Maureen Nolan was born in Inchicore, Dublin she moved to England aged eight and began her singing career the same year. From the very beginning of her life in show business she was known as the ‘pretty one’. Something that although welcome was not a mask for her undeniable talent. Maureen holds the distinction of being the Nolan Sister who stayed with the act for the longest, having been in the act for the whole time of its existence. For much of her early life she combined school with a hectic schedule of night time engagements as a member of the family group “The Singing Nolans”. Her childhood ambitions never went beyond being an Air Stewardess. The family had always enjoyed one sacred day a year free from work – Christmas Day. In 1973 as the family prepared to eat lunch Tommy Nolan received a call asking the act to appear at a local hotel. He asked the exorbitant fee of £80! When the hotel agreed to the fee the family felt obliged to honour it. Fortunately they did – Joe Lewis, The hotel owner was staying in Blackpool for the holidays and so impressed was he at their performance, he offered them a residency in London’s West End. Their Father was reluctant to relocate, fortunately the three eldest Sisters were in a position to sign the contract without parental consent. Within days the family had moved to London and set up home in Joe Lewis’ house.
The residency was at the prestigious London Room on Drury Lane. A new venture for the Hanover Grand Organisation where they would top the bill six nights a week. The first decision Hanover Grand made was to retire the Sisters’ parents from the act. Leaving the stage clear for the Nolan Sisters. Hanover Grand had figured the act would have more potential with five Sisters than five Sisters and their parents. The BBC’s head of light entertainment, Stewart Morris was brought in to give advice on how the act should develop. Old fashioned medleys were dropped in favour of up tempo numbers. John Coleman was recruited to arrange vocal harmonies and musical scores. Even Nigel Lythgoe was brought on board to choreograph slick dance routines.
In a short time the act was playing to packed houses. They were selected to star for the entire series of Cliff Richard’s ‘It’s Cliff’ show. Overnight the act became a household name. The week of the series premiere the Nolan Sisters had released a single and were scheduled to appear on more TV shows including The Vera Lynn Show and The Harry Secombe Show. The following two years saw many more singles and an album released. In 1975 the act was selected to accompany Frank Sinatra on his European Tour. The show played to packed houses in stunning theatres in European capitals. Just twelve months later they were in New York supporting Engelbert Humperdinck for a two week run.
Practically every TV show featured the Nolan Sisters during this period including The Shirley Bassey Show, Sez Les, The Tommy Copper Show, Wednesday at Eight, Night Out At The Casino, London Night Out and the complete 1977 series of Vince Hill’s Musical Time Machine.
More tours, television appearances and records followed including a top three album, 20 Giant Hits which saw the girls be presented with their first gold disc in 1978. The year was rounded off with appearances every week on the entire series of The Two Ronnies with audiences of more than twenty million.
After leaving Hanover Grand in 1978 the Nolan Sisters signed to the major label Epic CBS. Whilst performing in their 1979 Summer show the girls recorded their debut Epic album – The Nolan Sisters which rose as high as number three in the charts. After narrowly missing out on the chance to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song contest they released a single on Epic – Spirit Body and Soul. This led to an appearance on Top Of the Pops. The follow up single, I’m In The Mood For Dancing was released in late 1979 and rocketed the Nolans, as they were now billed, to global stardom. The single sold almost half a million copies in the UK alone and close to two million copies world-wide. The song went to number one in Japan where the Sisters became something of a phenomenon. The Nolans management quickly arranged for them to go on a promotional tour of the country. The single itself had topped the domestic chart – the first none Japanese act to do so in more than a decade. The next two years saw the Nolans release several more hit records including Don’t Make Waves, Gotta Pull Myself Together, Who’s Gonna Rock You, Attention To Me, Chemistry, Don’t Love Me Too Hard, Crashing Down, Dragonfly and Dressed To Kill.
1979 saw a summer season in Cleethorpes and the entire series of Mike Yarwood in Persons, their association with Yarwood continued into 1980 with a tour and Summer Season with the celebrated impressionist. The act was trimmed to a quartet in 1983 when Linda left the act. It didn’t limit the success of the Nolans who continued to record, make TV appearances and tour. Maureen made her own Pantomime debut in 1985 and has appeared in more than 20 of them over the years.
In 1990 the Nolans signed to the Panasonic subsidiary label Teichiku Records in Japan. The deal would see six albums released for the Japanese only market. They were all successful. So successful in fact that the label secured the rights to release the Nolans albums on CD format that hadn’t been released in the UK. Several compilations were also released as well as many “The Nolans and Friends” albums that only featured a few tracks from the Japanese albums. Fans were unconcerned and purchased them anyway. Such was the popularity of the group in Japan. The Nolans flew to Japan to record some of the tracks and carried out two tours in two years.
The early 1990s saw Coleen leave the group, followed just a year later by Bernie. Anne and Maureen continued as a duo for the next three years, backed by two female dancers. Bernie and Coleen re-joined the group in 1995 when a re-recording of ‘I’m In the Mood for Dancing’ was released, entering the charts and securing more TV appearances. Anne’s daughter joined the act in 1998 along with her friend Julia. The Nolans as a quartet once again went on to enjoy success on stage in summer season shows and on the cabaret and concert circuit. In 2003 Anne and Maureen joined the company of ‘Reelin’ and a Rockin’ a sixties revival show featuring Gerry and The Pacemakers and several well-known hot makers of the area. The girls sang backing vocals and entertained audiences with their own tribute to Dusty Springfield.
The Nolans as an act disbanded in 2005. Maureen had successfully auditioned for the leading role in Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ a role she took on the UK National Tour and in London’s West End at the Phoenix Theatre. Her portrayal in the show received rave reviews and four of the Nolan Sisters entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most siblings to have played the same role in a professional production. Something she shares with Linda, Bernie and Denise.
Anne and Maureen recorded another Japan only album in 2005 – The Nolans Sing Momoe. The album was successful although it brought to a conclusion their Japanese recordings.
Shortly after deciding to take a break from Blood Brothers Maureen toured the UK in the show 'Stardust' starring alongside Mike Holoway. Shortly afterwards Maureen re-joined Blood Brothers for a season before touring in the comedy musical 'Girl’s Behind', before playing Jill in 'Mum’s The Word'. That was followed playing Sarah in the hit stage play 'The Naked Truth' in which she had to pole dance! Maureen then reprised her role in 'Mum's The Word' in playing opposite her Sister, Bernie.
In 2009 Universal signed four of the Nolans for a reunion tour. The 30 date tour would stop at major arenas and theatres. Sold out venues were thrilled seeing the Nolans perform again. A Live DVD of the concert was released making the top ten in the chart. An album of songs from the tour was also released also featuring remakes of many of their hits.
Epic Records released a four album box set for the Japanese market in 2010 ‘All About The Nolans’ is now considered a collector’s item and many thousands of the box set were sold to fans in the UK.
Talks were underway for a Nolans farewell tour In 2011. Bernie had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and although oncologists thought they had been successful it was discovered that her cancer had returned and was now terminal. To everyone’s sadness the tour had to be cancelled. Maureen carried on working and re-joined the cast of Blood Brothers in which she co-starred with Marti Pellow. Maureen then appeared in the UK tour of ‘The Eva Cassidy Story - Over the Rainbow' followed by a UK tour of ‘Footloose’
Maureen was married to Richie Hoyle in 2010. The couple had been together more than 20 years and had a Son, Danny. As is common with many couples who marry late into their relationship their marriage ended in 2017. The two remain firm friends. Danny has three beautiful Daughters, Ava, Sienna and Roma. Maureen loves to spend time with her Grand Children. Known as "Nanny" she is a natural Grand Parent. Both on and off stage her warmth and compassion is very evident. Her gentle disposition has made her a natural choice for casting agents. She landed the role of Vi Moore in a new production of 'Footloose' in which she was top billed alongside Gareth Gates in 2016. Once that show took a break, she was quickly snapped up for the national tour of the comedy musical 'Menopause - The Musical' in 2015. She returned to 'Footloose' for a second run in 2017. Maureen appeared at Blackpool's Opera House in December 2017 in 'Peter Pan - A Musical Adventure' before re-joining 'Menopause - The Musical' for a second time in spring 2018.
Maureen shocked everyone when she had cosmetic surgery in 2018. She revealed the results of her facelift on TV’s Loose Women. Christmas time saw Maureen appearing in Panto at Newcastle before quickly re-joining the 2019 UK and Ireland tour of ‘Menopause the Musical’. The 2019 pantomime season featured Maureen alongside her Nephew, Shane at Manchester in.
TV executives approached four of the Nolans. Maureen, Anne, Linda and Coleen and asked them to star in an eight part reality show filmed on board a new cruise liner, the MSV Grandiosa. The show was filmed over to weeks seeing the Sisters join the ship in Genoa at the start of the Coronavirus epidemic. The series ‘In The Mood For Cruising’ airs in June 2020For 2020 Maureen was due to star in an Easter Panto at St. Helens, this was cancelled because of the pandemic of Corona Virus. Maureen wanted to say how sorry she was that the show is not going ahead.
On their return from filming for the Nolans Go Cruising, Anne and Maureen self isolated for two weeks. Maureen starred with the rest of the Nolans on TV in the current series of "All Round To Mrs. Browns" aired in April.
2020 was also to be a much publicised year for the Nolans, some of it in sadness. Linda had come to terms with her cancer diagnosis and explained that she was living with cancer and not dying from it. As the country went into the Covid lockdown the Sisters heard that a BBC record label were releasing a three disc compilation box set that would feature songs from their UK albums from 1978-1983. For the first time all six sisters would appear on the front cover of a general album release. As the sisters basked in the good news they were rocked when Anne told them that she had found a lump on her breast, twenty years after battling and beating cancer before.
In June several people gathered for a 'Socially Distanced' outdoor birthday celebration for Maureen. Family members sat in a circle in a nearby park with everyone two meters apart. Humour was evident when people began texting one one another. Maureen had moved into Anne's house to help with care and act as driver, while Linda moved into Denise's house for the same purpose.
The release of the box set went ahead on October 23rd 2020 - in time for Christmas. All the Sisters took part in filming a new show for Quest red that aired in late 2020 - At Home With The Nolans was a four part series that gained high ratings.
The album box set 'Gold' hit the top ten in early 2021. Maureen along with her four Sisters filmed the second series of 'The Nolans Go Cruising' which will air in September. In August of 2021 Maureen commenced rehearslas for the UK touring production of 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' the musical will premiere in September and tours until November. After that Maureen will head to stafford where she is topping the bill for the town's panto, Maureen will play the wicked Queen in Snow White.
Maureen is back home now following her fantastic run in Stafford at the fabulous Gatehouse Theatre. Snow Whiite became the most successful panto ever at the venue. Review were positive and Maureen even made it onto News At Ten!!
EASTER PANTOMIME 2020 - ST. HELENS
ARCHIVE NEWS FROM MAUREEN
Maureen has completed her tour of the fabulous new musical 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' The musical toured for four months and played to packed houses all over the country. Maureen won't have much time to relax, she starts rehearsals on December 1st!
November 1st 2021
Maureen is to head to Stafford for this year's panto. She will play the Wicked Queen in Snow White, at the Gatehouse Theatre. The show opens on December 10th and runs for three weeks.
NEW NOLANS ALBUM OUT OCOBER 23rd
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
St Helens Theatre Royal, Wed 8 – Sun 19 April 2020
The circus comes to town this Easter in Regal Entertainments’ magical panto production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It promises to be just right with its mix of unbelievable circus tricks, madcap comedy capers, and a smash-hit selection of chart hits to sing and dance along to. Join Goldilocks this Easter, who, with the help of the Three Bears tries to save her Big Top from a rival circus owner! Get ready for a whole lot of family fun - it promises to be panto GOLD!
So…Roll up! Roll up! And get your tickets to this circus spectacular. Maureen is topping bill for this fabulous show - The show has been cancelled because of the Corona Virus Pandemic, If the show is put on again we will let you know.
The Nolans: In the Mood for Cruising will follow the Nolan sisters Coleen, Linda, Maureen and Anne as they go on their first shared trip and first singing reunion in decades.
The sisters will embark on two cruises around the Mediterranean onboard the MSC Grandiosa and across the eight-episode series they will prepare to perform their hit single I’m In The Mood For Dancing on their final night on the ship in front of their fellow passengers. The ladies bond over visits to beautiful cities and towns, enjoy the luxury treatment on board one of the biggest Cruise ships in the world, while preparing for a grand finale reunion show on the ship. The series will explore themes of loss, finding love in middle age and the strength of female friendships. They will also address issues such as Linda’s fight with incurable breast cancer, low self-esteem, and what single life in middle age means for them. The Nolans: In The Mood For Cruising is the sisters’ first TV show and singing reunion together in decades. Ahead of the show, Coleen said: “The four of us are so excited to go on this trip; there are things that we all want to tick off our bucket lists, and this is definitely one of them! “We want to give Linda the trip and performance of a lifetime!” Linda added: “This trip is going to be a riot and I cannot wait. Also we get to perform together again, and with Anne, and that will be very special.” The news comes after Coleen Nolan admitted her "libido is dead" after making the candid confession that she hasn't had sex for years, in an exclusive interview with Mirror Online. The singer and Loose Women star, 54, divorced second husband Ray Fensome in 2018, saying the "emotional and physical connection" had gone from their relationship. Coleen hasn't ruled out finding love once more, but says she'll never get married again.
MAUREEN'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE IS PART OF THE NEW NOLANS OFFICIAL WEBSITE CLICK BELOW TO VISIT
MAUREEN NOLAN GALLERY