Mrs Crawshaw, or Orla Crawshaw, has spent more time on-screen in Coronation Street of late as the Weatherfield High deputy head got her wires crossed with Daniel Osbourne. The character, played by Carla Mendonça made her deputy in the ITV soap back in September.
Fans were quickly reacting to seeing Carla on-screen as the new character was involved in trying to get Daniel Osbourne and David Platt to make amends following a fallout over David’s son, Max Turner. She also got involved when Daniel was wrongly accused of sleeping with another pupil, Summer Spellman, by vengeful Max.
However, in more recent episodes, Corrie viewers have witnessed some more awkward scenes when Daniel wanted to show willing and attending a meeting about a school trip. However, not only was he the only one to show but he was also taken aback when an upset Mrs Crawshaw confided that her husband has left her.
Later, Mrs Crawshaw unexpectedly called at the cafe and had a futile attempt to flirt with Roy Cropper before thanking Daniel for agreeing to organise the school trip with new teaching assistant Nicky Wheatley’s help, much to Daisy’s amazement. But, she later called at Daniel’s flat waving a bottle of wine and insisted he call her Orla with a stunned Daniel having to let her down gently.
Then earlier this week, Orla put her foot in it when Daisy arrived at the school to bring lunch, and spy on, Daniel. The deputy head didn’t know Daisy was Daniel’s girlfriend and suggested she knock when she went into the classroom where Daniel and Nicky were sharing a laugh between planning the school trip.
With the character now getting more time on-screen, we thought we’d look at the life behind the character, that of actress Carla Mendonça.
She has had a fruitful career spanning 35 years working in everything from film, television, stage and radio. But one of the roles she is probably best known for is that of mother alien Sophie Johnson in ITV and Citv’s award-winning series My Parents Are Aliens. Back in the noughties she was recognised as the red-headed Valuxian alien who, alongside Brian, found themselves living on earth and fostering three orphans – Mel, Josh, and Lucy Barker.
Carla also appeared in My Dad’s the Prime Minister and more recently played Mrs. Fitzgerald in the CBBC series So Awkward. But her career as an actress back actually launched back in 1984 when she appeared in BBC sitcom The Young Ones.
She went onto appear on The Lenny Henry show, Pushing Up Daisies and Coming Next in smaller roles before landing the role of Juliet Nichols in kids ITV show, Motormouth but it’s probably fair to say My Parents Are Aliens was one of her biggest on-screen successes.
But it wasn’t just TV, film and theatre as Carla also once had a pop career in the early eighties with British pop group The Maisonettes. The group’s debut single, Heartache Avenue, reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart in 1983 and topped the UK Independent Chart.
But sadly after their initial success, the band’s follow-up single, Where I Stand, peaked at no. 28 on the UK Independent Chart and after releasing their album, Maisonettes for Sale, in Canada, the group soon disbanded. However, the group had a mini-revival when their first single was sampled by UK rap group Roll Deep for the chorus on their hit track, The Avenue, in 2005.
Away from her career, Carla has been married to fellow actor Clive Mantle for six years. He is probably best recognised for playing general surgeon Mike Barratt in the BBC hospital drama series Casualty and Holby City in the 1990s, and Little John in the 1980s fantasy series Robin of Sherwood.
More recently, he has become known for his roles on television as Lord Greatjon Umber in HBO’s Game of Thrones and as Tony Curry, Ollie’s father in the BBC’s White Van Man.