Katherine Parkinson

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Katherine Parkinson
Born Laura Katherine Parkinson
(1978-03-09) 9 March 1978 (age 36)
Hounslow, Middlesex, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 2001–present

Laura Katherine Parkinson (born 9 March 1978) is an English actress. She is best known for her role as Jen Barber in the Channel 4 comedy series The IT Crowd, for which she received a British Comedy Best TV Actress Award in 2009 and a BAFTA TV Award nomination in 2011. She was also a main cast member of the series Doc Martin from series 2 to 4. She also performed the voiceovers for the game Worms: Clan Wars.

Early life and education[edit]

Parkinson studied at Tiffin Girls' School[1] in Kingston upon Thames, London and then read Classics at St Hilda's College, Oxford[2] before moving to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Parkinson left the course to star in the play The Age of Consent.


In 2007, she appeared in a new production of Chekhov's The Seagull at London's Royal Court Theatre, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Mackenzie Crook.

On New Year's Day 2009, she appeared in a feature-length episode of Jonathan Creek, called "The Grinning Man", which was broadcast in the UK. In 2009, for the third series of The IT Crowd, Parkinson became one of the highest paid actresses on Channel 4. She also contributed sketch characters to Katy Brand's ITV2 show, having been friends with Brand since their time at university.[3] At the end of 2009 she appeared in the play Cock at the Royal Court Theatre.

She has appeared several times on BBC Radio 4, including on Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking, Mouth Trap,[4] again with Brand, and in The Odd Half Hour.[5] She also starred in a television advertisement for Maltesers alongside fellow actress and comedian Amanda Abbington, and provided her voice for a Herbal Essences shampoo advertising campaign in 2010.

Parkinson is one of the main cast in BBC Four's three-part comedy series The Great Outdoors, which first aired on 28 July 2010.[6] In 2010–2011 she appeared in Season's Greetings at the National Theatre and in 2011 as Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal (directed by Deborah Warner) at the Barbican Centre.

Having played the doctor's receptionist, and later phlebotomist, in series 2-4 of Doc Martin, while in series 5 her character was replaced by a new receptionist.

Parkinson starred in The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, a four-part BBC comedy series which premiered on BBC Two on 19 December 2011. Parkinson next appeared in series 2 episode 3 of Sherlock, "The Reichenbach Fall", as journalist Kitty Riley in January 2012.

In 2013, she filmed The Honorable Woman for HBO.

Personal life[edit]

Parkinson is married to actor Harry Peacock, and gave birth to a daughter in 2012.[7]



Year Title Role
2006 Hard to Swallow Katie
2007 Christmas at the Riviera Vanessa
2008 Easy Virtue Marion Whittaker
2008 How to Lose Friends & Alienate People PR woman
2009 The Boat That Rocked Felicity
2009 St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold Physics teacher


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Ahead of the Class Vicky Foley
2005 Casualty Helen Gibbons Episode: "The Long Goodbye"
2005 Extras Woman in queue Episode: "Ross Kemp and Vinnie Jones"
2005–2009 Doc Martin Pauline Lamb Series 2–4
2006–2013 IT Crowd, TheThe IT Crowd Jen Barber British Comedy Award for Best Television Comedy Actress[8]
Nominated – BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance[9]
2007 Fear, Stress & Anger Gemma
2007 Christmas at the Riviera Vanessa
2007–2009 Katy Brand's Big Ass Show Various characters Series 1–3
2009 Jonathan Creek Nicola Episode: "The Grinning Man"
2009 Old Guys, TheThe Old Guys Amber
2010 Great Outdoors, TheThe Great Outdoors Sophie
2010 Whites Caroline[10]
2011 Psychoville Fiona Series 2, Episode 5
2011 Comedy Showcase: Coma Girl Pip Series 3, Episode 2
2011 The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff Conceptiva
2012 Sherlock Kitty Riley[11] Episode: "The Reichenbach Fall"
2013 Love Matters Jo Pepper Episode: "Officially Special"
2014 The Honourable Woman Rachel
2014 Inside No. 9: Sardines Rebecca
2014 Officially Special Jo Pepper
2014 In the Club Kim


Year Title Role
2004 A Certain Smile Catherine
Good Times Role Patient
2008 The Odd Half Hour
2008 Mouthtrap Writer / performer
2011 The Lost Weekend
2011 The Drover of Clissold Common
Souvenirs Samantha
2011–2012 Don't Start Kim
2011 The One and Only Layla
2012 Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully Katrina
2012 Diary of a Nobody Carrie Pooter
2012 The Bat Man Colette
The Lady from the Sea Bolette
2013 'Stop/Start' Alice


Year Title Role Notes
Before the Party Laura Almeda
Absent Friends Diana Harold Pinter Theatre
66 Books Jo Bush Theatre
School for Scandal Lady Teazle Barbican Theatre
Season's Greeting Pattie National Theatre
Cock W Royal Court
The Seagull Masha Royal Court
The Lightning Play Imoden Almeida
Other Hands Lydia Soho Theatre
Flush Lily Soho Theatre
Cigarettes and Chocolate Gail Kings Head Theatre
The Unthinkable Fran Sheffield Crucible
Antigone Antigone The Gate
The Increased Difficulty of Concentration Anna Balcar The Gate
Camille Olympe Lyric Hammersmith
Deep Throat Live on Stage Linda Lovelace Fat Bloke Productions
Frame 312 Maggie / Doris / Marie Donmar Warehouse
The Age of Consent Stephanie The Bush


External links[edit]