Amanda Burton in Marcella
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Amanda Burton joins cast of Marcella on ITV1: Why did she leave Silent Witness?

The former Brookside actress plays the matriarch of a crime family

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Amanda Burton joins the cast of Marcella for its third series, starting on ITV1 on Tuesday (January 26 2021). But why did the actress leave Silent Witness?

What else has she been in? And how old is she?

Here’s everything you need to know about Amanda and her new role.

***Warning: possible spoilers from series three of Marcella ahead***

Amanda Burton in Marcella
Marcella series three sees Amanda Burton join the cast (Credit: ITV1)

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Who does Amanda Burton play in Marcella?

Amanda portrays Katherine Maguire, the tough matriarch at the head of a criminal family in Belfast.

However, unbeknownst to her, an undercover cop has infiltrated their cosy set-up – Marcella!

Viewers see Katherine clashing with Marcella, who is living under the secret identity of Keira.

Is Keira/Marcella aiming to gain full control of the family?

Speaking about her role, Amanda says: “She’s proud of the success the family has had since her husband died.

“Whilst in the early 90s her husband may have run a wholly criminal enterprise with paramilitary links, Katherine was responsible for steering it towards a legitimate operation, leaning on the contacts she and her husband developed in the underworld to power the expansion whilst maintaining a legitimate veneer.”

Katherine is very suspicious of Marcella/Kiera when they first meet, she adds.

What else has Amanda Burton been in?

Amanda has been on our TV screens since 1982 when she joined the cast of Brookside as Heather Haversham.

She went on to appear in Inspector Morse, Boon, Peak Practice, Minder and Lovejoy.

She is perhaps most famous for her portrayal of Sam Ryan in the BBC crime drama Silent Witness from 1996 to 2004.

The actress went on to star in The Commander, before winning the role opposite Tom Hardy in the 2008 film Bronson.

She played Charles Bronson’s mum Eira Peterson.

More recently, she has portrayed Karen Fisher in Waterloo Road, Cherie Le Saux in The Level, and June Bamber in White House Farm.

She currently stars as Katherine Maguire in series three of Marcella on ITV1.

Amanda Burton in Marcella
Amanda Burton’s character Katherine heads a Belfast criminal family (Credit: ITV1)

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Is Amanda Burton Irish?

Amanda was born and raised in Ballougry, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

At 18, she moved to Manchester to study at the Polytechnic School of Theatre.

In a recent interview, she revealed it had been about 17 years since she last filmed in Belfast.

She currently lives in Hastings, East Sussex.

How old is Amanda Burton?

Amanda was born on October 10 1956.

She is currently 64.

marcella maguire family
The Maguire family in Marcella, headed by Amanda Burton’s Katherine (Credit: ITV1)

Why did Amanda Burton leave Silent Witness?

Amanda left the BBC One show in 2004.

After eight years playing forensic pathologist Sam Ryan, she decided it was “time to move on”.

At the time, TV insiders said ITV made her “an offer she couldn’t resist” to portray Commander Clare Blake in The Commander.

But ‘clashes’ with staff on the set of Silent Witness – who were subsequently dismissed – are also believed to have been a factor.

Series eight of Silent Witness was the last to feature Amanda Burton as Sam Ryan, with her character leaving in the first episode.

The character returned home to Ireland after a member of her family was implicated in a murder.

Emilia Fox replaced her in the lead role.

Is she married?

Amanda has been married and divorced twice.

Her first husband was theatre technician Jonathan Hartley, who she met while at Manchester School of Theatre.

She wed him in 1976, but their marriage ended in 1982.

She went on to marry professional photographer Sven Arnstein in 1989.

They divorced in 2004 amid rumours of his infidelity.

Amanda has reportedly been dating photographer Stephen Colover since 2007.

Amanda Burton The Level ITV
Amanda Burton in The Level. But why did Amanda Burton leave Silent Witness? (Credit: ITV1)

Does she have kids?

Amanda is the mother of two daughters.

Phoebe was born in 1989, and Brid followed in 1990.

Her daughters are from her marriage to second husband Sven.

Marcella begins with a double bill on ITV1 at 9pm and 10.05pm on Tuesday January 26 2021.

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