With an ambition to become an actress from an early age, she joined drama school after leaving school, changing her name to that of her then-boyfriend, Paul Lewis. She auditioned three times for Coronation Street, being successful at the third attempt as Baldwin's Casuals factory worker Shirley Armitage. She first appeared in September 1983 in what was at first a relatively minor part but the role grew within the programme, culminating when her character moved in with Curly Watts into the Corner Shop flat and she became the Street's first resident from an ethnic background.
Lisa had three children by Paul Lewis in the 1980s although the first, a daughter named Alina Rae who was born in March 1981 died tragically of cot death on 29th July that year. The other girls, Lauren and Georgina, were born during her time on the programme: Lauren was born on 7th February 1983, and Georgina was born on 7th May 1985.
In 1988 she and Paul split up, after Lisa had an abortion at Liverpool Clinic. Lisa married an Italian restaurant owner by whom she had a fourth child, leaving the Street in April 1989 due to the pregnancy. Lisa gave birth to a daughter named Saskia later that year. She also gave birth to another daughter named Alina Faith in 1997.
Afterwards she gave up acting and now works for local government improving the lives of "Looked after Children" and overseeing the implementation of the services offered to them. She now lives in Prestwich, Manchester with her family. Lisa is the sister of the Hacienda DJ, DJ Paulette.