Dani Harmer (born 8 February 1989) is a singer and actress who is best known for her portrayal as Tracy Beaker in the CBBC programmes The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy Beaker Returns and Tracy Beaker Survival Files from 2002 to 2012. She also appeared in the BBC sitcom, After You've Gone.
Dani also starred in her own sitcom, Dani's House from 2008 to 2012 and also starred in its spin-off series Dani's Castle from 2013 to 2014. Harmer has also occasionally presented continuity clips on the CBBC Channel. She also became a presenter on Friday Download in the first series, where she guest presented the 'Style Download' segment.
In 2008, Harmer branched into the music business and signed a £3m record deal. She recorded her debut album Superheroes in September 2009, and released the single and theme from Dani's House, "Free", but the album was never released and it was later confirmed she had abandoned her music career.
In March 2012, she appeared in Let's Dance for Sport Relief, alongside Outnumbered star, Tyger Drew-Honey. They both reached the final, and became joint runners-up. Harmer competed in the tenth series of the BBC ballroom dancing show, Strictly Come Dancing, in that year. She was paired up with Vincent Simone and the couple reached the grand final, finishing in fourth place.
Early and personal life
Harmer was born and raised in Bracknell, Berkshire to parents Jill, a children's casting agent, and Andy Harmer, a mechanic and chauffeur. She has a younger sister named Betsy. From the age of 5, Harmer attended Stagecoach drama lessons. Harmer won a scholarship to attend Redroofs Theatre School at the age of 7 Harmer has suffered migraines since the age of 11, but wasn't diagnosed until she was 16 and it affected her during filming The Story of Tracy Beaker.
In January 2016, Harmer announced that she was pregnant with her first child. On 28 June 2016, Harmer gave birth to her daughter, Avarie-Belle Betsy Rachel Brough, via caesarean section.
Harmer made her stage debut at the age of 6 in the musical The Who's Tommy in the West End. She has appeared in a number of pantomimes: Dolly Mixture in Snow White (2004), the title character in Peter Pan (2005, Alban Arena, 2006 in Worthing and 2010 in High Wycombe), Dick Whittington (2007, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre) and the title role in Cinderella alongside Joe Tracini (2011, York Barbican). Harmer appeared as an extra in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; she was sitting in the Great Hall when the new students to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry took turns to visit the Sorting Hat. Her big break was when she landed the title role in CBBC's dramedy series The Story of Tracy Beaker, which she starred in for five series and also the feature-length film, Tracy Beaker's Movie of Me. Dani has been beloved by a lot of children by starring in The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy Beaker Returns, Dani's House and Dani's Castle, The Beeps and Friday Download
Her other TV credits include the ITV drama series Trial & Retribution, My Family, Pie in the Sky, The 10th Kingdom, Beast, Touch Me, I'm Karen Taylor, "Beep Beep" in the British television series The Beeps, and the pilot for Coming of Age. She was one of the presenters: known as "packers" in the 2006 series of the Saturday morning show, Mighty Truck of Stuff.
In November 2008 Media Guardian reported that After You've Gone was to be cancelled by the BBC, due to ITV moving Coronation Street to the same slot on ITV1. The BBC had announced a fourth series of the show in January of that year to be aired in 2009; however, the series ended with a Christmas special in 2008.
Dani Harmer returned to the role of Tracy Beaker in early 2010 in the 13-episode BBC series Tracy Beaker Returns, in which her character had developed into a care worker and had written an autobiography about what life is like for children in care. Three series aired of Tracy Beaker Returns. It concluded on 23 March 2012. A spin-off was created called The Dumping Ground but did not feature Harmer. Harmer starred in another TV show called Dani's Castle. This is a spin-off from the previous series called Dani's House. This aired at the start of 2013. A second series aired in 2014 and a third series, not featuring Harmer, began airing on 7 July 2015.
Harmer was due to star as Jane in Disco Inferno, which was planned tour across the UK in autumn 2012. However it was announced on 5 September 2012 that the musical was cancelled after an investor pulled out. Harmer confirmed via her Twitter account on the same day that she would be a contestant on the upcoming tenth series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Harmer portrayed Janet in the 2013 UK tour of the stage production The Rocky Horror Show.
Harmer signed a record deal with record label Universal/Decca worth £3 million, under the management of Daniel Glatman, some time before beginning work on her debut album. The album was recorded and written in 2008 with the help of producer and songwriter Tom Nichols, and entitled Superheroes. The album's lead and only single "Free" was released on 25 May 2009, after becoming the theme song of the TV show Dani's House, in which Harmer plays the lead role. The song reached number 117 on the Official Chart. "Free" was featured on the compilation album Pop Princesses 2009.
The scheduled release date of Superheroes was October 2009, which was later pushed back to early 2010. Rumours circulated that the album had been cancelled by Harmer's record company due to poor sales of the lead single, she responded that "they are just waiting for the right time to release it". No further comment was made until mid-2012, when Harmer stated via Twitter that she had given up music because she wanted to focus on her acting career. The album never surfaced, but the artwork and 30-second previews of each track were released in early 2010, along with the track list:
|Superheroes track list|
|1.||"Superheroes"||Harmer, Tom Nichols|
|2.||"Free"||Klaus Derendorf, Amy Pearson, Nichols||3:35|
|3.||"X-Boyfriend" (featuring McFly)||Harmer, Nichols|
|4.||"Fall at the Feet of Love"||Harmer, Nichols|
|6.||"New Kid in Town"||Harmer, Nichols|
|8.||"It's Over Now"||Harmer, Nichols|
|9.||"Hold My Breath"||Harmer, Nichols|
|10.||"You Are"||Harmer, Nichols|
Winner of the 2010 Children's BAFTA for Best Drama, Harmer was also nominated for her performance as Tracy Beaker in its various incarnations, with the programme attracting another nomination in the Children's Drama Category at the 2011 RTS Awards. Harmer was also nominated for a BAFTA Cymru for Best Actress for her performance in Tracy Beaker's Movie of Me. Dani's House, her own hit CBBC show also received a 2009 Children's BAFTA nomination.
In 2009, Harmer received a Gold Blue Peter Badge for her role in Tracy Beaker.
Strictly Come Dancing
|Week No.||Dance/Song||Judges' score||Result|
|Craig Revel Horwood||Darcey Bussell||Len Goodman||Bruno Tonioli||Total|
|1||Waltz – "Open Arms"||5||5||6||5||21||None|
|2||Salsa – "Mama Do the Hump"||7||6||7||7||27||Safe|
|3||Foxtrot – "Over the Rainbow"||7||6||8||8||29||Safe|
|4||Cha Cha Cha – "Scooby-Doo"||6||6||8||7||27||Safe|
|5||Jive – "Dance with Me Tonight"||8||8||9||8||33||Safe|
|6||Tango – "Rumour Has It"||8||8||9||9||34||Safe|
|7||Quickstep – "You Can't Hurry Love"||9||9||9||9||36||Safe|
|8||Samba – "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"||9||9||9||9||36||Safe|
|9||Viennese Waltz – "That's Amore"||8||8||9||9||34||Safe|
|11||American Smooth – "Haven't Met You Yet"||8||8||9||9||34||Safe|
|Argentine Tango – "Libertango"||9||9||10||10||38|
|12||Tango – "Rumour Has It"||9||9||9||9||36||Eliminated (4th)|
|Showdance – "Bohemian Rhapsody"||8||9||9||9||35|
|1994||Pie in the Sky||Lessy||1 episode|
|1999, 2002||Trial & Retribution||Amy Walker||4 episodes|
|2000||The 10th Kingdom||Merrypip Girl||1 episode|
|2002–06||The Story of Tracy Beaker||Tracy Beaker||Lead role (s.1–4)|
Recurring role (s. 5)
|2003||My Family||Trick R Treater||1 episode|
|Mighty Truck of Stuff||Packer|
|2007–08||The Beeps||Beep Beep||Voiceover role|
|After You've Gone||Molly Venables||Main role|
|2008–12||Dani's House||Dani / Co-ordinator Zark||Lead role|
|2010||CBBC continuity||Herself||Guest presenter|
|2010–12||Tracy Beaker Returns||Tracy Beaker||Lead role|
|2011, 2012||Friday Download||Herself||Guest Reporter: 2 episodes|
|2011||Tracy Beaker Survival Files||Tracy Beaker||Presenter|
|2012||Let's Dance for Sport Relief||Herself||Contestant|
|Strictly Come Dancing|
|2014||The British Soap Awards||Herself||Guest presenter|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
- "Free" (2009)