13 Apr 2021, 20:30
13 Apr 2021, 19:22
Too Close director Susan Tully is famous to millions of TV viewers as baby-faced Michelle Fowler in EastEnders – but she’s been behind the scenes for decades now.
The former soap star hasn’t acted since 1998.
Instead, she’s directed some of the top TV shows in the past few years.
Here’s everything you need to know about Too Close director Susan Tully.
Lofty Holloway and Michelle Fowler in EastEnders (Credit: BBC)
Too Close director Susan Tully: What else has she directed?
Susan Tully turned to directing after leaving EastEnders in 1995.
Her last acting role was as June as 1998’s comedy film Up ‘n’ Under.
From 1998 to 1999, Susan returned to direct 12 episodes of the BBC soap EastEnders.
She directed the five-part series Black Cab, as well as London’s Burning, The Story of Tracy Beaker, The Bill, Twisted Tales, 55 Degrees North and Funland.
Clearly preferring to be behind the camera instead of infront, Susan went on to direct Kay Mellor’s The Chase, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Silent Witness, Lark Rise to Candleford, Stella, Tin Star and The A Word.
In 2019, Susan Tully directed the final two episodes of Line of Duty series five – probably some of the most explosive TV ever.
Remember Hastings being arrested, and lawyer Gill almost being stabbed to death in the toilets by bent copper Tranter?
More recently, Susan has directed four episodes of Strike and the current ITV hit Too Close.
Who wrote Too Close?
Too Close is based on the novel by writer and former The Bill actress Clara Salaman.
However, she published it under her pseudonym Natalie Daniels.
Clara is a bestselling novelist and is particularly focused on dark storylines with strong female leads.
Describing the initial set-up of Too Close, she says: “When we first meet Connie, she is a patient in a secure psychiatric unit.
“Where we also meet the psychiatrist Emma.
“Connie is very feisty. She says she doesn’t remember driving a car with two children inside off a bridge.
“Although we wonder if she is telling the truth. Is she faking? Is she a bad woman? We don’t know what she is up to.
“It’s Emma’s job to find out if Connie has genuine ‘dissociative amnesia’ or whether she’s malingering.”
Too Close on ITV1 is a tense three-part drama directed by Susan Tully (Credit: ITV)
Who did Susan Tully play in EastEnders and why did she leave?
London-born Susan planned to give up acting after her role as Suzanne Ross in Grange Hill came to an end in 1984.
However, she quickly secured the role of Michelle Fowler in EastEnders.
She played the iconic role between 1985 and 1995 – and was one of the original cast.
During her time on the show, her character became pregnant at the age of 16 after having an affair with the 39-year-old adulterer Den Watts.
In the late 1990s, the character of Michelle Fowler was written out of the BBC soap.
Susan, now 53, retrained as a director.
In December 2016, EastEnders recast the role of Michelle Fowler to actress Jenna Russell after Sue repeatedly turned down offers to return.
She gave her blessing for the recast to take place.
Too Close director Susan Tully: What is Too Close about?
Too Close explores the dangerous relationship between forensic psychiatrist Dr Emma Robertson and her patient Connie Mortensen.
Connie is accused of a horrendous crime, but says she doesn’t remember a thing.
Emma is well-versed in dealing with challenging patients, but soon builds an unhealthily close bond with Connie.
As the story unfolds, boundaries blur and the doctor patient relationship transcends into a twisted game.
Will the truth ever come out? Or will this investigation become Emma’s own undoing?
Too Close continues on Tuesday April 13 2021 and concludes on Wednesday April 14 2021 at 9pm on ITV1.
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