Barbara Flynn

Barbara Flynn (born Barbara Joy McMurray, 5 August 1948) is an English actress.[1] She first came to prominence playing Freda Ashton in the ITV drama series A Family at War (1970–1972).[2] She went on to play the milk woman in the BBC comedy Open All Hours (1981–1985), Jill Swinburne in The Beiderbecke Trilogy (1985–1988), Dr. Rose Marie in the BBC series A Very Peculiar Practice (1986–1988), Judith Fitzgerald in the ITV drama Cracker (1993–1995), and Mrs. Jamieson in Cranford (2007–2009).[1] In her own words, she tends to play "feisty, strong women".[3]

Barbara Flynn
Barbara Flynn in 2006
Barbara Joy McMurray

(1948-08-05) 5 August 1948
Years active1970–present
Jeremy Taylor
(m. 1982; died 2017)

Personal life

Flynn was born in St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. Her Irish father, Dr James McMurray, was a pathologist. Her mother was Joy (or Joyce) Crawford Hurst. Flynn attended St Mary's Convent School, Hastings. She then trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (where she was awarded the Gold Medal in 1968) before appearing in repertory theatre.[4]

Flynn married television producer and science writer Jeremy Taylor in 1982. The couple had a son, born in 1990. Taylor died on 17 October 2017.[5][6]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Miss Potter Helen Potter
2009 Burlesque Fairytales Mrs. Argyle
2012 Cheerful Weather for the Wedding Aunt Bella
2014 The Christmas Candle Lady Camdon


Year Title Role Notes
1970–1972 A Family at War Freda Ashton MacKenzie Main role
1972 Z-Cars Jane Wardle Episode: "Old Acquaintance"
1975 Centre Play Angie Episode: "The Flight Fund"
1976 Couples Sally Mackworth Episodes: "1.58", "1.59", "1.60"
1976 ITV Sunday Night Drama Beryl Episode: "Afternoon Dancing"
1977 Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle Pauline Sutton Episode: "The Flaxborouogh Crab: Part 2"
1977, 1981–1982 Play for Today Monica Potter, Margaret Hanson, Jill Episodes: "Love on a Gunboat", "No Visible Scar", "A Mother Like Him"
1980 Keep It in the Family Marlene Episode: "Phoney Business"
1980 BBC2 Playhouse Heather Episode: "Standing in for Henry"
1981 Second Chance Sarah Fletcher Episode: "October"
1981 The Bagthorpe Saga Sue Episode: "Aboslute Zero: Part 2"
1981 Maybury Dorothy Kemp Episodes: "Mary", "Hugo"
1981 The Last Song Shirley TV series
1981 The Gentle Touch Sandy Episode: "Protection"
1981–1982, 1985 Open All Hours The Milk Woman Guest role (series 2–4)
1982 The Further Adventures of Lucky Jim Joanna Lassiter Episodes: "The Big Smoke", "A Foot in the Door", "Scoop", "The Ties That Bind"
1982 The Barchester Chronicles Mary Bold TV miniseries
1985 The Beiderbecke Affair Jill Swinburne TV miniseries
1986 Day To Remember Judy TV film
1986 Season's Greetings Belinda TV film
1986–1988 A Very Peculiar Practice Rose Marie Main role
1987 Inspector Morse Monica Height Episode: "The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn"
1987 The Beiderbecke Tapes Jill Swinburne TV miniseries
1988 The Beiderbecke Connection Jill Swinburne TV miniseries
1989 Theatre Night Jane Episode: "Benefactors"
1990 The Justice Game Eleanor Goodchild Episodes: "The Lady from Rome: Parts 1-3"
1992 Boon Sheila Green Episode: "Queen's Gambit"
1993 Maigret Madame Maigret Episodes: "Maigret on the Defensive", "Maigret's Boyhood Friend", "Maigret and the Minister"
1993–1995 Cracker Judith Fitzgerald Main role
1994 Chandler & Co Dee Chandler Tate Main role
1997 The Vanishing Man Ms. Jeffries TV film
1998 Performance Goneril Episode: "King Lear"
1999 Wives and Daughters Miss Browning TV miniseries
2000 Lorna Doone Sarah Ridd TV film
2001 Perfect Imogen TV film
2002 The Law Eleanor Kimbrough TV film
2002 Night Flight Moira TV film
2002 The Forsyte Saga Emily Forsyte Regular role
2003 Hornblower: Loyalty Mrs. Mason TV film
2003 Hornblower: Duty Mrs. Mason TV film
2003 Murder in Mind Grace Fisher Episode: "Stalkers"
2003 Sweet Medicine Jane Frampton Episode: "1.3"
2004 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Maureen Finnegan Episode: "If Wishes Were Horses"
2004 Poirot Mrs. Allerton Episode: "Death on the Nile"
2004 He Knew He Was Right Mrs. French TV miniseries
2005 Sea of Souls Lt. Col. Petra Summers Episodes: "Omen: Parts 1 & 2"
2005 Malice Aforethought Julia Bickleigh TV film
2005 Elizabeth I Mary, Queen of Scots TV miniseries
2006 The Line of Beauty Sally Tipper Episode: "To Whom Do You Beautifully Belong"
2006 Cracker Judith Fitzgerald TV film
2007 The Marchioness Disaster Eileen Dallaglio TV film
2007 Christmas at the Riviera Rita TV film
2007–2009 Cranford Mrs. Jamieson Main role
2008 10 Days to War Clare Short Episode: "These Things Are Always Chaos"
2009 New Tricks Carole Milburn Episode: "Blood Is Thicker Than Water"
2009 The Queen Queen Elizabeth II Episode: "The Enemy Within"
2011 Silent Witness Carol Fisher Episodes: "Lost: Parts 1 & 2"
2011 Midsomer Murders Millie Bullard Episode: "The Oblong Murders"
2011 Just Henry Mrs. Beaumont TV film
2012 The Borgias Isabella Episode: "The Choice"
2013 Moving On Carol Episode: "The Shrine"
2013 Pat & Cabbage Pat Main role
2014 1864 Queen Victoria Episode: "1.3"
2016–2019 The Durrells Aunt Hermione Guest role (series 1–2, 4), recurring (series 3)
2019 Killing Eve Julia Episode: "Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?"
2020 Death in Paradise Patti Grenson Episode: "9.2"
2020–present Kate & Koji Councillor Bone Main role
2021 Doctor Who Awsok/Tecteun Episodes: "Once, Upon Time", "Survivors of the Flux"


In addition to her acting work, Flynn has provided voice-overs for numerous TV documentaries, including:

  • Body Styles (1989)
  • Time of Her Life (1993)
  • Network First (1996)
  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan (1997)
  • Deaf Century (1999)
  • The 1900 House (1999)
  • Horizon (numerous episodes, 2002 to present)
  • The 50s and 60s in Living Colour (2003)
  • George Orwell: A Life in Pictures (2003)
  • From Here to Paternity (2004)
  • The Monastery (2005)
  • The Ghost in Your Genes (2005)
  • Time Shift: Alan Plater (2005)
  • The Queen's Castle (2005)
  • Guarding the Queen (2007)
  • The Restaurant (2008)
  • Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (2011 to present)
  • Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies (2012)
  • The Flying Scotsman: A Rail Romance (2013)
  • The Planners (2013)
  • Permission Impossible: Britain's Planners (2014)
  • Countdown to Murder (2021)

Theatre work

Flynn appeared in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of Pythagoras in 1976. This was a new play by Danny Abse. In 2016 she appeared in the world premiere production of Elegy at the Donmar Warehouse.[7]


  1. "Barbara Flynn". BFI. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  2. "BFI Screenonline: Family at War, A (1970-72)". Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  3. "BBC – Press Office – Sea of Souls Barbara Flynn". BBC. 8 December 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  4. "Barbara Flynn | Theatricalia". Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  5. Flynn Taylor, Barbara (17 October 2017). "Jeremy Taylor obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  6. Nesse, Randolph (2 August 2017). "In Memory of Jeremy Taylor, Associate Editor | The Evolution and Medicine Review". Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  7. Shenton, Mark (15 January 2016). "Casting Announcd [sic] for Donmar Warehouse Premiere of Elegy; to Include Zoë Wanamaker". Playbill. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
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