- Janet Ravens
- Bebington Wirral England United Kingdom
- United Kingdom
- Actress Comedian Impressionist
- Travelling Listening To People.
- Brilliant Accents And Comedy Characters - Sexy Mellow Smooth Straight Voice. A Natural Mimic
- Jazz. It Gives Her A Toothache.
Jan Ravens is an English actress and impressionist, famous for her voices on Spitting Image and Dead Ringers.
She grew up in Hoylake, then in Cheshire, on the west side of the Wirral with her father a local government clerk and her mother a nurse. She attended the West Kirby Grammar School for Girls. She was educated at Homerton College, Cambridge where she studied Drama and was the first female President of Cambridge University Footlights Club in 1979-80.
After Cambridge she became a radio comedy producer. She joined the cast of Jasper Carrott's comedy Carrott's Lib in 1983, and made her name very popular with the BBC. In 1994, she spent a year with the RSC. She has done much voice-over work, being the Cadbury's Caramel bunny for several years, and as the seductive voice of a can of apple Tango. She has also appeared on Just A Minute on Radio 4, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Alexei Sayle's Stuff and Dictionary Corner on Channel 4's Countdown (one of the shows that Dead Ringers parodied). She was producer of the Radio 4 comedy Elephants to Catch Eels.
People who regularly come under her highly-perceptive imitative powers are Newsnight host Kirsty Wark, Charlotte Green of BBC Radio 4 (with many double entendres), Ellen MacArthur (who regularly bursts into tears), Nigella Lawson (with double entendres), Ann Widdecombe (narrating fanciful racy storylines in her novels), Hyacinth Bucket, Queen Elizabeth, chirpy Sandi Toksvig, stern-faced Gillian McKeith, Sophie Raworth (with a bemused school-girl grin) and Fiona Bruce (with barely-concealed filthy invitations) of BBC News, Anne Robinson of The Weakest Link, Lesley Garrett (often referring to her generous cleavage), and the Geordie-accented wife of David Archer, Ruth, from Radio 4 soap, The Archers.
From 1996 till 2001 Jan played Janet Grimley, the mother in The Grimleys, a nostalgic sitcom set in 70's Dudley. In autumn 2006, Jan Ravens appeared on the popular BBC entertainment programme Strictly Come Dancing partnered with Anton du Beke. In spring 2007, she appeared on the BBC programme The Truth About Food, exploring different foods and how they affect behaviour. She is an ambassador for the charity Action Aid. She is currently appearing in Ronni Ancona's new comedy sketch show, Ronni Ancona & Co.
Jan won the edition of Celebrity Mastermind on 1 January 2008. She also appeared as Effy's art teacher in E4 drama Skins.
She married the composer Steve Brown, before divorcing him in 1993 and later marrying the vice-president of Universal Music Group, (Christopher) Max Hole, in July 1999 in Richmond upon Thames. She lives in Barnes. She has given birth to three sons (two born in April 1987 and January 1991 to her first husband, and one born in June 1998 to her second husband).