Claire comes from a small family and was brought up in Liverpool by her mother, Kathleen, and butcher father, Ken along with her brother, Shaun She found school work a little difficult particularly Math but did well in singing and acting. Her first job had nothing to do with acting though as she worked as a butchers assistant in her fathers shop. Claire trained at the Elliott-Clarke Drama School in Liverpool, before winning a place at London’s famous Italia Conti stage school in London when she was 18.
She was determined to be a singer after she left school and was booked up for a succession of summer seasons and pantos, before landing a brief appearance in Brookside as Lindsey in 1991. It was only a brief appearance (two episodes) and Claire decided she wanted to see the world, so she joined a cruise ship as a singer for four years. After her stint at sea, Claire felt it was time to come home and decided to write the producer of Brookside to see if there was a place for her on the show. It just happened that the day the producer got her letter was the day the production staff were meeting to discuss long term storylines so they decided it was time to bring back Lindsey Corkhill. Claire returned to work at Brookside in 1995.