Catherine Tate

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Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate Jo Glover Charity.jpg
Catherine Tate
Born Catherine Ford
(1968-05-12) 12 May 1968 (age 46)
Bloomsbury, England
Residence Richmond upon Thames, London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Height 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m)[1]
Partner(s) Twig Clark (until 2011)
Children 1

Catherine Tate (born Catherine Ford on 12 May 1968)[2] is an English comedian, actress and writer. She has won numerous awards for her work on the sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show as well as being nominated for an International Emmy Award and seven BAFTA Awards. Following the success of The Catherine Tate Show, three Christmas specials of the series aired, in 2007, 2009 and 2014, with the second and third focusing on the character of Nan. Tate has also played Donna Noble in Doctor Who, and continued the role until 2010. In 2011, she began playing Nellie Bertram in the US version of The Office, and was a series regular until the show ended in 2013.[3] Tate is currently starring in the BBC sitcom, Big School, and plays French teacher, Ms. Sarah Postern.

Early life and education[edit]

Tate was born in Bloomsbury and brought up in the Brunswick Centre.[2] Her mother, Josephine, was a florist,[4] and Tate has said that the character of Margaret in The Catherine Tate Show, who shrieks at the slightest of disturbances, is based largely on Josephine.[2] Tate never knew her father as he left very early on in her life[2] and, consequently, she was brought up in a female-dominated environment, being cared for by her mother, grandmother and her godparents.[4] As a child, Tate suffered from an obsessive-compulsive disorder which centred on word association. For example, Tate was not able to leave a jumper on the floor or it might have brought misfortune to her mother whose name began with the letter "J" like jumper.[2]

She attended St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School, Macklin Street, Holborn and Notre Dame High School, Southwark, a south London convent secondary school for girls.[2] By the time Tate was a teenager, she knew she wanted to follow a professional acting career and, following the abolition of the sixth form at her secondary school, was sent to a boys' Roman Catholic school, Salesian College in Battersea at the age of 16 for sixth form as it had the necessary facilities for drama.[4] Tate left school without sitting her A-Levels.[5] She then tried for four years to get a place in the Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London), succeeding on her fourth attempt.[5] She studied there for three years,[4][5] and until the age of 26, lived in Holborn and Bloomsbury.[4] Prior to getting a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama, Tate went to the Sylvia Young Theatre School, but left after a week; "Even at that age, I realised I wasn't Bonnie Langford. It was very competitive", she stated. [6]

Personal life[edit]

Tate's former partner is stage manager Twig Clark. They have a daughter, Erin[7] (born at London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in January 2003), delivered following an emergency caesarean section.[2] The family had a home in Richmond-upon-Thames, London. The family had both a cat and a dog, the latter of which was given to her by Jonathan Ross. Tate and Clark split before summer 2011. Tate is the patron for the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust, supporting the charity since August 2006. In 2011 she took part in the charity's 2011 Charity Calendar[8] Tate suffered from post-natal depression,[4] from which she only recovered after the filming of the second series of The Catherine Tate Show.[2] She also suffers from occasional panic attacks.[2] Regarding her personal outlook, Tate has said "I'm an incredibly negative person, so any form of success is only ever going to be a relief to me and set my default position back to neutral."[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Mainly For The Catherine Tate Show:



  • 2004: British Comedy Award – Best TV Comedy Actress
  • 2005: British Comedy Award – Best TV Comedy Actress
  • 2005: British Comedy Award – People's Choice Award (polled most votes but award not received)[10][11]
  • 2005: International Emmy – Best Performance by an Actress[12]
  • 2005: BAFTA TV Award – Best New Writer
  • 2005: BAFTA TV Award – Comedy Programme or Series Award
  • 2006: BAFTA TV Award – Best Comedy Performance
  • 2007: BAFTA TV Award – Best Comedy Programme
  • 2008: Nickelodeon's UK Kids Choice Awards 2008 – Funniest Person
  • 2008: Nickelodeon's UK Kids Choice Awards 2008 – Best TV Actress (for Doctor Who)
  • 2008: National Television Award – Outstanding Drama Performance (for Doctor Who)
  • 2011: BAFTA TV Award – Catherine Tate's Little Cracker



Year Title Role
1998–2002 Big Train Various roles
2002–2004 Wild West Angela Phillips
2004–2007 The Catherine Tate Show Various roles
2006–2010 Doctor Who Donna Noble
2009 Nan's Christmas Carol Joannie "Nan" Taylor
2011–2013 The Office Nellie Bertram
2013–present Big School Ms. Sarah Postern
2014 Catherine Tate's Nan Joannie "Nan" Taylor


Year Title Role
2006 Starter for 10 Julie Jackson
Sixty Six Aunt Lila
Love and Other Disasters Tallulah Riggs-Wentworth
2010 Gulliver's Travels Queen of Lilliput
2011 Monte Carlo Alicia
2013 Khumba Alicia
2014 Unity Narrator
SuperBob Theresa
Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? Sophie


Year Title Role Theatre/company
1995 The Way of the World Background character Royal National Theatre
1996 The Prince's Play Barmaid Royal National Theatre
2000 New Bits Various roles Edinburgh Festival
A Servant to Two Masters Smeraldina Royal Shakespeare Company
2005 Some Girls Sam Gielgud Theatre
Royal Variety Performance Lauren Cooper Wales Millennium Centre
2006 The Exonerated Sunny Jacobs Riverside Studios
2008 Under The Blue Sky Michelle Duke of York's Theatre
2010–2011 Season's Greetings Belinda Royal National Theatre
2011 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Wyndham's Theatre
Sixty Six Books God Bush Theatre
2012 24 Hour Plays Various roles American Airlines Theatre, Broadway

Radio and CD audio drama[edit]

Year Title Role Broadcaster
2008 The Forever Trap Narrator BBC Audio
2009 The Nemonite Invasion Narrator BBC Audio
2009–10 Jonathan Ross Presenter BBC Radio 2


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Viner, Brian. "Catherine Tate: The shy star". The Independent, 23 December 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
  3. ^ Ng, Philiana (1 June 2012). "The Office Promotes Catherine Tate to Series Regular". TV Guide. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Sawyer, Miranda. "Catherine the Great". The Guardian, 15 October 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
  5. ^ a b c "I'm a lazy control freak". The Guardian, 12 July 2005. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  6. ^ "Catherine Tate: Multiple personality". The Independent, 23 March 2004. Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  7. ^ Miss Tate, who has a nine-year-old daughter, Erin, with her ex-partner, was photographed on the back of Adrian Chiles’s motorbike in London
  8. ^ "The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust". Official website. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Doctor Who big winner at TV awards". The Press Association, 8 September 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  10. ^ "ITV admits comedy award deception". BBC News, 8 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  11. ^ "ITV rigged comedy award phone vote because Robbie Williams wanted Ant and Dec to win". The Daily Mail, 8 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  12. ^ Salem, Rob. "British sketch comedy's Catherine the great". Toronto Star, 19 January 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.

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