Ionica Adriana is a Romanian-born British stage and screen actress.
Born near Transylvania, Ionica was adopted into a British family who lived in North Yorkshire when she was two and a half years old.
Due to her complicated start to life and fast-growing career, Ionica is a popular guest speaker at large and small events, offering her entertaining and fascinating life story.
She has hosted and spoken at events such as Carfest, Countryfile Live, MOVE IT, the UK’s biggest dance convention, and CYD.
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In the years before Ionica Adriana was born, the Romanian Communist dictator enforced strict rules regarding the country’s population. This resulted in widespread poverty, which meant parents were either too malnourished to support their children or couldn’t afford to. Many were brought up by unclean state-run institutions. In a Romanian orphanage, Ionica spent the first two and a half years of her life before being adopted and moving to England.
Ionica has always been honest about her adoption, saying that “my adoption has never been a secret, my parents have always been very transparent about it”, and it is this honesty that she brings to her presenting and speaking engagements.
Ionica trained for two years at the East 15 Acting School in performing arts and stage combat.
Her flourishing career has won her high recognition and several awards. In 2018, she was awarded the Best Emerging Actress gong at the International Achievement Recognition Awards for her role as the Genie in the stage version of Aladdin. She was also nominated for the Best Female Solo Artist and NEA Choice Award at the National Entertainment Awards.
Other stage roles include Opening Up at the Union Theatre, Aladdin – this time as Jasmine – at the Billingham Forum, Sleeping Beauty in Torquay and Cinderella in Chesham.
Ionica has presented for a number of television and radio stations, including BBC Radio York, BBC Leeds, Yorkshire Cast, BBC Politics, BBC Look North, BBC Leeds and Countryfile Live. In 2019, she became a judge for the BBC’s second series of All Together Now along with comedian Rob Beckett and singer Geri Horner.
Her best-known presenting job was fronting BBC Radio 4’s documentary entitled Ceausescus Children (2022), which gave her the opportunity to return to Romania and see how children were living in the country today. She also presented the documentary The Acting Class (2017) alongside actors Maxine Peake and Christopher Eccleston. In 2023, Ionica starred in long-running soap Coronation Street. Going into 2024, Ionica will be appearing in Celebrity Pointless, as well as hosting season 1 of the podcast CANDID.
Whilst she is best known as a presenter on the screen, she has acted in productions, including Paranoid (2016), Splitting the Bill (2018), The Syndicate (2021) and Glaciers (2022). She has also appeared in feature films Girls Do Not Dress For Boys (2015) and Schadenfreude (2018).
Due to her growing popularity, Ionica has been featured as a writer and interviewee for Yorkshire Life Magazine, BBC History Revealed Magazine, The Daily Mail, Absolutely Yorkshire, and Who Do You Think You Are Magazine.
Ionica is a popular figure at expos and other events such as MOVE IT, the UK’s biggest dance convention, and CYD? (Can You Dance) UK’s touring convention. She hosted the Hospitality Talks Stage at BBC Countryfile Live in 2019, sang at the closing ceremony of the Newcastle Film Festival and again at the Festival of Remembrance 2018 in York. Ionica has appeared at Carefest on several occasions, where she has spoken about how to live with purpose and practice self-love.
Due to her fascinating life story that includes adoption, Ionica is often asked to speak at big events as well as at schools, colleges and graduations, and hosting seminars. Ionica has said that her biggest privilege to date was as a guest speaker (the only Romanian speaker) at Sir Michael Rutter’s Memorial at King’s College London.