Paula was a student at Granston Technical College who took part in a production of The Country Wife that was directed by Ken Barlow. He had been instructed by the college principal to make sure the students got home safely, partly due to an escaped convict rapist, Frank Riley, being loose in the area. Paula was playing the part of Lucy opposite Pamela Dickenson as Alithea and as they came to the end of act 5, scene 3 Ken wanted to call it a night but the students protested, asking to continue. Paula especially wanted to re-rehearse act 4, scene 1 but Ken tartly suggested she go home and go to bed with a cup of hot blackcurrent and eight packets of the slimming biscuits she'd been eating all night and read the act herself. As the students continued to complain, with Paula saying she'd be sick with worry on the night of the play which was due to take place in just a week's time, Ken gave in and continued rehearsals.