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I wouldn't worry too much Greg.
Privet isn't evergreen everywhere. Leave well alone until spring when new shoots will form.
I agree with Verdun. Once well established, your privet will toughen up and may then become evergreen. It is tough as ould boots! I have an old existing hedge in the back that I half hoped would die after I had fun with a hedgetrimmer. No Chance, it's back stronger than ever. In my front, an old hedge was removed yrs ago, stumps and all. But one piece kept growing back. The previous occupant tried all ways to kill it. I am now training it into a twisted stem standard tree. It suffers severe pruning, drought in summer (It's roots are near a southfacing wall on very poor, stony soil), and gale force winds every winter. I have taken numerous cuttings to use as topiary, and the young plants all lose thier leaves in the first 2-3 yrs, but have then been mostly evergreen, just losing a few. While young, don't let it dry out in summer, otherwise, neglect it a bit. It should do fine.
Thanks for your answers both, there's hope yet then?
I've just taken a gander at my privet hedge which we dramatically cut back last winter and it dropped all it's leaves looking dead. However in spring it sprang into action and is growing well and bushing out. This winter it's dropped only about half of the leaves and the ones left are multiple shades of yellow, green and purple. I wouldn't worry. I'm sure it will be fine.
I planted 25 1.5m plants in the summer and i live near the sea on the Isle of man. very wind most of the year around. My bushes are just twigs now. But i believe next spring they will come back to life. fingers crossed. Just leaving them to do their own thing.