Born: June 11, 1950; Died: October 1, 2014

LYNSEY DE PAUL, who has died aged 64, was a singer/songwriter who had several hits in the 1970s, co-wrote and performed Britain's 1997 entry to the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest, Rock Bottom, and remained on the periphery of public consciousness as a long-haired blonde who occasionally popped up on daytime television programmes.

That public perception was rather a slight on de Paul's achievements. Though her own pop music career as a performer was never stellar, she was one of the first British women to achieve success as a singer-songwriter in the 1970s, at a time when the pop music industry was notoriously sexist.

She wrote more than a dozen songs which made the UK Top 40 (seven of which she performed herself) and the theme tunes for half a dozen television programmes, notably the ITV comedy No Honestly, which starred John Alderton and Pauline Collins.

Opinion divided on the merits of de Paul's singing voice, which was high-pitched with a hesitant quality which some found charming and others inept.

But her songs were highly competent and usually well-crafted: the formulaic Rock Bottom, though very successful, was not especially typical of her style.

The singles from her first album, Surprise, demonstrated a ready facility for melody and catchy hooks, but also a knack for sidestepping the most predictable pop clichés.

The best of her output between 1972 and 1977, her most productive years as a writer, bore comparison with contemporaries such as Gilbert O'Sullivan and Mike Batt.

Sugar Me, her first hit as a performer, a jaunty syncopated number which featured an unexpected blue note in the chorus, was later covered by Nancy Sinatra, while her ballad Won't Somebody Dance With Me was later recorded by several singers, including Petula Clark and Lena Zavaroni.

It also won an Ivor Novello award, making de Paul the first woman to receive the prize.

Lynsey Monckton Rubin was born on June 11, 1950, in the north London suburb of Cricklewood. Her family was Jewish and middle-class (her father was a property developer) and she attended South Hampstead High School, a highly selective direct grant grammar.

She went on to Hornsey School of Art, where she studied graphic design and illustration.

While there, she designed the covers for several records and, with the money she earned, moved into a flat of her own.

Her first forays into songwriting were recorded in 1971 by Jack Wild, the former child star who played the Artful Dodger in the film version of Lionel Bart's Oliver!

On the strength of these, she was signed by the music publishing wing of ATV, working around the corner from Denmark Street, London's equivalent of Tin Pan Alley.

Her first hit came in 1972 with Storm in a Teacup, which was co-written with Ron Roker and recorded by The For-tunes; it peaked at number seven in the charts. Until that point she was still known as Lynsey Rubin, but she changed her name when setting out as a performer several months later.

Sugar Me was to be her most successful chart single, reaching number five, and topping the charts in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain; it was followed by Getting a Drag and then All Night, which narrowly failed to chart.

Won't Somebody Dance with Me (1973) fared better, and de Paul also turned her hand to guest appearances with other groups, including Mott the Hoople.

Under the management of the notoriously thuggish Don Arden (father of Sharon Osbourne), she began writing with Barry Blue. She had a hit with Ooh I Do (1974) while Blue hit the charts with their songs, Dancin' (On a Saturday Night) and Hot Shot.

No Honestly, which reached number seven in 1974, won her a second Novello award, but her success as a solo performer began to take second place to her work as a writer, producer and arranger for other artists. But by this point, de Paul was well established and regularly featured on television and radio programmes as a guest or, increasingly, as a presenter.

In 1977, she wrote Rock Bottom with Mike Moran, a former member of the band Blue Mink whose later claims to fame included a stint as musical director on Cliff Richard's abysmal musical Heathcliff, described by one critic as "living dull". It came second in that year's Eurovision Song Contest and topped the charts in several countries on the Continent. That year, she also wrote the theme tune for the LWT programme The Rag Trade.

By now, she had fallen out with Arden, and her performing career had stalled slightly (Rock Bottom was her last appearance in the charts) though she continued to do be in demand as a writer. She also branched out into acting and moved for several years to California with her then boyfriend, the actor James Coburn.

After returning to Britain, she appeared with a specially written song for the celebrity rally for the 1983 Conservative Party Conference, alongside Jimmy Tarbuck, Bob Monkhouse, snooker player Steve Davis and Kenny Everett, who memorably announced: "Let's bomb Russia!"

Other excursions on the edges of the entertainment industry included judging the talent show New Faces, presenting television lifestyle programmes, often about food and drink (she was a vegetarian), releasing an instructional video on women's self-defence, and being chosen as 1985's Rear of the Year.

She popped up as an actress on Kingdom (2007) and appeared on celebrity editions of Come Dine With Me (on which she came last) and Cash in the Attic. She was a director of the Per-forming Rights Society.

De Paul never married, but was linked romantically with a number of other celebrities. As well as Coburn, they included Ringo Starr, Bernie Taupin, Roy Wood and Dudley Moore.

Her unexpected death was attributed to a brain haemorrhage.