY, BLUE and BARBARA WINDSOR are just some of the stars who will appear on a charity version of ROBBIE WILLIAMS’s Angels to celebrate the 150th anniversary of London’s St Ormond Street children’s hospital


Annanova

Claire Sweeney is to present a new series about theatre for BBC2.Sweeney, who is currently appearing in the musical Chicago, will interview people connected with the stage including Andrew Lloyd Webber and actress Ruthie Henshall. A Week In The West End begins on February 11.Story filed: 13:53 Sunday 13th January 2002


Daily Mail (Dec 20,2001)

Before Celebrity Big Brother, Claire Sweeney auditioned three times for Chicago. She didn't get the part. After Big Brother, in which she acquitted herself rather well, her popularity soared and she landed a starring role in the musical lead role. She also won the dubious accolade of Rear of the Year, hosted ITV's Challenge Of A Lifetime, clinched a modelling contract with Marks and Spencer and has landed an album deal. Not bad for an actress who started the year known primarily for her role as scheming Lindsay Corkhill in the dreary soap Brookside. 


Claire Sweeney after the West End debut of hit musical Chicago:

"Yes, I can't quite believe it. The first night was everything I could wish for - and more. Whatever anyone says about the performance, they can't take away the fact that I've fulfilled my dream. My main aim was to enjoy every moment of it - and I did just that. When the curtain went up I didn't look at the audience - I just concentrated on my role. Besides, my mum Kathleen and dad Ken were there, and I thought that if I saw them I'd end up losing it. After probably the best two and a half hours of my life, it was finally over, and I must admit that I did start to feel overwhelmed by the whole experience - especially when I saw my mum and dad giving me a standing ovation. I received about forty bouquets, containing the most gorgeous flowers and my dressing room looked like a florist's shop. I was touched to receive flowers from my old friends at Brookside.
After the show, my mum and dad came backstage and I wiped off the greasepaint, got into my dressing gown and had a glass of champagne with them. Nothing has ever tasted sweeter. Later, all the cast and crew met up for a drink. Now I feel I can settle into the part and enjoy myself. I'm doing a gruelling eight shows a week, and I'm going to be loving every minute of it."


Claire Sweeney left in tears filming Comic Relief documentary (Ananova Dec 12, 2001)

Claire Sweeney was reduced to tears when she met abused child soldiers in Sierra Leone for Comic Relief. She visited a project where youngsters who fought in the African country's civil war are being rehabilitated. A documentary of her visit will be shown on BBC1 as part of Comic Relief Hot Christmas Pants. Claire told Teletext: "The counselling session for the kids knocked me for six. My mum said it would upset me and she was right. At the end the girls were in tears and I was in tears." The former Brookside actress says the worst part of the visit was meeting a girl called Finda who was ordered to shoot her parents by soldiers during Sierra Leone's civil war. "I am still trying to relate to it. If I was given a gun and told to shoot my mum and dad - you cannot even contemplate it," she says. "Soldiers told her they would kill her if she didn't kill her mum and dad. Her mum escaped but her dad wasn't so lucky. Finda was devastated and she was given cocaine and her head was completely messed up."Comic Relief has donated £72,000 to help 200 ex-child soldiers return to civilian life.
The programme will be shown on December 29.


Claire takes Steps in stalkerdom

by Claire Sweeney
I'm a big fan of Steps. I went to see them in Manchester last year, and I went to the aftershow party and became friends with H. I know I'm biased, but he's my favourite.  Steps: The devils you know When I did Brookside my daughter on the programme had a big Steps poster in her bedroom that I used to look at while we were filming. I'm a bit of a Steps stalker actually. I introduced them on stage at G.A.Y. at the Astoria.  When you see them in concert you realise they're all talented individually. They have a great stage show, very visual. Obviously they've cornered the gay market but kids love them because they have little dance routines that they can latch onto. And they do great pop music.  I love 'Better The Devil You Know', the double A-side with 'Say You'll Be Mine'. Kylie Minogue did the original 11 years ago. It reminds me of watching Pete Waterman on The Hitman And Her. He put Steps together. I'm rehearsing for Chicago at the moment and when I make a mistake I go into 'Tragedy'. The other week I bought Gold: Greatest Hits, the Steps compilation album. It's sold a phenomenal amount, something like half a million copies in a month. If they decide to call it a day, H will star in a West End musical - he'd be great. I can see Claire doing TV presenting and Faye has a fabulous voice. I think Steps are brilliant!


Claire fails crocodile challenge 
Former Celebrity Big Brother star Claire Sweeney met her match when faced with a man-eating crocodile on her new television programme. The former Brookside actress was asked to swim through a swamp containing 500 fierce crocodiles for her new TV show Challenge Of A Lifetime, formerly presented by Davina McCall. The programme surprises ordinary people and presents them with daredevil challenges, and if they fail to complete them Sweeney must take over. But when pushed she refused to take on the crocodile challenge saying her greatest fear is the unpredictability of living creatures. She said: "You've got to draw the line somewhere and I drew the line with one challenge which absolutely terrified me. We were on a crocodile farm in outback Australia. "I'd spent two days on this croc farm. I'd seen how unpredictable they are - they're nutters, the guy who works there, his legs are covered in scars. I just didn't trust the whole scenario. "And I thought, if ever I do get to do my musical I want to do it with two legs, not one leg." The 30-year-old is currently in talks with the producers of hit musical Chicago and says her chances of appearing in the show are "looking good". The actress, who has been dubbed the new Cilla Black, is to leave Brookside next week and has revealed that her character Lindsay Corkhill will not be killed off - leaving the way open for a possible return to the soap opera in the future. Sweeney had told programme producers that she was fearless but now confesses that her scariest encounter before joining the programme was going on a fairground ride. The show's contestants include a 66-year-old grandmother and a mother of three whose bravery is tested in the new series. They face mental and physical challenges in dangerous locations all over the world.


November 13, 2001

Claire Sweeney to perform Judy Garland song for Children in Need  Claire Sweeney will sing a song by her idol Judy Garland for Children In Need. She will perform Get Happy for the BBC charity event on Friday. It starts at 7pm with Claire taking to the stage at 7.15pm. She told the Daily Record: "I'm obviously going to be very nervous about performing live on television but I am also really excited. "I'm a big Judy Garland fan and to be given the opportunity to sing Get Happy for a good cause is going to be fantastic." The event will be hosted by Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslin.
It is hoped the event will top the £20 million raised last year.


 5th November 2001

Claire Sweeney expects tears at Brookside leaving party  Claire Sweeney says she will be in tears when she leaves Brookside in December. The actress, who plays Lindsey Corkhill, hopes to return to the Channel 4 soap in the future. She says she is having a joint party with her on-screen mother Sue Jenkins, who is also leaving. Claire tells OK magazine: "Sue and I are aware that at some future date they hope to see the Corkhills reunited. "I'd love to come back next year and do a bit. But I expect I'll be crying when I leave. I'm sure that after a few Jack Daniel's, I'll be in tears. Since appearing in Celebrity Big Brother, Claire has been inundated with job offers. She is set to make her West End debut as Velma Kelly in hit musical Chicago next month. "I think I was a bit naive," she adds. "When I came out there were loads of job offers which before I could only have dreamt of. But it was like a big spotlight had suddenly been put on me. It was scary."


November 4, 2001 Life-changing year for Claire
By Hannah Wright

There is no doubt that 2001 has been a life-changing year for former Brookside star Claire Sweeney. 
A year ago, she was just another soap actress, but now she is in more demand than ever and about to make her West End debut in Chicago. "If at the start of the year you had asked me to make five wishes then I could tell you now that they have all come true," Claire said. "Things just keep on happening to me that I never would have believed."
Landing the lead role in West End hit Chicago was a "dream come true", she added. "I have my first rehearsal today," she said. "I am so excited." Claire, 30, was propelled into the limelight after an appearence on Celebrity Big Brother this year. "It was just a bit of fun," she said. "I am overwhelmed at how much my life has changed since. To be in a West End show is all I have ever wanted." In early November, the last place you would expect to see Claire is braving a blizzard in a Santa suit. But the friendly actress was merely on her latest assignment - launching a Christmas National Lottery game surrounded by fake snow and snowmen. "This is fun," she said, and meant it. "It is about the closest we will get to a white Christmas in London anyway, and this will be my first one spent in the city." With offers of TV and stage appearances being thrown at her from all directions, Claire has no idea what is round the corner. "It has been mind-blowing," said Claire, who has made her presenting debut on Challenge Of A Lifetime since appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in March. "I've just done an album called West End Girls - a cover of my favourite songs - and I will be recording my own. It has all been so exciting


NOVEMBER 4, 2001 Claire Sweeney: Christmas Eve Lottery draw

The 30-year-old star is dressing in a traditional Miss Christmas oufit, including fur coat and Santa, to mark the new Christmas Millionaire Maker game. Organisers created a snow-filled winter wonderland scene, complete with falling snow, carol singers, snowmen and Christmas trees, at the launch in London's Covent Garden. Sweeney will present the draw on Christmas Eve on BBC 1 when a guaranteed millionaire will be made for every million tickets sold. Prizes will range from an estimated £40 to £4 million and players need only match two numbers to gain an estimated minimum prize of £402.  Sweeney has hit the jackpot after taking part in Celebrity Big Brother which has opened numerous doors for her.  The appearance led to her becoming a TV daredevil as she landed the role of presenter for ITV1's Challenge Of A Lifetime and as a model for Marks and Spencer.  She had previously been best known for her performance as Lindsey Corkhill in Channel 4's Brookside.  But when she appeared in Big Brother she revealed her singing talents and voiced her desire to perform in a show.  Recently she landed the lead role in West End show Chicago - previously played by Denise Van Outen - and will join a cast which includes former chart star Alison Moyet. Sweeney will take over in Chicago on December 3. 


See Claire in London on November 27

Claire Sweeney, the Channel 4 soap’s star who won the nation’s hearts when she took part in Celebrity Big Brother, is to open this year’s Caravan and Outdoor Leisure Show on 27 November at Earls Court.
Very much the woman of the moment, Claire is broadening her career and profile presenting LWT’s new Saturday prime time show ‘Challenge of a Lifetime,’ which begins this autumn. She has also hit the headlines abseiling down buildings for Marks & Spencer. With a history of caravanning and such a taste for adventure, Claire is certain to feel at home at the show and should prove to be an excellent ambassador for the event and caravanning and camping in general. In addition to checking out the latest caravans and motorhomes, Claire will also try out the activities in the Adventure Zone. This year the show’s activity centre takes on a winter wonderland theme, with cross-country skiing, a helter skelter icicle and snow scramble wall, snowy golf and a giant bungie style trampoline, set among giant fir trees. 


EX-Brookside babe Claire Sweeney has split from her millionaire boyfriend. 

The stunner — voted Rear of the Year — said of her seven-month relationship with theatre producer Adam Kenwright: “It’s over.” Claire, 30, blamed pressure of work following her hit appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.  She is to follow in the footsteps of Denise Van Outen by starring in West End musical Chicago. The beauty had been dating Kenwright, 31, since March.  At a showbiz party to launch the new Steps album Gold, she said: “It’s been a busy time for me and really hard on the relationship. It’s sad but we’re still in touch.”  Claire shot to fame as Brookie lesbian Lindsey Corkhill. She then wowed a host of new fans on Celebrity Big Brother with Anthea Turner and Jack Dee.  Claire won Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes as Celine Dion, then landed a £400,000 deal to model Marks & Spencer lingerie — and will earn £250,000 hosting ITV’s Challenge Of A Lifetime.


HOT PEOPLE: CLAIRE SWOONEY! (Oct. 21,2001)
Brookie star's new man 
SOAP star CLAIRE SWEENEY is enjoying a new romance with This Morning presenter JOHN LESLIE, I can reveal. 
The Brookside actress, who recently split from theatre producer ADAM KENWRIGHT, was all over John at a Pizza Express in London's West End. My spy at the next table said: "You could tell something was going on because she kept leaning on him. Their body language was amazing. Every time he said something she threw her head back and laughed. "They didn't make any secret of the fact they're attracted to each other."  Claire, 30, who will play Roxie on stage in Chicago, had met up with John, 36, earlier that day when he interviewed her about her new TV show Challenge Of A Lifetime.  Obviously they both had another challenge on their minds... 


YOU HAVE HEARD OF 'JUST GOOD FRIENDS'. WELL WE'RE VERY GOOD FRIENDS.. 
TV CLAIRE REVEALS TRUTH BEHIND 'SPLIT' WITH LOVER (Oct. 21,2001)

THE couple sitting close together at the secluded restaurant table last week would have seemed familiar to most people. 
Only that morning, the papers had been brimming with speculation about them. "Claire and Adam call it quits"...was the general verdict.  And yet here they were - soap actress turned mega-star Claire Sweeney and millionaire impresario Adam Kenwright, as cosily knee-to-knee as they ever were.  This didn't look like a romance being re-kindled. This seemed to be a flame that had never gone out. "You must have heard the saying, 'just good friends'," says Claire.  "Well, Adam and I went for dinner last night and what's more we had a lovely time, because that's what we are and what we have always been - very good friends."  Their friendship was so close that Adam was photographed nibbling Claire's ear as they frolicked in the pool of a luxury Majorcan hotel this summer. "Yes we had a lovely time," Claire says. "But we're both very busy. People were looking for a serious romance, I know.  "But the truth is we're great mates. We have a laugh. Does that mean that we're both free to see other people? Well...possibly!"  Summer must seem a long time ago in Claire's fast-moving world. She started the year as a relative unknown, playing lesbian single mum Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside. She will end it as a star of the West End.  That was another reason for dinner with 31-year-old Adam, son of the theatre producer Bill Kenwright.  She was celebrating landing the lead role in the hit musical Chicago, taking over from Denise Van Outen in December.  It's a tough act to follow, and Claire admits: "I'd be creased up with nerves by now...if I had half a minute to think about it."  Meanwhile, her new TV series Challenge Of A Lifetime is already running - the revamped version of Don't Try This At Home, with Claire taking on the presenter's job vacated by Davina McCall. And all this, she reflects, because of Celebrity Big Brother. She only took part because she had a week to spare from her Brookside schedule. But she finished as runner-up having won over legions of new admirers.  Celebrity agent Jonathan Shalit then took her on - and the girl whose showbusiness career had started in the social clubs of Merseyside 15 years earlier became a sensation.  Isn't it ironic that the success seems to have come at the cost of her emotional life with Adam?  "Don't try to put words in my mouth," she says. "But I will admit I was more gobsmacked than anyone at the way Big Brother took off."  Yesterday Claire flew to Sierra Leone to see how Comic Relief has been spending some of the Celebrity Big Brother money on a centre for former child soldiers there.  But she found time to meet me in a North London studio where she is recording a track on a Christmas album of numbers from the great stage musicals.  Others in the line-up include Celine Dion, Liza Minelli, Barbara Dickson, Judy Garland and Elaine Paige. "I can't believe it," says Claire. "Me alongside Lisa Minelli! If anyone had told me, even this time last year, that I'd be keeping this kind of company I would have told them they were bonkers..."  But she adds: "I've served the apprenticeship. I grew up singing and dancing in the Labour clubs and social clubs, where the audiences were tough."  Along the way, she found herself in a chorus line backing Ken Dodd. "He spent an hour chatting with me, giving me encouragement, telling me it was there if I worked for it," Claire says. "Doddy's a national hero in Liverpool, so when he gives you advice, you listen to it.  "He told me always to follow my instincts - that I thought something was a good idea, then I should go for it. So I've always remembered that. If there have been bad times, well I've always tried to look beyond them.  "That's the trick, isn't it? Keep singing and the good times follow the bad times, just like in the musicals." 


SOAP & GLORY: FAT CHANCE, CLAIRE! (Oct. 21,2001)

CLAIRE SWEENEY tells me she can't wait to get into her role as Roxie Hart in the London stage musical Chicago.  The former Brookside star says: "Just think, with all that dancing, I'll lose loads of weight - and have a body just like Denise van Outen's." Claire, love, you look fab as you are. 


Big breaks for both Ronnie and Claire Oct 19 2001


Stars' success owed to town. TWO of the biggest stars in showbiz have revealed how learning their trade in Southport has launched them on the road to success. Brookside actress Claire Sweeney has secured part of Roxie Hart in the West Endmusical Chicago, a role she coveted since her days with Southport Youth Theatre. And snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan hit top gear with a lucrative sixÐminute, 147 break as he powered into the quarterÐfinals of the LG Cup in Preston on Wednesday Ð just hours after warming up at the Les Dodd Snooker Centre in Southport.  Claire, who finished second in Celebrity Big Brother, said: "When I was a kid I used to be with Southport Youth Theatre and they used to have an older group there which I was a bit young to be in. I listened to the music for Chicago and absolutely loved it. I went for the audition and sang "All That Jazz." They said to me 'you can't really do it but we would like you to be in the chorus'." Sefton arts development officer Suzy Walker, who directed the group, said she has been delighted to see Claire, and many of her other young actors, go on to achieve success in the worlds of theatre and television. "It was the older group which performed Chicago, Claire was only 14 at the time, so she couldn't take part," she said. "Claire did perform in Hair, in 1988 though, and also appeared in some of our other shows. "She was a very talented singer and dancer, and she was a brilliant performer. She's always had such great charisma. "She's a lovely girl, I was very pleased when she eventually got her part in Brookside" While Claire was busy rehearsing for Chicago in London on Tuesday, world snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was wowing the crowds at a charity evening at the Les Dodd snooker centre.


Sweeney's On Her Todd (Oct, 17,2001

EX-Brookside babe Claire Sweeney has split from her millionaire boyfriend.  The stunner — voted Rear of the Year — said of her seven-month relationship with theatre producer Adam Kenwright: “It’s over.”  Claire, 30, blamed pressure of work following her hit appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.  She is to follow in the footsteps of Denise Van Outen by starring in West End musical Chicago. The beauty had been dating Kenwright, 31, since March.  At a showbiz party to launch the new Steps album Gold, she said: “It’s been a busy time for me and really hard on the relationship. It’s sad but we’re still in touch.”  Claire shot to fame as Brookie lesbian Lindsey Corkhill. She then wowed a host of new fans on Celebrity Big Brother with Anthea Turner and Jack Dee.  Claire won Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes as Celine Dion, then landed a £400,000 deal to model Marks & Spencer lingerie — and will earn £250,000 hosting ITV’s Challenge Of A Lifetime.


Claire Sweeney splits from boyfriend (Oct. 15,2001)

Claire Sweeney has split up with her boyfriend. She had been going out with theatre producer Adam Kenwright for seven months. Claire said pressure of work after her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother was to blame. She told The Sun: "It's been a busy time for me and really hard on the relationship. It's sad but we're still in touch." Claire will host ITV's Challenge Of A Lifetime and is also replacing Denise Van Outen in the West End musical Chicago.


Brindleyplace Salon Birmingham

Brookside's Claire Sweeney comes in every four to six weeks, and says she's addicted to having her hair done at the Brindleyplace salon."


SOAP & GLORY: CLAIRE SWEENEY  September 23, 2001

EX-Brookie star CLAIRE SWEENEY has been offered the star stage role in Chicago. But she tells me: "Even though it's a fabulous show I'm still talking it over."


CLAIRE'S SOB JOB Sep 26 2001

IC Scotland
CLAIRE Sweeney "wept for an hour" filming the first show of her new ITV series Challenge Of A Lifetime.
The Brookside star, 30, had to ride a bike over a 12-inch bridge 500 feet above a quarry after the contestant bottled out. But she fell and was only saved by her safety harness.


CROC SHOW IS CLAIRE-LY MAD Sep 26 2001

BROOKSIDE stunner Claire Sweeney has told how she chickened out of an encounter with man-eating crocodiles. Claire, 30, was asked to swim through a swamp containing 500 fierce crocodiles for her new TV show Challenge Of A Lifetime. The programme, formerly presented by Davina McCall, surprises ordinary people and presents them with daredevil challenges. If they fail to complete them, Celebrity Big Brother star Claire must take over. But the terrified brunette said: "You've got to draw the line somewhere. "I'd spent two days on this croc farm, I'd seen how unpredictable they are - they're nutters. The trainer has scars all over his legs."


Claire to wed after whirlwind romanc e

BROOKIE babe CLAIRE SWEENEY is to wed her millionaire boyfriend ADAM KENWRIGHT, I can exclusively reveal.Theatre producer Adam, 29, proposed and delighted Claire - who was a huge hit on Celebrity Big Brother - said yes straight away. It's been a whirlwind romance for the couple who - as the Sunday People exclusively revealed last month - started secretly dating in March.Claire will quit as Brookie's Lindsey Corkhill at the end of the year and she and Adam are talking about tying the knot next summer in Liverpool, where both their families come from.A pal said: "Their engagement is great news and everyone is happy for them. Adam has already bought the engagement ring but they didn't want to announce it until they'd set a date for the wedding."Claire, 30, was introduced to Adam - nephew of theatre impresario BILL KENWRIGHT - by showbiz pals. She had split from Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper ALAN MILLER. 


SOAP AND GLORY: BROOKIE CLAIRE FINDS HER MR KEN-RIGHT 

BROOKIE babe CLAIRE SWEENEY has finally come clean about her new Mr Right. Claire, 30 - who was such a big hit in Celebrity Big Brother - ended months of speculation about her love life by admitting to me that she IS seeing millionaire theatre producer ADAM KENWRIGHT. 
She told me: "At the moment it is early stages so I don't want to tempt fate. We are happy - although I have been working so hard recently it is difficult finding time to spend with each other."  The sexy brunette started dating Adam, 31, after splitting from her long-time love, soccer star ALAN MILLAR. Claire, who plays bisexual Lindsay Corkhill in Brookie, is leaving the soap at the end of the year. But she has big plans for her future. She said: "Since I appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, it has opened the door to hundreds of opportunities. I am doing a new show for ITV and I have been in talks about performing in a musical. 
"I know I have been linked with replacing DENISE VAN OUTEN in Chicago and that is certainly something I would like to do." 


Claire keeps covered at M&S bra launch 

Marks & Spencer has launched its new bra range with a high-profile publicity stunt but little sign of the garment.
Brookside actress Claire Sweeney was hired to abseil down an M&S branch in London's Kensington High Street.She wore a tracksuit for the stunt and did not strip to reveal the underwear even at a photocall held later.Wearing a T-shirt over her Ego Boost bra, Claire told reporters: "My nerves were shot to pieces when I got down."The high-level publicity show created problems for pedestrians and drivers, reports The Daily Mail.Police decided to close off one side of Kensington High Street for safety reasons, leading to queues of traffic and shoppers.
An M&S spokesman said: "It was the police's suggestion that the road was closed, but if it inconvenienced people we can only apologise."


Claire Hangs Out in Kensington ... 1st August 2001
Traffic was brought to a standstill in Kensington High Street this morning as Brookside and Celebrity Big Brother star Claire Sweeney was lowered by a rope from the roof of Marks and Spencers. 
Apparently she was meant to be abseiling but such was the incredibly slow speed of her descent it looked to me as if she was being lowered by a rope. Quite what all this was to do with the lingerie range she is promoting no one was on hand to explain. Halfway down the building the new face of M&S (apparently paid £300,000 a year for this kind of stunt), lost contact with the building and slowly revolved towards the crowd which added a comedy moment to an already bizarre scene. After that all that remained for Clare to do was to successfully negotiate the giant letters of the M&S sign before reaching the ground to cheers from onlookers.


The Daily Star Tuesday July 17th 

'Sexy Brookside star Claire Seeney is set for an explosive exit this autumn... but her character, gangster girl Lindsay Corkhill, will NOT be killed off. Producers of the hit Channel 4 soap are so reluctant to lose their raunchy star that they are leaving the door open in the hope that Claire willone day return. Last night a Brookside source revealed: "We know it`s time for Claire to move on because she`s seeking showbiz pastures new. She`s given six good years to the show and everyone wishes her well. "Lindsay will not be killed off, even though her final scenes will be very dramatic."Soap scriptwriters are currently concocting Lindsay`s exit, which will be kept under wraps for as long as possible.


Soap actress becomes poster model 

Brookside star Claire Sweeney will model a new range of bras for ailing high street retailer Marks and Spencer. Sweeney, who took part in Celebrity Big Brother, will appear on in-store posters wearing three designs called Cheeky, Naughty and Wicked. The actress, who plays Lindsey Corkhill in the Liverpool-based soap, is said to be earning £300,000 for appearing in the posters - but she will not star in TV adverts.Marks and Spencer recently announced another dip in profits, branding them "unacceptable". 


TROUBLED retailer Marks & Spencer has signed up Brookside's Claire Sweeney - just voted Rear of the Year - to model a sexy new bra. The group, which last month announced another plunge in profits and admitted that clothing sales had been "unacceptable", is to use Sweeney's photographs for in-store promotions of the bra from August. The underwear will be made by Sara Lee Courtaulds, maker of Wonderbras, which will produce three designs called Cheeky, Naughty and Wicked. Although Sweeney's photographs will be used to promote the brand, she will not be appearing in adverts for M&S. "She has been shot for PR and promotional purposes - for in-store posters, but not for advertising," a spokeswoman said. The actress, named Female Rear of the Year last week, is reported to be being paid £300,000 for the modelling work. M&S last month announced that full-year pre-tax profits before one-off costs had dived to £480.9 million. Three years ago, the firm was making yearly profits of more than £1 billion.


The real Claire - May 2001


Although well known to Brookie fans as Lindsey Corkhill, actress Claire Sweeney reached a wider audience during her recent stint in Celebrity Big Brother, in which she came second to Jack Dee. And Claire reckons that the fans she meets are always surprised that she's not like her character, but a normal, nice person. 'This woman came up to me and said "You're much nicer in real life. On telly you're a tart and you're fat!"' she laughs.


BROOKSIDE babe Claire Sweeney was yesterday named Rear of the Year.  May 30,2001

The actress, who wowed millions in Celebrity Big Brother, said: "My bum’s never had so much attention. "I’m just a normal size 12, pear-shaped girl." Claire, 30 Lindsey on Brookie added: "This is all very flattering because like other girls I’m very conscious about the size of my bum. I’m always on a diet. "I think my best asset is my SMILE rather than my bum." 
Claire joined male Rear of the Year winner, EastEnders star John Altman, to collect her award in London. John, who plays Nasty Nick Cotton, said: "I laughed my head off when I heard about it. I couldn’t believe it. "Perhaps it’s all those times I’ve worn tight black jeans in EastEnders!" 
But John, 49, added: "I’m delighted my bottom has received the top accolade and both my rear and I will do our best to live up to the honour." 


Claire set fro Zorro role 
Celebrity Big Brother star Claire Sweeney is being lined up for a lead role in the West End musical version of Zorro. The Brookside actress has been dating multi-millionaire theatre producer Adam Kenwright for three months and he is keen for her feature in the show. Kenwright wants his girlfriend to provide the love interest for the dashing Robin Hood-style Mexican outlaw in the role played by Catherine Zeta Jones on the big screen.


Brookie's Claire Sweeney 'quits' 

Claire Sweeney is reported to have quit Brookside.
According to The Sun the actress who plays Lindsey Corkhill will leave in the autumn when her contract runs out.Since appearing in Celebrity Big Brother, Sweeney has apparently been flooded with job offers.
The paper says her character will not be killed off, leaving Sweeney the chance to return if she wants. She is expected to feature in two big storylines before leaving.Sweeney's exit follows the announcement that her screen Mum, played by Sue Jenkins, will be leaving later in the year.


 BROOKIE SUE PUTS POOR JACKIE OUT OF HER MISERY 

BROOKSIDE star SUE JENKINS is to quit the Close after 10 years as troubled Jackie Corkhill, I can reveal. In a decision that will rock the show's bosses, the award-winning actress has decided that she's sick of her down-trodden character and wants to try something new. Sue has had to put up with being soap's unluckiest woman for the past decade - her daughter's been raped twice, she's been stalked by a mad lesbian, her son has died and hubby Jimmy's cracked up. She has also just gone through weeks of misery because Jimmy (DEAN SULLIVAN) is wrongly convinced that Jackie is gay. A Brookside insider told me: "Sue has had just about enough. She's decided not to renew her contract when it runs out. She just wants to try something new." Sue's exit may be linked to the departure of CLAIRE SWEENEY, who plays her daughter Lindsay and is leaving after her Celebrity Big Brother success. Insiders tell me that Sue - who once played Coronation Street sexpot Gloria Todd - wants an explosive exit from the Close. But however she leaves, she will be sorely missed by the soap's devoted fans. Sue has been nominated for Best Actress at this year's Soap Awards on May 30. Last year she and Dean took the Best On-Screen Partnership gong at the Soap Oscar ceremony


Slashed dress steals Bafta show May 13,2001

Hollyoaks star Joanna Taylor has stolen the show as she arrived for the Baftas in a low-cut, shimmering gown.  The 22-year-old actress had eyeballs popping as she turned up in a black Jenny Packham dress slashed at the front to show off her cleavage. The star said the dress, which was edged with silver around her neckline, was held in place with toupee tape to stop her falling out. Claire Sweeney was another glamorous star at the British Academy Television Awards, held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. 
Arriving with her manager Jonathan Shalit, the star - who found new fame on Celebrity Big Brother - wore a lilac outfit designed by her friend Kiri. Her diamante-encrusted bustier was matched with a full-length skirt. 


May 13,2001

Bob Monkhouse has pulled out of presenting a prize at the Baftas after the death of his son.
Brookside star Claire Sweeney has been drafted in to present the best entertainment performance award on Sunday night.Monkhouse is too devastated by the death of his estranged son Simon to take part in the awards.


Hello Magazine 4 MAY 2001


Actress Claire Sweeney is at the centre of a bidding war with music companies hoping to sign her to a recording contract. The Brookside beauty may fetch upwards of £250,000 in the deal, a sum reportedly pledged by both EMI and BMG.Brookside Actress Claire Sweeney To Sign Recording Contract. Claire, who captured the spotlight on the Comic Relief celebrity edition of Big Brother, is being represented by Jonathan Shalit, the man who made opera divette Charlotte Church a household name. Charlotte had the voice of an angel and so does Claire, says Shalit. She’s got a classic voice like Barbara Strirsand and Bette Midler. You could say she’s a female Frank Sinatra. This news comes on the heels of Claire’s lucrative deal to star in Challenge Of A Lifetime, the daredevil programme in which people attempt to confront their greatest fears. ITV bosses have insured her for £20 million as she’ll be required to perform death-defying stunts. TV executives chose Claire when original presenter Davina McCall of Don’t Try This At Home announced she was pregnant. "I owe everything to Big Brother," Claire said. "I had nothing to lose in there because I wasn’t as high-profile as anyone else." Until now.


CLAIRE IS INSURED FOR POUNDS 20M (April 30,2001)

ACTRESS Claire Sweeney has been insured for pounds 20million to host one of TV's most dangerous daredevil shows. Liverpool-born C laire, who won the hearts of the nation during Celebrity Big Brother, is to replace Davina McCall in the new version of Don't Try This At Home. Claire's action-girl role as presenter of the 12-part Challenge Of A Lifetime was first revealed in The Mirror weeks ago. And last night 30-year-old Claire, who plays Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside, insisted she's ready for the challenge. She has been paragliding, climbing and Skidooing in Switzerland. Claire has to step in when contestants get too scared. She said: "I don't really know what my phobias are but I do hate maggots and earthworms." LWT boss Bob said the insurance policy covers Claire for the terrifying stunts she may have to perform including wing-walking and bungee-jumping.


Big Brother's Claire on the single life


Celebrity Big Brother runner-up Claire Sweeney says the show which has turned from B-list to A-list has accentuated her single status. Inside the house, she revealed she was a single girl - and happily so. But since she started life outside the house, she says 'I only have to be seen out with a male friend for people to jump to the wrong conclusions. It's ridiculous really, but I am flattered by the positive attention I've been receiving


Claire Sweeney takes lead role in Chicago (April 24,2001)


Claire Sweeney is to play the lead role in West End musical Chicago. The Brookside actress will take over from Denise Van Outen in the autumn. She says singing and dancing on stage is a dream come true. "I love everything about the theatre - it gives me such an incredible buzz," she told the Daily Express. Claire, whose contract with Brookside finishes in October, admits her big break came from appearing on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year. "I thought I had nothing to lose by appearing on Big Brother because I wasn't a household name and my profile wasn't as high as the others," she says. "It's like a dream come true with offers of work." Claire has also been offered £250,000 to front new ITV show Challenge of a Lifetime, according to reports. She can be seen performing a duet with Brian Conley on his ITV show, this Friday at 8pm


Monday, April 30, 2001 

Claire Sweeney wowed the audience at the London Palladium at the weekend with her rendition of "Nothing" from the hit Broadway musical A Chorus Line. In aid of the oldest actors club in the world, The Green Room Club, ‘A Night of 100 Stars’ was held at the Palladium last night. Normally the home of the top-selling musical The King and I, the Palladium is often the host to a number of special benefits and galas. Claire Sweeney stole the show on the night, and it was a real delight to realise that she is not only a talented TV actress, but also an extremely talented dancer and singer. Other Broadway stars, as well as TV personalities such as Donald Sinden, Barry Cryer, Stephanie Powers and June Whitfield joined Claire on stage. Following her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, in aid of Comic Relief, Claire has won the hearts of the nation, and job offers have been rolling in for her. The Brookside contract ends in October, and Claire has been busy choosing her next project. It is heavily rumoured that Claire will be taking over the role of Roxie Hart in the top musical Chicago. Denise van Outen recently took over the role, and is contracted until the autumn. It is believed that Claire will take her place.


London Palladium to host Night of 100 Stars (April 17,2001)

Stars from both sides of the Atlantic will take part in a Night of 100 Stars at the London Palladium on Sunday, April 22. The first half of the gala will be a tribute to the music and songs of Marvin Hamlisch, and the second half is dedicated to Broadway favourite A Chorus Line. The show will feature Stephanie Powers, Claire Sweeney and June Whitfield, and will be hosted by Sir Donald Sinden. The evening will raise money for the Green Room Club and its Benevolent Fund. A Chorus Line's finale, One, will close the show with a celebrity line-up that comprises 100 singers and dancers from many current West End musicals.


Brookside star set for singing career (April 9,2001)

Claire Sweeney is set to become a singing star. Record label BMG is among those bidding to sign the Brookside actress. She sparked interest after being seen by millions singing on Celebrity Big Brother. BMG could offer Claire £200,000 for a one-album contract, reports The Sun. The label is thought to want to model her on Eva Cassidy. Claire, who plays Lindsay Corkhill in Brookside, is eyeing up a West End musical role when her contract in the soap ends in November. She is to perform at the Night Of 100 Stars at the London Palladium this month. Claire has enlisted the help of manager Jonathan Shalit, the man behind Charlotte Church


Taken from the BBC web site.......

Fresh from her week in the Celebrity Big Brother house, Brookside actress Claire Sweeney is to host a new ITV show according to the Daily Mirror.

Claire, is said to have landed a £250,000 deal to host 'Challenge of a Lifetime', a spin-off from daredevil series 'Don't Try This at Home'. The 12-part Saturday night series is due to be screened in the summer. Liverpudlian Claire has already said she is keen to quit the Channel 4 soap. Updated 23/03/2001


March 10-17 Celebrity Big Brother.................

Claire just recently finished her stay in the Celebrity Big Brother house in which she was the runner up to comedian Jack Dee. Six celebs went into the house to raise money for charity.  After a week in the original Big Brother house, Claire's popularity sky rocketed! She has since gotten several offers to do other television programs but at the moment, she is still contracted with Brookside.

You can still check out Claire and her housemates at the Comic Relief Big Brother web site at  http://www.comicrelief.com/bigbrother/

 

 

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