Adjoa Andoh

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Adjoa Andoh
Adjoa Andoh.jpg
Andoh in 2020
Adjoa Aiboom Helen Andoh

(1963-01-14) 14 January 1963 (age 57)
Years active1984–present

Adjoa Andoh (born 14 January 1963) is a British film, television, stage and radio actress. She is known on the UK stage for lead roles at the RSC, the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre and the Almeida Theatre, and is a familiar face on British television, notably in two series of Doctor Who as companion Martha's mother Francine Jones, 90 episodes of the BBC's long-running medical drama Casualty as Staff Nurse (later Sister) Colette Griffiths (née Kierney) and a year in the BBC's EastEnders. Andoh is the voice of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency; she won "Audio Book of the Year" for Tea Time for the Traditionally Built.

She made her Hollywood debut in autumn 2009 starring as Nelson Mandela's Chief of Staff Brenda Mazibuko alongside Morgan Freeman as Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invictus.


Andoh was a member of the BBC's Radio Drama Company.[1] Her television credits include Casualty (she played Colette Griffiths (née Kierney) from 2000 until 2003), Jonathan Creek, EastEnders (where she played jazz singer Karen, the lodger of Rachel Kominski in 1991), and The Tomorrow People (where she played Amanda James in the story The Rameses Connection in 1995).

She has appeared in Doctor Who a number of times: in 2006 as Sister Jatt in series 2 episode "New Earth" and as Nurse Albertine in the audio drama Year of the Pig. In 2007, she appeared in several episodes of the third series ("Smith and Jones", "The Lazarus Experiment", "42", "The Sound of Drums", and "Last of the Time Lords") as Francine Jones, the mother of Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman). She reprised her role in the finale of series 4 ("The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End").

Andoh's other television work includes playing the head of M.I.9 in Series 3 to Series 5 of M.I. High and D.C.I. Ford in Missing.

She is also known for narrating the audio book versions of Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of detective novels and Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch Series trilogy (although not all of the US editions), as well as Julia Jarman's children's books, The Jessame Stories and More Jessame Stories. She is also known for narrating the audio book version of Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon (novel) with Ben Onwukwe.[2], and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. She narrated The Power by Naomi Alderman, former President Barack Obama’s favorite book of 2017.[3] Her career in audio dramas has included the Voice of Planet B in Planet B on BBC Radio 7. In 2004, she was cast in the video game Fable.

Andoh also appeared in Noel Clarke's 2008 film Adulthood as the mother of Clarke's character, Sam Peel.

She can be seen in cinemas as Chief of Staff Brenda Maziubo opposite Morgan Freeman's Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invictus.[4] The film tells of how Mandela brought the Afrikaner population on side for Project Rainbow Nation through his support and inspiration for the 1995 World Cup-winning South African Springbok rugby union team, and his moving relationship with team captain Francois Pienaar, played by Matt Damon. Andoh describes the filming experience as extremely positive, saying that it was unlike any set she had ever filmed on.[5]

Theatrical work[edit]

Andoh has worked extensively in the theatre. Her credits include His Dark Materials, Stuff Happens and The Revenger's Tragedy at the National Theatre; A Streetcar Named Desire (National Theatre Studio); Troilus and Cressida, Julius Caesar, Tamburlaine and The Odyssey (RSC); Sugar Mummies and Breath Boom (Royal Court); Richard II (Globe); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse); Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic); Blood Wedding (Almeida); Nights at the Circus, The Dispute and Pericles (Lyric Hammersmith); Julius Caesar (the Bridge); Purgatorio (Arcola); The Vagina Monologues (Criterion); Starstruck (Tricycle) and In The Red and Brown Water (Young Vic).[6]

Personal life[edit]

Andoh was born in Clifton, Bristol.[7] Her mother, a teacher, was English, and her father was a journalist and musician from Ghana.[8] Andoh grew up in Wickwar in Gloucestershire,[9] and attended Katharine Lady Berkeley's School.[7] She started studying law at Bristol Polytechnic, but left after two years to pursue her acting career.[7] She and her husband, lecturer Howard Cunnell, have three children.[8]

In October 2009, Andoh was licensed as a Reader (a lay preacher) in the Church of England.[10][11]

In November 2019, along with other public figures, Andoh signed a letter supporting Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn describing him as "a beacon of hope in the struggle against emergent far-right nationalism, xenophobia and racism in much of the democratic world" and endorsed him in the 2019 UK general election.[12]



Year Title Role
1991 London South West Marion
1995 What My Mother Told Me Jesse
2004 Every Time You Look at Me Mrs. Berry
2007 The Shadow in the North Jessie Saxon
2008 Adulthood Mrs Peel
2009 Invictus Brenda Mazibuko
2016 Brotherhood Mrs Peel
2019 Fractured Dr. Jacobs


Year Title Role Notes
19901991 EastEnders Karen 10 episodes
19922004 The Bill Mrs. Hughes, Diana Holt, Mrs. Baptiste 3 episodes: "A Blind Eye", "Grey Area", "236"
1992 Waiting for God Dr. Angela Avery 1 episode: "Sleeping Pills"
1993, 20002003 Casualty Maggie (1 episode, 1993), Colette Kierney/Griffiths 73 episodes
1994 The Brittas Empire Reporter 1 episode: "High Noon"
1995 Health and Efficiency Sister Beth Williams 2 episodes: "The Old Dope Peddler", "Five Have Plenty of Fun"
The Tomorrow People Amanda Jones 3 episodes
1996 Paul Merton in Galton and Simpson's… Defence Counsel 1 episode: "Twelve Angry Men"
Testament: The Bible in Animation Ruth 1 episode (Voice)
1997 Peak Practice Dr. Nixon 2 episodes: "Letting Go", "The Price"
1998 Close Relations April Mini-Series
A Rather English Marriage Mandy Hulme TV movie
1999 Jonathan Creek Anthea Spacey 1 episode: "The Curious Tale of Mr. Spearfish"
2006 Doctor Who Sister Jatt 1 episodes: "New Earth"
20072008 Doctor Who Francine Jones 7 episodes: "Smith and Jones", "The Lazarus Experiment", "42", "The Sound of Drums", "Last of the Time Lords", "The Stolen Earth", "Journey's End"
2007 Wire in the Blood Celeste Davies 1 episode: "The Colour of Amber"
20092011 M.I. High Head of MI9 Recurring character
2009 Missing DCI Lauren Ford Recurring character, 3 episodes
2011 Scott & Bailey Janice Guest star
Law & Order: UK Pathologist Recurring character, 3 episode
2012 Julius Caesar Portia TV movie. Made by the Royal Shakespeare Company for the BBC.
2014 Wizards vs. Aliens Old Bethesta The two-part story "Daughters of Stone".
2015 Broadchurch Julie Recurring character, 1 episode (to date)
2015 Cucumber Marie Recurring character, 2 episodes (to date)
20152020 Thunderbirds Are Go Colonel Casey Recurring character, 7 episodes
2016 Line of Duty Prosecutor 2 episodes: "The Process", "Snake Pit"
2018 Death in Paradise Celeste Jones 1 episode: "Dark Memories" S7: E7
2020 Silent Witness DI Nina Rosen 2 Episodes "Deadhead"
2020 Bridgerton Lady Danbury

Selected radio[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Blade of the Poisoner Dorina Carver's target
2009 Planet B Voice of Planet B Narrator of the series
2019 The Archers[13] Fiona Lloyd Alistair's sister

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Notes
2001 Wave Rally
2004 Fable (2004 video game)
2005 Kameo Lenya
2008 Age of Conan
2008 Fable II
2010 Dante's Inferno (video game) Background Shades / Innocents of Acre / Semiramis
2010 Fable III
2012 The Secret World Zhara / Additional Voices
2012 Fable: The Journey
2014 Dreamfall Chapters Shepherd / Mother Utana / Adala
2017 Horizon Zero Dawn Sona / Cpl. Vandana Sarai


  1. ^ "Radio and audio book companies", in Lloyd Trott, ed., Actors and Performers Yearbook 2016, pp. 353–354.
  2. ^ "Lagoon". Hodder & Stoughton. 10 April 2014.
  3. ^ Liptak, Kevin; Deena Zaru (26 January 2018). "Obama lists his favorite books and songs of 2017". CNN Politics.
  4. ^ Kellaway, Kate (24 January 2010). "Adjoa Andoh on her star role in Invictus". The Observer. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Invictus: Interview - Adjoa Andoh". Trailer Addict. 2009.
  6. ^ "Curtis Brown". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Graham, Natalie (23 March 2003), "Fame & Fortune: How TV nurse cured her money woes", The Sunday Times.
  8. ^ a b "Adjoa Andoh is the black Chekhov". Evening Standard. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  9. ^ Kay, Jackie (30 March 2019). "Richard II and me: my friend Adjoa Andoh was born to play the king". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  10. ^ "New Readers admitted and licensed" (PDF). The Bridge. Anglican Diocese of Southwark. November 2009.
  11. ^ "Combining two very different worlds" (PDF). The Bridge. Anglican Diocese of Southwark. November 2010.
  12. ^ Neale, Matthew (16 November 2019). "Exclusive: New letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn signed by Roger Waters, Robert Del Naja and more". NME. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  13. ^ "THe Archers", Radio Times.

External links[edit]