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Katy Brand

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Katy Brand
Katy Brand at 2017 Freedom of Expression Awards.jpg
Brand hosts the 2017 Freedom of Expression Awards
Katherine Frances Brand

1979 (age 41–42) England
Alma materKeble College, Oxford
OccupationActress, comedian, television writer
Years active2001–present
TelevisionBig Ass Show

Katherine Frances Brand (born 1979), known as Katy Brand, is an English actress, comedian and writer, known for her ITV2 series Katy Brand's Big Ass Show[1][2] and for Comedy Lab Slap on Channel 4.

Early life and education[edit]

Brand was born in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1979, and enjoyed making people laugh with her impressions as a young child.[3]

Brand attended St Clement Danes School. Following a summer holiday at 13 with friends who were evangelical Christians she embraced their faith and attended church five times a week.[4]

Motivated to read theology at Keble College, Oxford,[5][6] she then lost her religious beliefs while a student.[7][3] Interviewed for the Evening Standard in 2007, she commented: "After about a year, I realised it was mostly rubbish and that things are never as simple as they seem when you are 13".[4]

While at Oxford, she started to write and perform comedy, musicals and serious plays, joining the Oxford Revue and the university's dramatic society.[3]


After graduation, Brand did not work as a performer, gaining employment in television production for five years instead,[3] but her social encounters with university contemporaries ultimately convinced her to try working as a comedian.[8] In 2004 she wrote a comedy monologue, performing it around a few pubs in London before joining Ealing Live, a weekly live spot.[3]

Brand established her name with her solo stand-up act at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005.[3]

In 2008, she collaborated with Katherine Parkinson, one of her friends from university,[9] on a BBC Radio 4 series called Mouth Trap.[10]

Brand performed in Katy Brand's Big Ass Tour 2010.[11] She also competed on Let's Dance for Sport Relief in 2010, in which she danced to Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)".[12] Also in 2010, she made a guest appearance on the song "Stop Giving Me Verses" by The Hoosiers, which was an attempt to break the world record for longest single ever released.[13]

In 2011, Brand took part in the BBC Learning project "Off By Heart Shakespeare", where she played the role of Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and delivered a performance of the speech "Out of this wood do not desire to go".[14]

In 2011 she guest-hosted a Children in Need special episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks,[15] and has participated in several other episodes of the show.[16][17] In December 2012 she participated in the 2012 Christmas Special of the dance show, Strictly Come Dancing. Her partner was Anton du Beke; they came second to last.[18]

Brand presented the Penguin Podcast for Penguin Books until February 2021,[19] which included interviews with authors such as Michael Morpurgo (War Horse), Markus Zusak (The Book Thief) and Gabourey Sidibe.[20]

She published her debut novel Brenda Monk is Funny in 2014, a story about a woman trying to establish a career as a comedian.[3] Her debut play 3Women starring Anita Dobson opened at Trafalgar Studios 2 in May 2018 and is published by Samuel French.[20] Her latest book I Carried a Watermelon was published by HaperCollins Publishers in October 2019.[21]

In March 2020, she took the role of Miss Hedge in the West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.[22]

As of February 2021, the comedy feature film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, scripted by Brand, starring Emma Thompson and directed by Sophie Hyde, is in the pre-production stage.[23][24][25][26]


In 2008 she won "Best Female Newcomer" in the 2008 British Comedy Awards.[27] and was also nominated for a Royal Television Society Award the same year.


Year Project Role Notes
2006 Comedy Lab: Slap (TV) Channel 4
Tittybangbang (TV) Various BBC Three
Hyperdrive (TV) Alien 2 BBC Two
Casualty (TV) Jill Grainger BBC One
Comedy Cuts (TV) Various ITV2
Under One Roof (TV) Various Writer, alongside James Bachman
Touch Me, I'm Karen Taylor Various BBC Three
2007 Peep Show (TV) Lucy Channel 4
Katy Brand's Big Ass Show (TV) Various ITV2
Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive Debbie BBC Three
2008 Headcases (TV) Various ITV
Placebo (TV) BBC Three
2009 Good Arrows Big Sheila
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Miss Turvey
Let's Dance for Sport Relief (TV) Herself Danced to "Single Ladies" by Beyoncé
Argumental (TV) Herself Dave (TV Channel)
The Bubble (TV) Herself BBC Two
Mongrels (TV) Kali BBC Three
Katy Brand vs...[28] Herself ITV2
Never Mind the Buzzcocks (TV) Herself BBC Two
Ask Rhod Gilbert (TV) Herself BBC One
2011 Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask Herself Dave
2014 Walking on Sunshine[29] Lil Vertigo Films
2015 Mapp and Lucia (TV) Hermione Pillson BBC One
2016 Hank Zipzer (TV) Kathleen Murray CBBC, one episode "Zipzers and Aliens"
2019 Midsomer Murders (TV) Jemima Starling ITV, one episode "The Miniature Murders "
2020 Paintball Massacre


  1. ^ TVGuide. "Katy Brand's Big Ass Show at ITV". Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  2. ^ Shelley, Jim (September 2008). "Mirror article". Mirror article. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Christie, Janet (9 June 2014). "Katy Brand on her debut novel and romcom musicals". The Scotsman. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b Dessau, Bruce (19 October 2007). "Is Katy Brand the new Catherine Tate?". Evening Standard. Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  5. ^ Sherwin, Adam (22 August 2008). "People: Katy Brand; Anne Hathaway; Madonna". The Times. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Bright Lights at St James'" (PDF). The Brick. 2002. p. 8.
  7. ^ "Stage: What Katy did", Oxford Mail, 20 May 2010
  8. ^ "Comedy: Katy Brand at The Cresset", Peterborough Telegraph, 9 April 2010
  9. ^ Harries, Rhiannon (20 December 2009). "How We Met: Katherine Parkinson & Katy Brand". The Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  10. ^ Chisholm, Kate (31 May 2008). "Space odyssey; ARTS - Radio". The Spectator. p. 54.
  11. ^ "Katy Brand's official website". Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  12. ^ The Final - Katy Brand - Let's Dance for Sport Relief on YouTube (14 March 2010, BBC One)
  13. ^ Porter, Alice (28 July 2010). "The Hoosiers ready 'longest pop song ever to be released in the UK'". MusicRadar. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Schools - Teachers - Off By Heart Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream "Out of this wood do not desire to go"". BBC. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  15. ^ Never Mind the Buzzcocks: Children in Need Special at IMDb
  16. ^ "Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Series 22, Episode 9". BBC Two. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  17. ^ "Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Series 24, Episode 3". BBC Two. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Christmas Special 2012: Strictly Come Dancing". Series 10: Episode 26 of 26. Series 10. 25 December 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  19. ^ "The Penguin Podcast on Acast". acast. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Curtis Brown". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  21. ^ "I Carried a Watermelon by Katy Brand | Waterstones". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Katy Brand". Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Good Luck To You, Leo Grande". Cornerstone Films. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  24. ^ "Sophie Hyde to direct Emma Thompson in UK sex comedy". IF Magazine. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  25. ^ "Emma Thompson to Star in Sophie Hyde's 'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande'". Variety. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  26. ^ "Emma Thompson set to star in Sophie Hyde's new feature, Good Luck to You Leo Grande". Closer Productions. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  27. ^ "British Comedy Awards". Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  28. ^ "Katy Brand vs". Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  29. ^ "WALKING ON SUNSHINE (12A)". Vertigo Films. British Board of Film Classification. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.

External links[edit]