Famous for her Olivier Award-winning performances in London West End stage productions of the musicals Carousel and My Fair Lady, Riding is also known for her Olivier-nominated roles in The Witches of Eastwick and Guys and Dolls.
After training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the 1980s, she appeared in several Chichester Festival Theatre productions and went on to star in a West End staging of Me and My Girl.
In the first decade of the 21st century, she portrayed Ruth in the Bath and London productions of Blithe Spirit.
She was raised on a dairy farm in Lancashire, England. She and her husband, Sebastien Maillot, welcomed a child in 2008.
She appeared with Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick in the 2014 movie version of the Sondheim musical Into the Woods.