Elaine Banks
March 17, 2013
This time,  we have a talented Yorkshire lass by the name of Elaine Banks .
Elaine's Photo Gallery
Hi Elaine, good to talk to you, thank you for spending a little time with us.  Can you tell us how you came to be a Background Supporting Artist?

I started getting interested in it when my son Lewis was modelling at age 3, and saw what went on behind the scenes on TV and the modelling world.

Your son was a model?  How did he get into that?

I sent a photo of him at age 2 to a competition.... 'Woolworths Top Tots', and he was a runner up.  They did an article on him in a local paper and 2 model agencies saw him and wanted him on their books and the rest is history.   He was working at least every 3rd week which was a nightmare as he got older as I had to get licences from the Board of Education to allow him time off.  He needed quite a lot of time off and did TV commercials too.  His teacher said it was my choice to do this with him, but to take note that his education would suffer in later years.   2 years ago, he got a First at university, lol.  He now has his own business in 3D film and media and produces some of the William Hill adverts, plus stills of football kits and Jockeys silks for their systems  ....so proud that I didn't listen to the school eh?

So how long have you been an Extra?

Nineteen years now.  I had signed up with Nemesis  and once did them a favour by recruiting some of my friends to do some Extra work on 'No Angels' that was filmed near where I live in Yorkshire.  So in return, they got me into Corrie, which I was happy about because even though it's filmed in Manchester, it was a soap I've watched and loved for years.  I have been with Nemesis for almost 20 years altogether, they have been a top agency for both Lewis and myself.

Where might we spot you on the set?

I started in the Rovers and walking the street and then went to a casting to be a factory girl ....I became a regular factory girl for a while, but was never in there as much as Christine Quigley is now.  Granada stopped using my agency for a while, through no fault of mine, so it dried up my Corrie work somewhat, but I have been in Roys Rolls, and many times in the Rovers, and as a passer by on the street, and recently in the Bistro for a wake after the Rovers fire.

Ooh, that's a bit of a spoiler, especially for those in Canada, but if they are online and reading this, chances are they haven't been able to avoid that upcoming storyline altogether.  Now they will know to watch out for you when it happens!  But we won't say whose wake it is.

Do you miss being a factory regular?

Not really, I think I prefer not being seen on a regular basis, because it allows me to do other shows like Emmerdale,  and recently I had a main part as Lynsey's Mum at her funeral in Hollyoaks.  Also I had six days on the homebase commercial when it was filmed in the railway station in Carlisle, but that was couple of years ago.

Oh everything you do is documented by someone these days Elaine - I found some screen grabs from both Hollyoaks and the Homebase commercial and have added them to your gallery below.  You played the grieving Mother extremely well I thought!

You live quite a hike from Manchester, do you find the journey difficult?

I do prefer to get work on Emmerdale because Yorkshire TV is 15 minutes away whereas Granada is almost an hour's drive, but it's really a hobby and I love doing it wherever the job is.

What about your family?  Can we know about them?

I will have been married to my hubby Richard for 30 years this May.  He is Head of Racing for William Hill, UK.  I have told you about Lewis, and I also have a daughter Lisa age 27.  She was the wigs mistress on Hairspray, Grease and High School musical but is on maternity leave at moment.  She has given us a beautiful Granddaughter named Myla.

Congratulations!  Grandchildren are wonderful aren't they?

So when you are not doing Extra work, and playing with Myla, what else keeps you busy?

I have been involved for a long time with racing greyhounds and homing them .....had 2 home myself that raced at Sheffield ......I had a rare Glen of Imaal terrier too which I trained for t.v and we won Pet Idol with Keith Chegwin back in 2004 and was also on Blue Peter and Animal Planet with Shauna Lowrey.  Plus I do quite a bit of photography as a hobby though not too professional. I do have an expensive camera and that helps.

I found a couple of stories about your Glen of Imaal Terrier, he sounds like a real character, what cute dogs Glen Imaal's are!  I have never heard of the breed before.

Yes they are, well Murfi certainly was a character.  I have sent you a video of him, taken from Animal Planet with Shauna Lowrey.

Thanks Elaine, oh yes - I would love a little dog like him, he was adorable!  I have embedded the video below the gallery.  Hope everyone else can see it too.

About your greyhounds.  Did they come to you when they needed Monica?  (The Monica who just disappeared without being written out! hmph!)

No, never used my greyhounds on Corrie such a shame ... I recently had my last homed greyhound, which was my Hubbies top racing dog, put to sleep in early Feb as he got a cancer .. so sad.  I have  no dogs now, but would love a new breed to train up again like I did with Murfi, especially for TV.

It's always so heartbreaking when you have to say goodbye to a pet isn't it?

I hate to leave on such a sad note, but thank you so much for allowing us to peek into your life today.  Good luck with finding that perfect pooch, and we will definitely watch out for you shortly in the Bistro!

Did you miss our previous interviews?

You can still find them by clicking below
The above five are all from the Homebase commercial
Top dog Murfi now a TV star

Published on Friday 1 October 2004 10:35

MURFI, the six-year-old Glen of Imaal Terrier from Gildersome, has been chosen as GMTV's best 
performing pet.

From the Morley Observer:

Owner Elaine Banks, of Reedsdale Gardens, entered him in the contest, which was voted on by viewers last

GMTV had filmed Murfi doing his usual party tricks - sneezing, playing football and skateboarding - the
previous day.

Elaine accepted an invitation to appear on the show on Friday, to hear the results announced and to meet
surprise guest star Basil Brush.

"I was given the trip to London free of charge and put up in a five-star hotel overnight. It was such a thrill to

Murfi won a leather sofa, £100 in pet gift vouchers, food for a year, a trophy and a rosette.

Now Mrs Banks has been contacted by K9 magazine and Merseyside Television with a view to further
appearances by her prize-winning pooch.
Murfi raises 'fur' bit of cash
Published on Tuesday 15 March 2005 09:49

SINCE winning the nation's Pet Idol, 2004 title on GMTV, Gildersome canine Murfi has met with further
success, through future modelling and acting work.

He can be seen as Annie’s dog, Sandy, in Annie at Leeds City Vanities Theatre on May 10, 11 and 14

Owner Elaine Banks, of Reedsdale Gardens, Gildersome, said: “I also had Murfi’s agent on the phone from
Manchester, who owns the Bacardi Breezer cat. He had been approached by the BBC, wanting to know
about talented dogs whose owners want to get them into acting. They will be doing a six-part series, so
here’s hoping.

“Last week, I took Murfi to Cruft’s and we bumped into his brother. He’s also a laid back character, oozing
with personality. Murfi, who is a seven-year-old Glen of Imaal Terrier – a rare breed – was wearing his red
nose and T-shirt on Friday, to support Red Nose Day, and raised a fair bit of money for charity.

“Murfi  has also done some modelling for Wales Broad Band. He had to sit with a newspaper in his
mouth, and also in the shoot were a goose, a chicken and two budgerigars. Yes, they all lived to tell the tale!”


Published on Tuesday 13 June 2006 15:08
Murfi flags up England credentials

By Sarah Hall WHO says it's only two-legged England supporters that are displaying their passion for the
World Cup?

One four-legged fan in Gildersome is flying the flag high for England in style.

Murfi, the Glen of Imaal Terrier who came to fame after winning GMTV's Pet Idol competition in 2004, has
been showing his true colours by proudly supporting his home nation, despite his Irish pedigree!

Murfi's owner, Elaine Banks, of Reesdale Gardens, said the patriotic pooch has been carrying his England
flag around with him since before the first match - and he even took it to the pub with him when he popped in
for a quick drink to watch the England-Paraguay game on Saturday afternoon!

"He was carrying it down the street on Saturday and there were loads of cars going past and beeping their
horns at him. Everyone thought he looked great," Elaine said.

"We called into the the Griffin for a quick drink to watch some of the match and everyone thought he was

Murfi loves to carry anything and everything, from his England flag to the family's Chinese takeaway.
And his antics are about to earn him yet more fame. It's just been announced that he's a finalist in cable
television channel Animal Planet's Top Dog competition.

A camera crew will be coming to Gildersome within the next week to film Murfi, whose other recent claims to
fame are gaining a Blue Peter badge and visiting Crufts, not to compete but as an ambassador for his breed.

You have just been looking at eight stills from the Hollyoaks funeral of Linsay Nolan.  Elaine was playing her grieving mother.
These three are all from the funeral of Lesley Kershaw, Paul's wife in Coronation Street.
Pretty soon you will also see Elaine at a wake in the Bistro, mourning someone who died in the Rovers fire.  What's with all these funerals Elaine?  Hope you are not getting typecast! LOL!!
Elaine's husband Richard
This is Elaine's daughter Lisa busy working on wigs for Grease.
Lewis at Graduation
Lewis doing some modelling, and look who his Dad was - none other than Shane Ritchie, who went on to play Alfie Moon in EastEnders
Isn't this a great picture?
And another of Lewis modelling - oh my goodness - he's certainly not a kid anymore is he?  Whew!
Another cute picture in a very different way.  Granddaughter Myla, daughter of Lisa.  I think Elaine took this photo herself!
Another cute one of Myla, age only 9 weeks - look how well she is holding that head up!
Here is a video of Murfi showing off his talents.
Had to add this photo after the page was published.  Thought you might like to see the newest member of Elaine's family, he is a ten week old French Bulldog by the name of Sidney.  Elaine hopes he grows up to be as smart as Murfi.