Annie grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland where she received her initial training at primary and secondary school, appearing in many productions such as The Insect Play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Front Page.  She won a place at the National Youth Theatre in 1980 and was set to progress to drama school but financial constraints thwarted her ambition. Moving into another field entirely, Annie worked for many years in the computer and audio-visual industries in several Scottish cities.

A chance discussion between some colleagues led to her introduction to Coronation Street in 1998, leading to an 18-month consultative role for the character of Hayley Cropper. This liaison brought her into contact with several of the series’ actors, especially Julie Hesmondhalgh, who, upon learning of her previously stalled acting career, encouraged her to follow her original dream and go to drama school.

Subsequently, Annie relocated to Manchester and successfully won a place at the Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre in 2001. During this time she also volunteered as a stage manager for the city’s Mardi Gras/Pride festivals for several years, including the writing and direction of the Candlelit Vigil in 2002. After graduating in 2004, she appeared in a comedy premiere “FunkFace” at The Comedy Store in Manchester, and formed a theatre company called ‘FirstNotLast’.

For several years, she performed regularly in fringe and repertory theatre productions such as Wyrd Sisters, An Ideal Husband, Stags and Hens, Withnail and I and many community pantomimes. She also diversified into sound designing and recording, lighting design, and video animation for the theatre.

She had her first television break on the Channel 4 series Shameless in 2011, leading to an increased profile and more opportunities, such as some extensive voiceover work for a travel company and some comedy podcasts, and was a finalist in the auditions for a BBC’s Trans Comedy Award pilot.


Annie is currently playing Sally St. Claire on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks,  as the headmistress of Hollyoaks High School, and John Paul McQueen’s father. She was the first ever transgender person cast to play a regular transgender character in a leading UK soap opera, and as such is the most prolific trans actress in UK television history.

Since starting at Hollyoaks in 2015, she has been regularly listed in the prestigious Rainbow List, Pride Power List, Diva Power List, and the USA OUT100, as one of the country’s most influential LGBT people.

In 2016, she won the ‘Celebrity of the Year‘ award at the National Diversity Awards, and was runner-up at the Icon Awards as ‘Cultural Icon of the Year‘. The entertainment website Digitalspy also nominated her as ‘Biggest Unsung Hero‘ in their annual Soap Awards.

Topping off an incredible year, Annie also became the first ever transgender actress to be nominated for a BAFTA award, as Best Actress – Television‘ in the Scottish BAFTA Awards.

In 2017, she was nominated as ‘LGBT+ Celebrity Rising Star’ in the British LGBT Awards, and was once again included in the Pride Power List, and the DIVA Power List.

In 2018, she was nominated in the “Best Soap Actress” category in the annual TRIC Awards, , and in May, led the first ever Pride parade in her hometown of Aberdeen, at Grampian Pride. She was also one of the judges at the 2019 Bolton Pride awards.

In 2019, she was a judge in the Channel 4 Diversity In Advertising Award, which was won by Iris / Starbucks UK, featuring a young trans man, using his new name in public for the first time in a branch of Starbucks.

Annie also wrote a short play for the OutStageUs festival at The Lowry, for Hive North.

She continues to play Sally St. Claire in her ongoing role on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.


Annie is currently a member of the Equity LGBT+ Committee and the BAFTA Learning and New Talent Committee.

She has also written and recorded two albums with collaborator John Beresford, as well as writing music for theatre productions, and even a US TV pilot.

She is a patron of Salford Pride, the trans youth advisory and counselling charity Mermaids, and Sparkle, the national transgender charity, and is a supporter of Manchester’s Gay Village and charities.

When not working, she has a passion for rock music, classic British television series, camping, gadgets and cider!