Amanda Jane Mealing (born 22nd April 1967) is a British movie and TV actress best known for playing Connie Beauchamp in the BBC One medical dramas Holby City and Casualty.
The only adopted member of her family, Mealing was the youngest of four children, with two sisters and an elder brother. She grew up in Dulwich, South London, with her adoption never being a secret.
Originally known as Mandy Mealing, her first professional performance was in a Julie Andrews special on BBC television at the age of six. She then started Saturday classes at the Italia Conti Academy, before enrolling full-time at the age of nine. Parts in Just William, The Morecambe & Wise Show and Premiere followed, before she was cast as comprehensive-school pupil Tracy Edwards in Phil Redmond's long-running BBC One children's drama series Grange Hill.
Mealing appeared in The Darling Buds of May, Four Weddings and a Funeral, In Deep, Capital City, The Bill, Midsomer Murders and The Gravy Train. She appeared in the TV miniseries, Jake's Progress in 1995. She played Ruth Manning in the first series of the1920s period drama series The Grand in 1997, and JoJo in Jimmy McGovern's The Lakes in 1999. Alan Bleasdale wrote the part of Katie in "Jake's Progress" for Amanda after working with her on GBH.
Mealing appeared as cardiothoracic consultant Connie Beauchamp in BBC One's BAFTA award winning medical drama series Holby City from 1 June 2004 to 28 December 2010, announcing her decision to quit Holby City in October 2010, filming her final scenes in October and her departure seeing her resigning from her position at the hospital.
On 16 July 2010, Mealing appeared on ITV's The Five O'Clock Show with Jason Donovan and Corrine Bailey Rae. In 2011, Mealing appeared in the Sky1 series Strike Back: Project Dawn as Colonel Eleanor Grant. In 2013, she appeared in an episode of the BBC series Death in Paradise. Mealing also appeared in the latest series of ITV's Law and Order: UK playing a solicitor.
On 29 March 2014, Mealing reprised her role as Connie Beauchamp, but in Holby City's sister show Casualty, in which her character quickly rose to the role of emergency department deputy clinical lead and later clinical lead.
Mealing has been married to screenwriter Richard Sainsbury since 1998, they have two sons, Otis and Milo, They live on a farm in Lincolnshire. Paul O'Grady and Charlie Condou are close friends of Mealing and are godfathers to her sons. She has appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show on several occasions, sometimes with her sons.
After the birth of her first son, the desire to find out more about her background became "hard to ignore". Investigations took Mealing to New York, where she eventually found her birth mother, a model for Biba in London during the swinging sixties. She discovered that her biological father was a half-Sierra Leonean poet and activist. She gets on well with her mother and takes the children to visit her in New York but her father died some years earlier. She also found out that she has a sister, a year younger, also adopted in Britain. Her sister did not know of the relationship until she was 16, but had watched Mealing in Grange Hill, with people saying 'you look like that girl on TV'.
With a desire to reconnect with her roots and acknowledge her father, and as an ambassador, Mealing has worked with Save the Children in Sierra Leone. She filmed a documentary about Kroo Bay — a slum built on the rubbish discarded by Freetown — saying: "It’s the worst place in the world you could grow up as child. One child in four will die before they reach five years old."
The day after giving birth to her second son, Mealing was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has since made a full recovery. Mealing was asked to be an ambassador for Breast Cancer Care in early 2010. She has developed a close bond with the charity. "When I was diagnosed the first leaflet I received was from Breast Cancer Care.
They have been there for me ever since. I am deeply honoured to be given a chance to give something back to them." After losing a close friend to breast cancer early the same year Amanda decided to dedicate a JustGiving page to raise money in memory of her friend. She ran the 2012 London Marathon on her 45th birthday for Breast Cancer Care and finished in a time of 4hr 44min 26sec.
Since 2015, Mealing has been a Patron to the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes, and has run the Great North Run in aid of the charity.