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Jenna Coleman

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Jenna Coleman
Jenna Coleman facing front.jpg
Coleman in May 2013
Jenna-Louise Coleman

(1986-04-27) 27 April 1986 (age 34)
Blackpool, England
  • Actress
  • voice actress
Years active1996–present

Jenna-Louise Coleman (born 27 April 1986), credited since 2013 as Jenna Coleman, is an English actress. She is best known for roles such as Jasmine Thomas in the soap opera Emmerdale, Clara Oswald in the science-fiction series Doctor Who, Queen Victoria in the period drama Victoria, Joanna Lindsay in the crime miniseries The Cry, and Marie-Andrée Leclerc in the crime miniseries The Serpent.

Early life

Jenna-Louise Coleman[1] was born in Blackpool on 27 April 1986,[2][3] the daughter of Karen and Keith Coleman. She has an older brother named Ben.[4] Her grandmother named her partially after the Dallas character Jenna Wade.[5] She attended Arnold School in Blackpool, where she was head girl.[6] While at school, she was a member of the theatre company In Yer Space,[7] with whom she performed in the play Crystal Clear at the Edinburgh Festival. She won an award for her performance, and the play was also received favourably.[8] She was offered a place to study English at the University of York, but turned it down in order to accept the role of Jasmine Thomas in the soap opera Emmerdale.[9]


2005–2012: Soap breakthrough and other projects

Coleman in May 2013

Coleman landed the part of Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale in 2005.[9] At the British Soap Awards 2007, she was nominated for the "Best Newcomer" award, and at the National Television Awards 2006, she was nominated for the "Most Popular Newcomer" award.[10] At the 2009 British Soap Awards, she was nominated for the "Best Actress", "Sexiest Female", and "Best Dramatic Performance" awards.[11] She received a nomination for the "Best Actress" award from the TV Choice Awards. In May 2009, it was announced that Coleman would be joining BBC school-based drama series, Waterloo Road, as "hard girl" Lindsay James.[12] As she was 23 at the time of her casting, Coleman found the experience of playing a schoolgirl "surreal".[13]

In December 2010, it was announced that Coleman would be playing Susan Brown in a BBC Four television adaptation of the John Braine novel Room at the Top.[14][15] The adaptation was originally intended to air in April 2011, but this was cancelled due to a rights dispute between the production company and Braine's estate. The dispute was resolved by 2012, and the show aired in two parts on 26 and 27 September 2012.[7] In 2011, she made her feature film debut with a small role in Captain America: The First Avenger.[9][16] She also got the role of Annie Desmond in Julian Fellowes' four part mini-series Titanic, describing her character as a "cheeky little Cockney" and "the Eliza Doolittle of the ship".[17]

Coleman provided the voice for Princess Melia Antiqua in the English dub of the 2010 video game Xenoblade Chronicles and subsequently reprised her role for the 2020 Definite Edition remake's epilogue: Future Connected. In 2012, Coleman was cast as Rosie in Stephen Poliakoff's original drama series Dancing on the Edge, which follows the fortunes of a black jazz band in the 1930s. The show aired on BBC Two in February 2013. She starred as Lydia Wickham in the adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley.[18] The three episodes were shown on BBC One during Christmas 2013.[19]

2012–2016: Doctor Who

On 21 March 2012, Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat confirmed at a press conference that Coleman would play the companion of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith).[20] Moffat chose her for the role because she worked the best alongside Smith and could talk faster than he could.[21] She auditioned for the role in secret, under the pretence of auditioning for Men on Waves (an anagram for "Woman Seven": she would first appear in the show's seventh series).[22]

Coleman in July 2015

Although originally announced as beginning her run as companion in the Christmas special in 2012, Coleman made a surprise appearance on 1 September 2012 in the first episode of the seventh series as Oswin Oswald, a guest character.[23] Coleman subsequently debuted as a series regular in the Christmas special episode "The Snowmen" as Victorian governess and barmaid Clara Oswin Oswald. In that episode, Coleman also played a third version of the character, a resident of twenty-first-century London named simply Clara Oswald. Beginning in "The Bells of Saint John", this version begins her travels as the Doctor's regular companion,[24] including after his regeneration into the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, in the 2013 Christmas special episode "The Time of the Doctor."[25] In the 2014 Christmas special episode "Last Christmas", it was revealed that Coleman would remain in the role of Clara for Series 9.[26] However, the ninth series was her last, as Coleman had decided to leave the show to take on a role as Queen Victoria in an ITV production.[27][28] In "The Zygon Invasion" and "The Zygon Inversion", Coleman also played the role of Bonnie, the Zygon leader who took the form of Clara Oswald. She returned to the show for Twelfth Doctor's last episode "Twice Upon a Time" where she made a cameo appearance; that episode, Doctor Who's 2017 Christmas special, aired the same evening as the first Christmas special for Victoria. She was first credited on screen as Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, which aired on 4 August 2013.[1][29]

2016–present: Victoria and other projects

In 2016, Coleman starred in ITV's eight-part drama following the reign of the British monarch and Empress of India, Queen Victoria. The actress confessed that she was not totally informed about Victorian history, but researched the role. When interviewed for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, Coleman expressed her admiration for the monarch.[30] She argues that this role meant she was able to break out of her supposed 'box' as a northern working-class character that Emmerdale put her in.[30] Victoria premiered on 28 August 2016 on ITV,[31] and in September 2016, ITV renewed Victoria for a second series.[32] A Christmas special for 2017 was also commissioned and a third series was announced in December 2017.[33]

In December 2017, it was announced that Coleman would be the narrator for a Royal Caribbean UK advertising campaign.[34] On 8 January 2018, Coleman was confirmed to play Joanna in the four-part BBC drama The Cry, an adaptation of the 2013 novel by Helen FitzGerald.[35]

In September 2018, the Old Vic Theatre announced on their website that Coleman would star in a new production of All My Sons in 2019,[36][37] which ran from 13 April to 8 June 2019[38] and included a cinema screening via National Theatre Live on 14 May 2019.[39] In February 2019, it was announced that Coleman would make a guest appearance in an episode from series five of the dark comedy series Inside No. 9, with an expected broadcast date later in the year.[40] Series five returned to the screen on 3 February 2020.[41]

On 11 May 2019, in an interview with Graham Norton on his BBC Radio 2 program, Coleman indicated her intent to return to Victoria for a fourth series should it be renewed by ITV, but stated that the show will be taking "a bit of a breather" before production resumes.[42] On 9 September 2019, it was announced that Coleman had been cast as Marie-Andrée Leclerc in the Netflix and BBC drama The Serpent, a dramatisation of the life of convicted serial killer Charles Sobhraj.[43] Production of The Serpent began in Bangkok in September 2019 and continued into 2020, with an expected BBC broadcast later in the year.[44] As with most other film and television production, work on The Serpent was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming resumed on August 17 in the UK and was completed on August 28. Due to the delay in filming, the broadcast date for The Serpent was moved to 2021.[45] It premiered on 1 January 2021.[46]

During the pandemic, it was announced that Coleman would participate in The Remote Read, a planned series of online drama performances to raise funds for theatrical workers left unemployed by the pandemic.[47] The first production under this banner, an adaptation of Tom Stoppard's A Separate Peace (1966), was transmitted via the Zoom platform on 2 May 2020.[48] Coleman also recorded the short story Pressures, Residential by Philip Hensher, in support of UNICEF UK, as well as The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter, as part of a collection of audiobooks in Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales.[49]

Nine years after its original English release, Coleman reprised her role as Melia in the video game Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition which features a brand new epilogue taking place after the main story.[50]

Charity work

Coleman has been involved with charity work in South Africa raising awareness of HIV with One To One Children's Fund, for which she is an ambassador.[51] She is also an ambassador for Place2Be, a charity providing emotional and therapeutic services in schools.[52]



Year Title Role Genre(s) Notes
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger Connie Science-fiction Brief appearance[16]
2016 Me Before You Katrina Clark Romance
2019 Corporate Monster Ellen Horror Short film


Year Title Role Genre(s) Notes
2005–2009 Emmerdale Jasmine Thomas[16] Soap opera Series regular[16]
2009 Waterloo Road Lindsay James[12] Drama Recurring role[12]
2012 Titanic Annie Desmond Drama Recurring role[17]
2012 Room at the Top Susan Brown Drama Television film[9]
2012–2015, 2017 Doctor Who Clara Oswald Science-fiction Main role (Series 79), 2017 Special; 38 episodes[53]
2013 Dancing on the Edge Rosie Williams Drama Recurring role[17]
2013 The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Herself Comedy Doctor Who comedy spoof for the 50th Anniversary special[54]
2013 Death Comes to Pemberley Lydia Wickham[55] Mystery Main role[55]
2016 Thunderbirds Are Go Baines Animation Voice; 1 episode[56][57]
2016–2019 Victoria Queen Victoria Period drama 25 episodes[58]
2018 The Cry Joanna Lindsay Mystery Main role[16]
2020 Inside No. 9 Beattie Dark comedy Episode: "Death Be Not Proud"[40][41]
2021 The Serpent Marie-Andrée Leclerc Crime Main role[43]


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Summer Holiday Bridesmaid [59][60]
2004 Crystal Clear Thomasina In Yer Space[61]
2009 Jack and the Beanstalk Princess Apricot Theatre Royal, Nottingham[62]
2019 All My Sons Ann Deever Old Vic Theatre[63]
2020 A Separate Peace Nurse Maggie Coates Virtual play; broadcast online[48][64]

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Xenoblade Chronicles Princess Melia Antiqua English dub
2015 Lego Dimensions Clara Oswald Main game and Doctor Who expansion
2020 Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Princess Melia Antiqua English dub, includes new "Future Connected" epilogue


Year Title Role Notes
2013 The Secret Garden Narrator Abridged reading[65]
2013 Doctor Who: Destiny of the Doctor Alice Watson / Eleventh Doctor Episode: "The Time Machine"[66]
2016 A Christmas Carol Belle Digital release
2020 Pressures, Residential In aid of UNICEF UK
2020 Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales Narrator Episode: "The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies"[49]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2006 National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer Emmerdale Nominated
The British Soap Awards Best Newcomer Nominated
2009 Best Dramatic Performance[67] Nominated
Sexiest Female[67] Nominated
Best Actress[67] Nominated
2013 Behind the Voice Actors Awards Best Female Vocal Performance in a Video Game Xenoblade Chronicles Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game Nominated
NAVGTR Awards Supporting Performance in a Drama Nominated
Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Favourite UK Actress Doctor Who Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Actress Nominated
TV Times Awards Favourite Newcomer Won
2014 Glamour Awards UK TV Actress Won
2015 BAFTA Cymru Best Actress[68] Doctor Who: "Kill the Moon" Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television[69] Doctor Who Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Actress Nominated
2017 Golden Nymph Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama TV Series[70] Victoria Won
National Television Awards Best Drama Performance Nominated
2018 Movieguide Awards Grace Award for Most Inspiring Performance for TV[71] Nominated
National Television Awards Best Drama Performance Nominated
Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards TV Actress of the Year[72] The Cry Won
I Talk Telly Awards Best Dramatic Performance[73] Won
2019 Logie Awards Most Outstanding Actress Won
Most Popular Actress Nominated
BAFTA Scotland Awards Best Actress in Television Nominated
International Emmy Awards Best Actress Nominated
AACTA Awards Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Nominated
2020 National Television Awards Drama Performance Victoria Longlisted


  1. ^ a b Jones, Paul. "Jenna Coleman and the mystery of the missing Louise". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  2. ^ Lewis, Tim (10 November 2013). "Jenna Coleman: just what the Doctor ordered". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (21 March 2012). "Jenna-Louise Coleman: Ten Things about the new 'Doctor Who' star". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Jenna-Louise Coleman: The life and time travels of Doctor Who's sexy new sidekick",, 6 April 2013, retrieved 14 May 2014
  5. ^ "Jenna Coleman's exclusive 2012 interview on auditioning for Doctor Who". Radio Times. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  6. ^ Lockyer, Daphne (21 August 2016). "Jenna Coleman on playing Queen Victoria: 'We certainly don't shy away from the fire and the passion'". The Telegraph.
  7. ^ a b Jeffrey, Morgan (29 May 2012). "'Room at the Top': BBC Four drama to air following legal dispute". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Blackpool soap star needs your help". Blackpool Gazette. 31 July 2006. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007.
  9. ^ a b c d Gilbert, Gerard (18 August 2014). "Peter Capaldi is almost the opposite of Matt Smith". The Independent. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  10. ^ Wilkes, Neil; Welsh, James (31 October 2006). "National TV Awards 2006: Full winners list". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  11. ^ Green, Kris; Kilkelly, Daniel (10 May 2009). "British Soap Awards 2009: The Winners". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  12. ^ a b c Green, Kris (13 May 2009). "Ex-'Emmerdale' actress joins 'Waterloo Road'". Digital Spy. UK. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  13. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (29 October 2009). "Coleman: 'Waterloo Road is surreal'". Digital Spy. UK. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Stars in city to remake classic film". The Bradford Telegraph & Argus. UK. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Casting Unveiled on Room at the Top". UK: Screen Yorkshire. 22 December 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  16. ^ a b c d e "10 Things You Never Knew About Jenna Coleman". BBC America. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  17. ^ a b c Conner, Megan (11 March 2012). "Why we're watching: Jenna-Louise Coleman, actor". The Observer. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  18. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (18 June 2013). "Jenna-Louise Coleman, Penelope Keith and Rebecca Front join Death Comes to Pemberley". Radio Times. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  19. ^ Lazarus, Sussana (26 December 2013). "Death Comes to Pemberley's Matthew Rhys: "The best thing about playing Mr Darcy is that shirt"". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  20. ^ "Doctor Who's latest companion is unveiled". BBC News. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  21. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (21 March 2012). "'Doctor Who': Jenna-Louise Coleman – The press conference in full". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  22. ^ Gallagher, William (27 March 2012). "Doctor Who's secret history of codenames revealed". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  23. ^ Brown, David (1 September 2012). "Doctor Who – a message from Steven Moffat and Jenna-Louise Coleman about tonight's surprise". Radio Times. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  24. ^ Steven Moffat (writer), Colm McCarthy (director), Denise Paul (producer) (30 March 2013). "The Bells of Saint John". Doctor Who. Series 7. Episode 7. BBC. BBC One.
  25. ^ Steven Moffat (writer), Jamie Payne (director), Marcus Wilson (producer) (25 December 2013). "The Time of the Doctor". Doctor Who. Series 7. BBC. BBC One.
  26. ^ Dan Martin (25 December 2014). "Doctor Who recap: Last Christmas". the Guardian.
  27. ^ "Jenna Coleman is Leaving Doctor Who". BBC. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  28. ^ Barraclough, Leo (18 September 2015). "Jenna Coleman Leaving 'Doctor Who' to Play Queen Victoria". Variety. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor". BBC One. BBC. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  30. ^ a b "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour, Jenna Coleman as young Queen Victoria". BBC.
  31. ^ Furness, Hannah (12 August 2016). "Jenna Coleman plays Queen Victoria as she's never been seen before – a lusty teenager who gains the throne". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  32. ^ Martin, William (23 September 2016). "Jenna Coleman's 'Victoria' will return for a second season". CultBox. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  33. ^ Clarke, Stewart (12 December 2017). "Jenna Coleman Returning for 'Victoria' Season 3". Variety. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  34. ^ Kemble, Harry (19 December 2017). "Royal Caribbean ad campaign makes "groundbreaking" switch from TV". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  35. ^ "Jenna Coleman to star in new BBC drama". BBC News. 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  36. ^ "Jenna Coleman joins All My Sons for Old Vic season". BBC News. BBC. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  37. ^ "Jenna Coleman: 'Being me makes me feel self-conscious'". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  38. ^ "All My Sons". Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  39. ^ "All My Sons - National Theatre Live". Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  40. ^ a b Bley Griffiths, Eleanor (18 February 2019). "Doctor Who and Victoria actress Jenna Coleman to guest star in Inside No 9". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  41. ^ a b Edwards, Chris (22 January 2020). "Inside No. 9 series 5 with Jenna Coleman confirms its premiere date". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  42. ^ Ben Allen, Eleanor (13 May 2019). "Victoria will "take a break" following series 3 finale says Jenna Coleman". Radio Times. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  43. ^ a b Jeffery, Morgan (9 September 2019). "Jenna Coleman joins BBC One crime thriller The Serpent". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  44. ^ "BBC Media Centre: First pictures of The Serpent are released". BBC Media Centre. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  45. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (28 August 2020). "Netflix & BBC's 'The Serpent' Relocates From Thailand to London After Five-Month Pause (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  46. ^ "BBC One's The Serpent to premiere on New Year's Day". BBC Media Center. 26 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  47. ^ Wood, Alex (8 April 2020). "Jenna Coleman, David Morrissey and Denise Gough to perform virtual play readings for charity". What's on Stage. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  48. ^ a b "David Morrissey, Denise Gough and More to Headline Tom Stoppard's A SEPARATE PEACE Virtual Play Reading". Broadway World. 24 April 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  49. ^ a b Morris, Lauren (28 July 2020). "Olivia Colman, Mandip Gill and Tom Hardy to star in audio adaptation of Beatrix Potter". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  50. ^ "Yes, Jenna Coleman Does Reprise Her Role In Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition". Nintendo Life. 28 May 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  51. ^ "Jenna Coleman Video". Archived from the original on 9 January 2015.
  52. ^ "Actress Jenna Coleman becomes ambassador for Place2Be". Place2Be. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  53. ^ Count does not include several additional "mini-episodes" produced for DVD and special events.
  54. ^ "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot". BBC Programmes. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  55. ^ a b "Jenna Coleman to star in Death comes to Pemberley", Doctor Who (blog), UK: The BBC, 18 June 2013
  56. ^ "Check out Jenna Coleman's American accent in Thunderbirds Are Go". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  57. ^ "News – Thunderbirds Are Go". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  58. ^ "Jenna Coleman to star as Queen Victoria in major new ITV drama Victoria". ITV Media Centre. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  59. ^ "Jenna-Louise Coleman: 'I couldn't get auditions' | Drama | The Guardian". Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  60. ^ "Jenna-Louise Coleman: The life and time travels of Doctor Who's sexy new sidekick". Mirror. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  61. ^ "Blackpool soap star needs your help - Blackpool Today". 28 September 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  62. ^ "Jack and the Beanstalk".
  63. ^ Gans, Andrew (3 December 2018). "London Revival of All My Sons, Starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman, Will Be Broadcast Internationally". Playbill.
  64. ^ "A Separate Peace". The Remote Read.
  65. ^ "Jenna-Louise Coleman reads The Secret Garden (Famous Fiction)". Audible. 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  66. ^ Malkin, Diane (28 September 2016). "Big Finish Release Doctor Who – Destiny of the Doctors – The Complete Collection". Blogtor Who. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  67. ^ a b c Green, Kris; Kilkelly, Daniel (10 May 2009). "British Soap Awards 2009: The Winners". Soaps News. Digital Spy. London: Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  68. ^ "Winners Announced – British Academy Cymru Awards 2015". 27 September 2015.
  69. ^ "The Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films".
  70. ^ "Golden Nymphs Awards Winners". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  71. ^ "2018 Movieguide Awards Nominations". The Movieguide® Awards. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  72. ^ "Women of the Year 2018: winners portfolio". Harper's BAZAAR. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  73. ^ "Awards 2018". I Talk Telly | by Elliot Gonzalez. Retrieved 9 December 2018.

External links