Joannie Taylor

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Joannie Taylor
The Catherine Tate Show character
Portrayed by Catherine Tate
Duration 2004–07, 2009, 2014–
First appearance 16 February 2004
Created by Derren Litten
Introduced by Catherine Tate
Nan's Christmas Carol (2009)
Home 10 Devonshire Court, London

Joannie "Nan" Taylor (née Jackson; born 7 July 1933) is a fictional character in The Catherine Tate Show. She is one of the main characters of the show and is portrayed by Catherine Tate.

Character History[edit]

The Catherine Tate Show[edit]

Joannie is always referred to as "Nan". She is an old, cockney woman who constantly swears at and criticises other people. She is always visited by her well-mannered grandson, Jamie (Mathew Horne) whom she refers to when visitors come "'e ain't got a job", even though Jamie is in fact at university. His visits usually start off well enough, with Nan showing how grateful she is that he has come to see her. However, the situation usually takes a turn for the worst after she starts to make unfavourable comments about her neighbours, family, or home help visitors. Joannie is mostly very pleasant to visitors, but after they leave, she criticises and rants about them. Sketches in series one show Jamie taking her to a pound shop, which ends with shambolic consequences. Joannie complains to her grandson about her home help visitor, whom she refers to as a "fucking thief". She also calls her new great-grandchild ugly. Her catchphrase, delivered at the crucial point of each sketch, is "What a fucking liberty!"

In series two, Nan spends less time in her flat. She makes a disastrous visit to the doctor and spends two weeks in hospital. True to form, she does not suffer in silence, complaining about her fellow patients, accusing a nurse of stealing from her and caustically surveying the food menu. While in hospital, her grandson brings his first girlfriend to visit her. Unfortunately, his girlfriend has an abnormally large nose, provoking Nan's insulting behaviour as she becomes fixated with it, even offering her some old sheets to use for tissues. Another sketch sees Joannie arrive home from her friend Lena's funeral, where she is very upset, until she realises that the deceased actually owed her £15. She quickly gets over her grief and is overcome with rage, coupled by the fact she had spent another £25 on a wreath. In the last episode of Series 2, Peter Kay guest stars as one of Nan's friends who thinks Jamie is gay and describes it as a disability. In the 2005 Christmas special, a sketch features Nan attending a Christmas party in an old people's care home. Charlotte Church makes a guest appearance as herself, where she starts to sing a Christmas song for the guests, which prompts Nan to exclaim, "what a load of ole' shit!"

In series three, Leslie Phillips plays another of Nan's friends, who is himself very much like her, evident when he says "What a fucking liberty" after Nan visits him in hospital and leaves him a present which he did not like. Sheila Hancock appears as Nan's sister June, who lives in Spain and is equally as foul-mouthed as Nan. They reveal that most of their family were London gangland career criminals and mass murderers, with nicknames such as "Clownface", "Wallopnuts" and "Longsocks". Nan also made a characteristic appearance on The Paul O'Grady Show, in which she was pleased to discover his show had bought her a new armchair, but soon got annoyed when she learned that they had entered her house without her permission to deliver it, upon which she stormed off the set, exclaiming "Paul O'Grady? What a load of old shit!"

Nan has at least one daughter, Diane, who is the mother of Jamie and a granddaughter, Gail, who bore Nan's "ugly" great-grandchild Francesca (she initially believes the child to have been named Tesco's). The Christmas 2007 special introduced us to Diane herself (played by Kathy Burke), who was exactly like Nan in that she swore at and criticised people behind their backs. The sketch ends with both of them saying "What a fucking liberty!" together.

Nan's Christmas Carol[edit]

In 2009 she returned in a Christmas special, based on A Christmas Carol in which Nan, like Scrooge, is shown Christmas past, present and future in an attempt to stop her miserable ways. It was entitled Nan's Christmas Carol. In this special, after abusing some carollers (Madness), and refusing to give some relatives from Yorkshire a place to stay for the night, Nan is visited by the ghost of her dead husband, Jake, who warns her that she will be visited by three spirits who will show her the error of her ways. The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past (Ben Miller) takes Nan back to her childhood where it is revealed that Nan's bad attitude towards Christmas stems from a present Father Christmas brought her (a tangerine). The ghost also takes Nan through the 1950s and 1970s before the Ghost of Christmas Present (David Tennant) shows Nan the consequences of her throwing her relatives out when their pet dog dies after choking on a crisp. Nan is then sent back to her flat where the third and final spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Future (Roger Lloyd Pack), appears and shows Nan a future where her grandson, Jamie, now married with a child, has broken off all contact with her after her behaviour becomes too much for him to take, and she spends her final years in a retirement home where nobody comes to see her. Nan is horrified by this vision, and realises she needs to change her ways. She throws a party where she invites her friends and family, as well as Madness, to join in. We also learn that Nan's maiden name is Jackson. However, after everyone has gone to bed, she calls the dog in, offering it a crisp (the same type it choked on in the future), implying she hasn't really changed at all.

Other appearances[edit]

In a sketch made especially for Comic Relief 2007, Nan appears on the game show Deal or No Deal hosted by Noel Edmonds. In the sketch, Nan plays a game of Deal or No Deal, in which she uncovers the five highest amounts of money in the first five boxes. As the boxes are opened, she makes an offensive comment about the player opening it, targeting their weight, earrings and glasses (in the extended version). Being given an offer of £199 by the Banker, Nan accepts the offer happily, having already cheated and looked in her box and found that it only contained £50. She also did a Sport Relief sketch, about the World Cup. She appeared on Comic Relief in 2009, receiving a cheque for her local community centre, and at the 2010 Channel 4's Comedy Gala, coming out on stage to introduce Noel Fielding. Nan Taylor also appeared in Holby City's hospital because of her ingrown toenail - a 2013 Children in Need sketch.

See also[edit]