Katherine Jane Parkinson
9 March 1978
|Education||St Hilda's College, Oxford|
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Katherine Jane Parkinson (born 9 March 1978) is an English actress. She appeared in Channel 4's The IT Crowd comedy series as Jen Barber, for which she received a British Comedy Best TV Actress Award in 2009 and 2014, and was nominated twice for the BAFTA Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance, winning in 2014. Parkinson studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and has appeared on stage in the plays The Seagull (2007), Cock (2009), and Home, I'm Darling (2018), for which she was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Parkinson was also a main cast member of the series Doc Martin for three series (2005–2009). She co-starred in all three series of Humans, a science-fiction drama on AMC/Channel 4, which aired from 2015 until 2018. She has also appeared in the films The Boat That Rocked (2009) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018).
Parkinson was born on 9 March 1978 in Hounslow, London, to an English mother and Northern Irish father, the historian Alan Parkinson. She grew up in Tolworth and Surbiton, and studied at Tiffin Girls' School before reading classics at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She then studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, although she left before graduating in order to star in the play The Age of Consent, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001.
While working on Doc Martin, she was asked by her LAMDA friend Chris O'Dowd to audition for the comedy series The IT Crowd as the show was having trouble casting a female lead. In an interview with The Independent, Parkinson said that the show‘s creator Graham Linehan originally wanted Jen to be "likeable" but that "I know what he wanted now – he wanted her to be the more normal person people could relate to." The IT Crowd premiered in 2006 and ran for four series, ending in 2014. While the character served as a straight man to the two main male characters, Parkinson's performance was well received by critics and audiences, with her being nominated for the BAFTA Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance in 2011. She went on to win the award in 2014.
She also contributed sketch characters to Katy Brand's ITV2 show Katy Brand's Big Ass Show (2007-2009), having been friends with Brand since their time at university. At the end of 2009, she appeared in the Olivier award winning play Cock at the Royal Court Theatre with Ben Whishaw and Andrew Scott.
She has performed several times on BBC Radio 4, including on Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking; Mouth Trap, which she also co-wrote with Brand; and The Odd Half Hour. She also featured in television advertisements for Maltesers alongside fellow actress and comedian Amanda Abbington.
Parkinson played Sophie, one of the lead roles along with Mark Heap in BBC Four's three-part comedy series The Great Outdoors (2010). In 2010 and 2011, she appeared in two plays: Season's Greetings at the National Theatre; and as Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal at the Barbican Centre. That same year, she appeared in The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, which premiered on BBC Two in 2011; and in 2012 she made a guest appearance as Kitty Riley in "The Reichenbach Fall", the second series finale of the series Sherlock.
In 2012 and 2013, she played the roles of Diana in Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter Theatre, and Laura in Before the Party at the Almeida Theatre, respectively. In 2014, Parkinson appeared in "Sardines", the first episode of the anthology series Inside No. 9, alongside Ben Willbond, as well as the miniseries The Honourable Woman, which aired in the UK on BBC Two and in the USA on SundanceTV.
In 2015 she starred in the BBC One comedy series The Kennedys, written by Emma Kennedy about growing up on a Stevenage estate in the 1970s. She also played one of the lead roles in all three series of the British-American science fiction series Humans, which aired on Channel 4 and AMC between 2015 and 2018.
In 2016 Parkinson performed in the stage play Dead Funny at the Vaudeville Theatre. In 2018 and 2019 she performed in Home, I'm Darling, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, as well as in Defending the Guilty, a legal sitcom which aired for one series on BBC Two and was subsequently renewed for a second, before being cancelled due to coronavirus.
In 2019, Parkinson's debut work as a playwright, Sitting, had its London premiere, following a month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The play was well reviewed, with The Guardian writing "Parkinson delicately reveals connections that, by the end, give the play a wistful emotional weight." Parkinson adapted the play for BBC Four in early 2021.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2022)
|2006||Hard to Swallow||Katie|
|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|
|2014||Britain Isn't Eating||Marion / Sarah|
|2018||The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society||Isola|
|2019||Radioactive||Emma Jeanne Desfosses|
|2019||How to Fake a War||Kate Hemings|
|2021||Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break||Clemmie|
|2022||The Nan Movie||Nell Taylor|
|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 & Christmas special|
|The IT Crowd||Jen Barber||British Comedy Award for Best Television Comedy Actress|
Nominated – BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance
Winner of BAFTA award Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme 2014
|2007||Fear, Stress & Anger||Gemma|
|2007||Christmas at the Riviera||Vanessa|
|2007–2009||Katy Brand's Big Ass Show||Various Characters|
|2009||Jonathan Creek||Nicola||Episode: "The Grinning Man"|
|2009||The Old Guys||Amber|
|2010||The Great Outdoors||Sophie|
|2011||Comedy Showcase||Pip||Episode: "Coma Girl"|
|2011||The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff||Conceptiva|
|2012||Sherlock||Kitty Riley||Episode: "The Reichenbach Fall"|
|2012-2015||Would I Lie to You?||Herself||Series 5 Episode 3
Series 9 Episode 2
|2013||Love Matters||Jo Pepper||Episode: "Officially Special"|
|2014||The Honourable Woman||Rachel Stein|
|2014||Inside No. 9||Rebecca||Episode: "Sardines"|
|2014||Crackanory||Storyteller||Second Series – Episode 3 "The Crisis Plan"|
Episode: "Which Universe Are We In?"
|2014–2016||In the Club||Kim Hall|
|2015–2018||Humans||Laura Hawkins||Lead role|
|2015||The Kennedys||Brenda Kennedy||Lead role|
|2017||Urban Myths||Ange||Episode: "Bob Dylan: Knockin' on Dave's Door"|
|2018||Hang Ups||Karen Muller|
|2019||Defending the Guilty||Caroline Bratt||Lead role|
|2020||Pandemonium||Rachel Jessop||One-off BBC One comedy (pilot episode of Here We Go)|
|2021||Sitting||Mary||TV adaption of Parkinson's 2018 stage play for BBC Four|
|2021||Spreadsheet||Lauren||Lead role. Australian streaming television comedy series from Paramount+|
|2021||Hitmen||Kat Gaitskill||Series two; Sky comedy series|
|2022||Travel Man||Herself||Travel documentary|
|Here We Go||Rachel Jessop||BBC One comedy|
|2004||A Certain Smile||Catherine|
|Good Times Role||Patient|
|2008||The Odd Half Hour|
|2008||Mouth Trap||Writer, performer|
|2010||Sarah Millican's Support Group||Kim|
|2011||The Lost Weekend|
|2011||The Drover of Clissold Common|
|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||Worms Clan Wars||Tara Pinkle||Narrator|
|2014||Worms Battlegrounds||Tara Pinkle||Narrator|
- Cavendish, Dominic (29 March 2013). "Katherine Parkinson: interview". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Katherine Parkinson". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
- "Winner Katherine Parkinson – The IT Crowd". BAFTA Television Awards. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Katherine Parkinson interview: Sherlock actress on likeability and". Independent.co.uk. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- "Katherine Parkinson: interview". The Telegraph. 29 March 2013.
- Bruce Dessau (28 December 2007). "Big in 2008: Comedy". Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Katherine Parkinson – Classics, 1996". St Hilda's College University of Oxford. University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Katherine Parkinson Interview". Channel 4. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Controversy of consent". 8 August 2001. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
- Michael Billington (26 January 2007). "The Seagull, Royal Court, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Harries, Rhiannon (20 December 2009). "How We Met: Katherine Parkinson & Katy Brand". The Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "The Royal Court's Olivier award-winning play Cock by Mike Bartlett to open off-Broadway Spring 2012". Royal Court. 7 October 2011.
- "Mouth trap". BBC Radio 4. 20 May 2008.
- "The Odd Half Hour". BBC Radio 4.
- "The Great Outdoors". BBC Four.
- "BBC One announces the cast for brand new family comedy The Kennedys". BBC. 6 March 2015.
- Haynes, Natalie (4 July 2018). "Home, I'm Darling review – cupcakes, cocktails and fetishising wifeliness". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- "BBC Two commissions Defending the Guilty for a second series". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
- "Defending the Guilty's second series cancelled because of coronavirus - News". British Comedy Guide. 30 March 2021.
- Paskett, Zoe (14 March 2019). "Katherine Parkinson's debut play Sitting will have London premiere at the Arcola Theatre". Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Fisher, Mark (8 August 2018). "Sitting review – art models reveal all in Katherine Parkinson's smart debut" – via www.theguardian.com.
- Richardson, Jay (21 February 2021). "Katherine Parkinson creates BBC Four comedy drama Sitting". www.comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
- Griffin, Louise (29 October 2020). "Taskmaster's Katherine Parkinson descends into madness in bizarre shoe task". Metro. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
- "Dog Meat Trifle". Taskmaster. Season 10. 17 December 2020. Channel 4.
- Belotti, Alex (14 March 2013). "Hollywood's lure doesn't work on laughter-loving Katherine Parkinson". Hampstead & Highgate Express. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- "Soundtrack Of My Life: Katherine Parkinson". NME. 14 May 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
- "The Winners – 2009". British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Female Performance in a Comedy Programme 2010". British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
- "Whites". BBC Two.
- "Sherlock". BBC One.
- "Pandemonium". radiotimes.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
- "Travel Man". channel4.com. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
- "Here We Go: Meet the cast of the new BBC comedy series". bbc.co.uk/mediacentre. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
- Gibbons, Fiachra (7 August 2001). "The Age of Consent". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- "Age of Consent". UK Theatre Archive. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Frame 312 (Play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Johann Hari (12 August 2002). "Edinburgh festival – Sex and violence". New Statesman. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Archive for Camille at Lyric Theatre Hammersmith". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "The Riot Act (play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- John Highfield (1 November 2004). "The Unthinkable". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Archive for Cigarettes and Chocolate/Hang up at the Kings Head Theatre". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Aleks Sierz (26 April 2004). "Flush". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Michael Billington (20 February 2006). "Other Hands, Soho Theatre, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "The Lightning Play". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Cock at the Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Ian Shuttleworth (13 December 2010). "Season's Greetings, National Theatre (Lyttelton), London". Theatre and Dance. FT.com. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "The School for Scandal". Barbican Centre. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "66 – Sixty Six Books". Bush Theatre. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Charles Spencer (10 February 2012). "Absent Friends, Harold Pinter Theatre, Review". The Telegraph.
- "Before the Party – cast". Almeida Theatre. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Dominic Cavendish (29 March 2013). "Before the Party, Almeida Theatre, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Home Im Darling | National Theatre". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. 11 April 2018.
- Akbar, Arifa (31 July 2019). "Uncle Vanya review – Rupert Everett is flamboyant in Hare's comic Chekhov". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
- "Shoe Lady". Royal Court.
- Katherine Parkinson at IMDb
- Dan Collacott & Imran Mirza (22 August 2010). "Interview with comedy siren Katherine Parkinson". liberationfrequency.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 July 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- "Agency profile: Katherine Parkinson". curtisbrown.co.uk.
- "Katherine Parkinson Interview". The IT Crowd. Channel 4. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Katherine Parkinson". United Agents. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2014.