Nikki Amuka-Bird

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Nikki Amuka-Bird (born 1976) is a Nigerian-born British actress of the stage, television and film.

Early life[edit]

Nikki Amuka-Bird was born in Delta, Nigeria, where her father still lives. She left there as a young child with her mother and was brought up in England and in Antigua. Attending boarding school in Britain, Amuka-Bird originally hoped to be a dancer. That ambition was thwarted by injury:

"I hurt my back and at that point was deciding what to do university-wise and I thought I would try for drama college because I knew you could do some dancing there but it didn’t have to take over everything. It was only really when I went to drama college that that world [acting] opened up to me and I fell in love with it and became obsessed like everybody else.”[1]

She went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and subsequently performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).


Amuka-Bird's theatrical credits include Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre); Twelfth Night (Bristol Old Vic, for which she won an Ian Charleson Award nomination in 2004 for playing Viola);[1] World Music (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, and Donmar Warehouse); Top Girls (Oxford Stage Company); A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and The Servant of Two Masters (RSC); Doubt: A Parable (Tricycle Theatre).

Her film credits include The Omen (2006 remake), Cargo, Almost Heaven as well as the screen adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's novel The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.[2] On television, Amuka-Bird has appeared in Spooks, The Line of Beauty, The Last Enemy, Robin Hood, Torchwood, and a recurring role in the reimagined BBC apocalyptic series Survivors. In 2010 she appeared as Det. Supt Gaynor Jenkins in the BBC's Silent Witness.

She appeared in Small Island, the BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy's award-winning novel, broadcast in December 2009.[3] In June 2016 it was announced that she and Phoebe Fox would star in the production of Zadie Smith's novel NW.[4] It was broadcast on BBC2 on 14 November 2016[5][6] and Amuka-Bird received a BAFTA for Best Actress.

On Christmas Day 2017 she was heard as the voice of the Glass Woman in the Doctor Who Christmas Special "Twice Upon a Time" broadcast on BBC1 and around the world.

Personal life[edit]

In 2003, Amuka-Bird married actor Geoffrey Streatfeild, whom she met while touring with the RSC in Japan.[citation needed] The marriage lasted seven years. [7]


Film and television credits
Title Duration Role Notes
Hard Sun 2018 Grace Morrigan Main character
Doctor Who 2017 The Testimony (voice)/Helen Clay 1 episode “Twice Upon a Time
NW 2016 Natalie BBC 2
Inside No. 9 2015 Joanne Series 2, episode 4, "Cold Comfort"
Jupiter Ascending 2015 Diomika Tsing
House of Fools 2014 Fiona 1 episode
Death in Paradise 2014 Anna Jackson 1 episode
Lovesick 2014 Anna Channel 4 series
Sinbad 2012 The Professor Sky 1 TV series
Episode: "For Whom the Egg Shatters"
Luther 2011–13 Det. Sgt/Det. Chief Inspector Erin Gray (Series 2, Series 3) BBC One TV series
Small Island 2009 Celia BBC One
Survivors 2008–10 Samantha Willis MP Notes
BBC One TV series
The Disappeared 2008 Shelley Cartwright Notes
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency 2008 Alice Busang Notes
The Last Enemy 2008 Susan Ross TV mini-series
Torchwood 2008 Beth Halloran/Sleeper Agent 1 episode
The Whistleblowers 2007 Helen Errol 1 episode
Five Days 2007 PC Simone Farnes TV mini-series
Born Equal 2006 Itshe Notes
Robin Hood 2006 Abbess 1 episode
Spooks 2006 Michelle Lopez 1 episode
The Omen 2006 Dr. Becker
The Line of Beauty 2006 Rosemary Charles 2 episodes
Shoot the Messenger 2006 Heather Notes
The True Voice of Prostitution 2006
Cargo 2006 Subira
Silent Witness 2005–10 Det Supt Gaynor Jenkins, SImone Campbell BBC One TV series
Casualty @ Holby City 2005 Moji Muzenda 3 episodes
Holby City 1999–2005 various 3 episodes
Casualty 2005 Moji Muzenda 1 episode
Afterlife 2005 Sandra Petch 1 episode
Almost Heaven 2005 Rosie
Murder Prevention 2004 Gemma 1 episode
Bad Girls 2003–04 Paula Miles 8 episodes
Canterbury Tales 2003 Constance Musa 1 episode
Doctors 2000 Nurse 1 episode
Safe as Houses 2000 Carole
Forgive and Forget 2000 Emma
The Bill 1999 Doreen West 1 episode
Grafters 1998 Martha TV mini-series


External links[edit]