Jessica Hynes

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Jessica Hynes
Jessica Hynes.jpg
Hynes in 2008
Tallulah Jessica Elina Stevenson

(1972-10-30) 30 October 1972 (age 48)
Lewisham, London, England
Other namesJessica Stevenson
OccupationActress, writer, director
Years active1993–present
Adam Hynes
(m. 2002)

Tallulah Jessica Elina Hynes (née Stevenson; born 30 October 1972)[citation needed] is an English actress, director and writer. Known professionally as Jessica Stevenson until 2007,[1] she was one of the creators, writers and stars of the British sitcom Spaced and has worked as a writer and actress for over two decades.

Hynes has been nominated for a Tony, a Laurence Olivier Award, five BAFTAs (winning two) and three British Comedy Awards (winning two).

Early life[edit]

Hynes was born in Lewisham, south London, and grew up in Brighton, where she attended St Luke's Infant and Junior Schools and Dorothy Stringer High School.[2]


As a teenager Hynes was a member of the National Youth Theatre company, and made her stage début with the company in Lionel Bart's Blitz in 1990.[3] In 1992–1993 she played a season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds. In the same year she appeared in Peter Greenaway's 1993 film The Baby of Mâcon, playing the first midwife.

Known professionally as Jessica Stevenson until 2007, early in her career she teamed up with future Spaced co-star Katy Carmichael in a comedy double-act called the Liz Hurleys, appeared in two productions at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, and played parts on television in the nursing drama Staying Alive (1995–1997) and short-lived sketch shows Six Pairs of Pants, (Un)natural Acts and Asylum—where the Spaced team (Stevenson, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) first assembled. She guest starred in the first episode of Midsomer Murders in 1997. From 1998 to 2000 Hynes played the supporting role of Cheryl in the hit sitcom The Royle Family and reprised the role for special episodes in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

In 1999, she co-wrote and starred in Spaced. Her London theatre début was in April 2002, playing the tough ex-prisoner "Bolla" in Jez Butterworth's The Night Heron at the Royal Court.[4] In 2004 she played a minor part as Yvonne in horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, again working with Pegg and Wright. In the same year she was also cast as Magda, friend of the titular character, in the Hollywood sequel Bridget Jones' Diary 2 also called Bridget Jones' Diary: The Edge of Reason. In 2005 Hynes took the lead role in the BBC One sitcom According to Bex (which she thought was so bad that she sacked her agent for putting her up for it),[1] and had a starring role in British comedy Confetti alongside Jimmy Carr, Martin Freeman and Mark Heap.

In early 2007, Hynes took a lead role in the film Magicians, starring alongside comic duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Later that year she starred in Learners, a comedy drama television movie which she also wrote, on BBC One in November 2007.[5] She also provided the voice of Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Hynes played Joan Redfern in the 2007 Doctor Who episodes "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood". She then appeared in part two of the story "The End of Time", playing a character named Verity Newman, who is Joan's great granddaughter.[6] Hynes has appeared in Big Finish's Eighth Doctor audio adventure "Invaders from Mars", with her Spaced colleague Simon Pegg.

In 2007, she starred in Son of Rambow (credited as Jessica Stevenson), playing Mary Proudfoot opposite the star of the film, Bill Milner.

Hynes co-wrote the pilot Phoo Action, based on the cartoons of Jamie Hewlett, which was transmitted on BBC Three in early 2008.[7]

In the same year Hynes appeared in the film Faintheart and in a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests at the Old Vic. In 2009 she made her Broadway début in the play's transfer[8] and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.

In 2009 she returned to the Royal Court in The Priory, a new play by Michael Wynne.[9]

In 2008, Hynes stated that she planned to pursue a solo career as a stand-up comedian[10] and was working on a children's book Ants in the Marmalade.[11]

Hynes appeared as a "right-on" PR person Siobhan Sharpe in the London Olympic centred satire Twenty Twelve, of which the first series screened on BBC Four in 2011, moving to BBC Two in spring 2012. A further series was screened in July 2012. She reprised the role in the 2014 series W1A for which she won a Bafta.

Hynes was in the film Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, in which she plays competition host Angel Matthews. The film was released in November 2012.

In October 2012, she released a duet with singer Anthony Strong of Slim Gaillard's "Laughing in Rhythm".[12] In December 2012 she appeared with co-star Hugh Bonneville in World's Most Dangerous Roads, travelling through Georgia.

In 2017 she played the role of a medieval knight in the revival series of The Crystal Maze. In the same year, Hynes directed her first feature film, The Fight, produced by Noel Clarke and Jason Maza.

In 2018, Hynes played the role of a mother in the BBC Four programme There She Goes. She stars alongside David Tennant, raising a daughter with a severe learning disability. It is based on the real life of writer Shaun Pye, whose daughter was born with a chromosomal disorder.[13]

In 2018, she played the character of ‘Marv’ in the online YouTube series ‘Jack and Dean of All Trades’ which ran for two seasons on Fullscreen and later the Jack and Dean YouTube channel.

In 2019 she starred in the BBC and HBO production Years and Years.



Year Title Role Format Notes
1994 The House of Eliott Charlotte Parker TV series Series 3, episode 1
1995 Six Pairs of Pants Various characters TV series
Tears Before Bedtime Maggie TV series
Crown Prosecutor Jackie South TV series
1996 Mash and Peas Various roles TV series
Asylum Martha & Nurse McFadden TV series
1996–1997 Staying Alive Alice Timpson TV series
1997 Midsomer Murders Judith Lessiter TV series Episode: "The Killings at Badger's Drift"
Armstrong and Miller Various roles TV series Series 1–2
Harry Enfield and Chums TV series Episode: "Harry Enfield and His Yule Log Chums"
1998 Unnatural Acts Various roles TV series Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5
Alexei Sayle’s Merry-Go-Round Alice, the Ayatollah's Assistant TV series Episode 1
1998–2010 The Royle Family Cheryl Carroll TV series Episodes: "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Sunday Afternoon", "Dad's Birthday", "Wedding Day", "Pregnancy", "Antony's Birthday", "Decorating", "Funeral", "The Christening", "The Queen of Sheba", "The Golden Egg Cup", "Joe's Crackers"
1999 People Like Us Sarah TV series Episode: "The Estate Agent"
1999–2001 Spaced Daisy Steiner TV series Co-wrote with Simon Pegg
2001 Randall & Hopkirk Felia Siderova TV series Episodes: "Mental Apparition Disorder", "Drop Dead"
Bob & Rose Holly Vance TV series
Comedy Lab Wife TV series Episode: "Knife & Wife"
2002 Dick Whittington The Good Fairy TV film
Black Books Eva TV series Episode: "Hello Sun"
2005 According to Bex Rebecca 'Bex' Atwell TV series
2006 Pinochet in Suburbia Police Guard TV film
The Secret Policeman's Ball Mrs. Peacock Staged show
QI Herself TV series Episode: "Domesticity"
Agatha Christie's Marple Aimee Griffith TV series Episode: "The Moving Finger"
2007 Doctor Who Joan Redfern TV series Episodes: "Human Nature", "The Family of Blood"
Learners Bev TV film
Never Mind the Buzzcocks Herself TV series Series 21, episode 1
2010 Doctor Who Verity Newman TV series Episode: "The End of Time, Part Two"
2010 Lizzie and Sarah Various roles TV pilot
2011–2012 Twenty Twelve Siobhan Sharpe TV series Won RTS Best Comedy Performance award
2011 Skins Crystal TV series Episode: "Everyone"
The Hour Jane Kish TV series Episode 4
2012 One Night Carol TV series
World's Most Dangerous Roads Herself TV series Episode 2
2013 Blandings Daphne Littlewood TV series
Up the Women Margaret TV series Writer
Crackanory Storyteller TV series reading "My Former Self" by Holly Walsh
2014–2017 W1A Siobhan Sharpe TV series
2014 Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled Herself TV series Episode 2
2015 Celebrity Squares Herself TV series Series 2, Episode 2
2015 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Herself TV series
2016 The Keith Lemon Sketch Show Manager TV series Series 2: "The Cartoon Job Centre" sketch
Jack and Dean of All Trades Marv Web series
Hooten & the Lady Ella Bond TV series
2017 The Crystal Maze The Knight TV series
2018–present There She Goes Emily Yates TV series 2 series
2019 Years and Years Edith Lyons TV series
TBA Life After Life Filming[14]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Swing Kids Helga Credited as Jessica Stevenson
The Baby of Mâcon The First Midwife Credited as Jessica Stevenson
2000 Born Romantic Libby Credited as Jessica Stevenson
2002 Tomorrow La Scala! Victoria Credited as Jessica Stevenson
Pure Paramedic Credited as Jessica Stevenson
2004 Shaun of the Dead Yvonne Credited as Jessica Stevenson
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Magda Credited as Jessica Stevenson
2006 Confetti Sam Credited as Jessica Stevenson
2007 Four Last Songs Miranda Credited as Jessica Stevenson
Son of Rambow Mary Credited as Jessica Stevenson
Magicians Linda Credited as Jessica Stevenson
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Mafalda Hopkirk Voice Only
Credited as Jessica Stevenson
2008 Faintheart Cathy
2010 Burke and Hare Lucky
2012 Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger Angel Matthews
2014 Pudsey: The Movie Gail
2016 Swallows and Amazons Mrs Jackson
2016 Bridget Jones's Baby Magda
2017 The Fight Tina Also Writer/Director
Paddington 2 Miss Kitts
2018 Alright Now Sara
Nativity Rocks! Angel Matthews
2020 Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse Sofie Dahl TV Film


Year Award Work Result
1999 British Comedy Award for Best Female Comedy Newcomer Spaced and The Royle Family Won[15]
2001 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actress Spaced Won[16]
2002 British Academy Television Award for Best Situation Comedy Spaced Nominated[17]
2002 RTS Television Award for Best Actor – Female Tomorrow La Scala! Nominated[18]
2003 British Academy Television Award for Best Actress Tomorrow La Scala! Nominated[19]
2003 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role The Night Heron Nominated[20]
2009 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play The Norman Conquests Nominated[21]
2012 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actress Twenty Twelve Nominated[22]
2013 RTS Television Award for Best Comedy Performance Twenty Twelve Won[23]
2013 British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance Twenty Twelve Nominated[24]
2015 British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance W1A Won[25]
2019 British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance There She Goes Won


  1. ^ a b McLean, Gareth (25 May 2007). "Gareth McLean talks to screen star Jessica Stevenson about feminist history". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kilcoyne, Emma (13 February 2008). "Charismatic artistic director of the National Youth Theatre". The Independent. p. 34.
  4. ^ "The Night Heron". The Royal Court Theatre. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Press Releases: David Tennant and Jessica Hynes in the driving seat for new BBC One comedy drama Learners". BBC. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
  6. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (23 March 2009). "Discover Both Ends of The "Spectrum of Spock." Plus The Doctor's Worst Nightmare". io9. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  7. ^ "Press Releases: Jessica Hynes in Phoo Action". BBC. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
  8. ^ "Tickets on sale for Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Norman Conquests'". Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ "The Priory". The Royal Court Theatre. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  10. ^ Hall, Julian (20 June 2008). "Stand Up Get Down Featuring Jessica Hynes & Friends, Madame Jojo's, London". The Independent. London. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  11. ^ McLean, Gareth (25 May 2007). "I went mainstream. It really wasn't me". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Laughing in Rhythm". iTunes Store. Retrieved 23 December 2012.[dead link]
  13. ^ Hodges, Michael (16 October 2018). "David Tennant felt 'huge responsibility' starring in new BBC comedy There She Goes". Radio Times. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  14. ^ Kanter, Jake (20 April 2021). "Thomasin McKenzie & Sian Clifford To Lead Cast For BBC Adaptation Of Kate Atkinson's 'Life After Life'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  15. ^ "British Comedy Awards 1999". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Skinner crowned TV comedy king". BBC. 16 December 2001. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Television in 2002". BAFTA. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Programme Award Winners 2002". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 19 January 2016.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Television in 2003". BAFTA. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Olivier Winners 2003". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  21. ^ "JUST THE LIST: Winners and Nominees of the 2009 Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  22. ^ "British Comedy Awards: Twenty Twelve to take on The Thick of It". The Daily Telegraph. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  23. ^ "RTS Programme Awards 2013". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Television in 2013". BAFTA. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Television in 2015". BAFTA. Retrieved 19 January 2016.

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