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Ashley J Russell
Born Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 2004-present
Official website

Ashley J Russell (born 1983 in Edinburgh, Scotland) is a Scottish actress and singer who competed as one of the finalists in the BBC talent show-themed television series I'd Do Anything in 2008.[1]



Russell has performed in a number of stage, television and radio productions including The Waiting Room, A Tribute to Richard Rogers, Honk! and Wiseman Diaries.[2]

She completed her Bachelor of Arts Undergraduate course in Acting and Performance at Queen Margaret University (QMUC) in Musselburgh. During her time there she played the role of Ida in the musical Honk! at the QMUC Gateway theatre and she specialised in Musical theatre. She then trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts drama school in the Wood Green area of North London where she won a Dame Judi Dench Scholarship.[2]

I'd Do Anything

Russell was selected as one of the twelve finalists in the show and came sixth. In week two, judge John Barrowman told Russell "You put a little bit of Glasgow in that, and made it a little bit tough."[3]. Russell was in the bottom two twice, the first time in Week four with Francesca Jackson. They performed the song "Whistle Down The Wind", from the musical of the same name. Despite Russell receiving the least number of votes, Andrew Lloyd Webber chose to save Russell and eliminate Jackson.

The second time, on 11 May, she was in the sing-off Niamh Perry with Russell having received the lowest number of viewers votes. They sang "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from the musical Evita. Lloyd Webber chose to save Perry and eliminate Russell.[4] Lloyd Webber said, "I've said Niamh is a little young for this and I was very hard on you, Ashley" then, "In the end, I've got to save Niamh." Of Russell he said, "I do want to say that you are a fantastic talent, but you don't communicate it on stage," adding that he would love to work with her one day, and that her drama students "should be very proud." Russell said of her experience on the show, "I didn't lose my identity throughout the whole thing. I still stayed me, kept professional and I did the best job I could, which is good enough for me!"[5]

Russell’s Nancy colour was electric blue. Russell’s audience supporters wore white "Vote Ash" t-shirts and ginger wigs.


Performances on I'd Do Anything

After I'd Do Anything

Russell has continued teaching drama classes in London part-time, and has performed in two ensemble workshops.[2]



Year Title Role Type Venue
2004 Emma's Child Tess McGarrett Theatre Pend Studio, Edinburgh
2004 The Winter's Tale Imposa Theatre Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh
2005 Junk Sal/Mrs Brogan Theatre Pend Studio, Edinburgh
2005 Honk! Ida Theatre Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh
2005 Beach Child Theatre Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh
2006 Nunsense Mother Superior Theatre Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London
2006 Out of Harm's Way Leona Film Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London
2006 Touched Joan Theatre Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London
2006 Follies Heidi Theatre Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London
2006 Richard III Queen Elizabeth Theatre Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London
2006 Wiseman Diaries Principal vocalist Radio Royal Scottish National Orchestra (BBC Radio Scotland)
2008 The Waiting Room Naiomi Theatre Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
2008 I'd Do Anything Contestant Television BBC One
2008 Phantom: Love Never Dies Ensemble workshops Sydmonton Festival
2008 20th Century Boy Mother Ensemble workshops Battersea Arts Centre, London
2009 We Will Rock You Head Teacher Theater Manchester Palace Theater, Manchester

Ashley is now part of the original touring cast of We Will Rockyou playing the Teacher and 1st cover Killer Queen


External links


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