FORMER classmates of Oscar-nominated York actress Janet McTeer are holding a school reunion next month and hope she can attend.

The actress, 52, most recently a prominent cast member in the BBC historical drama, The White Queen, lives in America, and went to Queen Anne’s Grammar School for Girls off Bootham.

An invitation has gone out to her and other former pupils who were either in fifth form at the school in 1977 or girls that left in upper sixth in 1979.

Her one-time classmate Dr Janet Astley, 52, of Wheldrake, now a senior lecturer and head of programme business management at York St John University, is one of those involved in the reunion and remembers her namesake well from school.

She said: “I can remember when we were in sixth form we had to go on stage in assemblies and Janet is very tall and I am under five foot so we used to deliberately line up next to each other to make everybody laugh at our height difference and it worked sometimes.”

Dr Astley said former pupils will be coming from all over the country to attend a reunion lunch event on October 12 at a venue yet to be determined.

She said: “It will be 34 years since some of us were all together. I have really fond memories of that time, it was a great school and I liked it as much as you can like school. I left school with four failed A-levels, I was the black sheep, I was too busy going out to watch bands that were on in York at the time and I did my qualifications later as an adult, ending up with a doctorate and in charge of degree programmes at York St John.

“Among the others in the year we have an author, a barrister, a widwife, solicitors and someone who works in the media, so I think we did pretty well.”

In the past Janet McTeer has said she was inspired to enter acting after actor Gary Oldman advised her to go to RADA while she was working as a waitress serving at York’s Theatre Royal. Anyone wanting more details can email