|Born||4 July 1966|
Louth, Lincolnshire, England
|Occupation||Actress, impressionist, author|
Veronica (Ronni) Jane Ancona (born 4 July 1966) is a British actress, comedian, impressionist and writer best known to British audiences for The Big Impression (formerly Alistair McGowan's Big Impression), which she co-wrote and starred in and was, for four years, one of BBC1's top-rated comedy programmes – winning numerous awards, including a BAFTA in 2003. Ancona also starred in series 1 of the BAFTA winning ITV ‘The Sketch Show’. Ancona has appeared in the BAFTA winning Last Tango in Halifax since its creation in 2012, and up until the present day. She is the director alongside Sally Phillips & Nick Hamson, to their production company: Captain Dolly.
Ancona was born in Louth, Lincolnshire, but moved to Scotland when she was a few days old. and was mostly brought up in Troon, Scotland. She is of Italian Jewish descent. Her father was a commander in the Royal Navy and her mother was an artist who painted the sets at the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr and the Theatre Royal in Glasgow. Ancona is the youngest of three children, with two older brothers. In the BBC television programme Comedy Map of Britain she returned to her old school in Troon and talked about her earliest comedy performing experience as part of an improvisation group called Pots People.
She attended University of Kent at Canterbury to study film and then did a degree in theatre & TV design at Saint Martin's School of Art. She was once featured on Before They Were Famous, when at 19, Blue Peter did an item on a play about Brecht she was performing in and designing for at Riverside Studios while at St Martin's. Ancona then attended the Institute of Education, University College London and became a qualified teacher in art, design & technology & drama. Whilst working as a teacher, Ancona's comedy career started on the comedy circuit when she won the Time Out Hackney Empire New Act of the Year in 1993.
For many years Ancona worked extensively in radio and on television shows, such as Fist of Fun, as well as performing stand-up comedy. She co-wrote and performed in shows such as Comedy Nation, Pulp Video, and The Sketch Show alongside Lee Mack. Many of these sketches have since gone viral on TikTok. From then on, her career blossomed, establishing her name as a top comedian and comedy actress when she joined fellow impressionist Alistair McGowan, to create the show The Big Impression. The show was one of BBC1's top-rating comedy programmes for four years, making Ancona a household name as well as winning multiple awards such as the Variety Club Comedy Award for their work on BAFTA winning The Big Impression and in 2003 she won ‘Best Actress’ at the British Comedy Awards. McGowan and Ancona are probably best known for their portrayal of Posh and Becks with McGowan as David Beckham and Ancona in the role of Victoria Beckham., although many of her other impressions such as Olivia Colman, Nigella Lawson, Audrey Hepburn, Lorraine Kelly, Barbara Windsor, amongst many others, became legendary. Before The Big Impression, Ancona and McGowan first worked together on their TV series; The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand De Bargos, for which they re-voiced old footage, and the sports comedy show, Standing Room Only.
She has appeared seven times on the BBC celebrity panel show QI and has won episode four of series D ('Dictionaries') in October 2006, first episode of series F in November 2008 ('Family') and won on the women's team with Sandi Toksvig in January 2010. Ancona won again in 2017, Series N Episode 13.
In 2007, following a successfully received pilot, the BBC commissioned a new comedy sketch series titled Ronni Ancona & Co consisting of her own material and co-starring Phil Cornwell, Jan Ravens and John Sessions. The show initially aired on 25 May 2007 and had three episodes.
She appeared as the mother of Katie and Emily Fitch in the third (2009) and fourth (2010) series of Skins. In 2009 she appeared in Hope Springs on BBC 1 - she was one of eight main cast members. On 24 July 2009, Ancona appeared on The One Show, and she appeared on it again, with Alistair McGowan, on 16 October 2009.
In 2009 Ancona's first book A Matter of Life And Death: How To Wean A Man Off Football was published by Faber & Faber. As part of BBC's Big Read she promoted The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
In 2016, Ancona played the role of Mrs Fletcher, the manager of a local care home in the seventh series of the Scottish comedy Still Game. In 2016, Ancona also made a guest appearance in an episode of the long running television series Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (Series 6, episode 10) - her partner in the episode was antiques expert James Braxton.
In April 2017 Ancona appeared as a guest on ITV's The Nightly Show presented by Jason Manford in which they both performed impersonations of famous people and each tasked with identifying the impersonation while visually screened from each other. During this, the audience were made more visually aware of the person being impersonated by the use of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).
Ancona’s first feature role was in 1996 when she played Valerie’s sister in The Debt Collector, with lead Billy Connolly as Nickie Dryden. Shot around the City of Edinburgh, with its coarse language and criminal underclass, we see the wrath of spite, hate, jealousy, and violent vengeance all in the final showdown of justice, and with it, its uncompromising final debt to society.
In 2004, Ancona was also cast in Stella Street: The Movie, after Peter Richardson, John Sessions and Phil Cornwell decided to make the TV comedy programme into a feature film after the 4th series, with the show taking form of a mockumentary filmed on a camcorder. Ancona was added to the team to play numerous female celebrities, including; Tara / Madonna / Posh Spice / Penelope Cruz / Jerry Hall / Vicar's Wife / Check-out Girl / Stephanie Giraffe / Jenny Saddler.
In 2005, Ancona played the role of Anita in Michael Winterbottom's A Cock and Bull Story; an adaption of Laurence Sterne’s novel “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentlemen". It also starred Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Keeley Hawes and Gillian Anderson.
Ancona took the role as Wanda, a matchmaker, in the 2006 fantasy romantic comedy, Penelope. The film also stars Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, Richard E. Grant, and Reese Witherspoon.
In 2013, Ancona was cast as Mrs Spencer in The Devil Went Down to Islington, a horror film following two hapless Londoners who sell their souls to Satan.
The Trip to Italy is a 2014 British film written and directed by Michael Winterbottom. It is the sequel of Winterbottom's TV series The Trip, and similarly stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s fictionalised versions of themselves. Ancona plays the character Donna, Rob Brydon’s agent in the feature.
Fatal Attraction director, James Dearden shot the 2018 feature; Surviving Christmas with The Relatives, which Ancona plays Vicky alongside Gemma Whelan, Joely Richardson, Patricia Hodge, Sally Phillips and Julian Ovenden.
Her first theatre role was in Misonceptions in 1996, a comedy play she co-wrote with Alan Francis and directed by Anthony Nielson.
She then played the gold-digging temptress Belline in Molière's The Hypochondriac in a new version by Richard Bean alongside Carey Mulligan & Henry Goodman. The play received favourable reviews and was given 4 * by Michael Billington for The Guardian stating, it was a “hilarious new version”.
Ancona returns to the Almeida to lead the play Little Revolution, following the 2011 London riots. Ancona co-stars alongside Game Of Thrones’ Lucian Msamati and Sense And Sensibility’s Imogen Stubbs.
In June 2015, Ancona was cast to play the role of Paula, in the new West End musical Bend It Like Beckham due to open in the Phoenix Theatre. Unfortunately, after signing up, her eldest daughter fell ill causing her to pull out of the play.
Ancona co-wrote The Big Impression, which won numerous awards including a BAFTA in 2003, she was also nominated for The Best Comedy Newcomer in 2000 and The Best Comedy actress in 2002, as well as winning The Best TV comedy Actress in 2003. Ancona and McGowan also received The Variety Club Comedy Award in 2002.
Ancona has also been awarded with The Maxim Women of the Year Award (Comedy Actress Winner) in 2002 and The Glamour Woman of the Year Award (Funny Woman award) in 2004.
Nominee - The Best Comedy Newcomer - 2000 (Big Impression)
Winner - Broadcast Award - 2001
Nominee – The best comedy Actress - 2002 (Big Impression)
Winner - The Variety Club Comedy Award - 2002
Winner - TRIC – New TV Talent of the Year - 2002
Winner - Maxim Women of the Year Award (Comedy Actress Winner) – 2002
Winner - The Best TV Comedy Actress in 2003 (Big Impression)
Winner - Glamour Woman of the Year Award (Funny Woman award) – 2004
Winner - BAFTA – The Sketch Show
Winner- BAFTA – The Big Impression
Ancona had a seven-year relationship with Alistair McGowan which ended shortly before they started working together professionally. Ancona is married to Gerard Hall, a consultant rheumatologist with whom she has two daughters. They live in West London.
In 2020, she set up a production company titled Captain Dolly, alongside Sally Phillips and Nick Hamson as part of Film Soho. Film Soho is the principal company for a series of boutique subsidiaries, encompassing Film and TV content development, production, postproduction, distribution and international sales.
|Pointless Celebrities (Series 13, Episode 24 "Impressionists")||BBC One||2021|
|The Chase (British game show) celebrity special||ITV||2020|
|Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Celebrity Special (Series 35, Christmas Special)||ITV||2020|
|Last Tango in Halifax||BBC One||2012–2020 (15 episodes)|
|Britain's Greatest Comedian||GOLD||2019|
|Strictly Come Dancing||BBC One||2018|
|The Week That Wasn't||Sky One||2018|
|The One Show||BBC One||2018|
|Good Morning Britain||ITV||2018|
|The Imitation Game||ITV||2018|
|Where in the World?||CBeebies||2017|
|The Nightly Show||ITV||2017|
|QI (Series N Episode 13 "Naval Navigation")||BBC One||2017|
|Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (Series 6, Episode 10)||BBC Two||2016|
|Pointless Celebrities (Series 10, "Impressionists")||BBC One||2016|
|Still Game (Series 7 Episode 6 "Down and Out")||BBC One||2016|
|Marriage of Reason and Squalor||Sky Arts||2015|
|Citizen Khan (Series 4 Episode 4 "Chicken Shop")||BBC One||2015|
|Father Brown (Series 3, Episode 8 "The Lair of the Libertines")||BBC One||2015|
|Room 101 (Series 4, Episode 1)||BBC One||2015|
|The Saturday Night Story||BBC One||2015|
|The Trip||BBC Two||2014|
|Portrait Artist of the Year||Sky Arts||2014|
|The Blame Game||BBC One||2014|
|QI (Series L, Episode 11)||BBC Two||2014|
|Pointless Celebrities (Series 6, episode 30 "Comedy Performers")||BBC One||2014|
|Pointless Celebrities (Series 6, episode 12 "Comedy Performers")||BBC One||2014|
|Greatest 80's Movies||Channel 5||2014|
|Sunday Side Up||ITV||2013|
|The Wright Stuff||Channel 5||2013|
|Britain's Secret Homes||ITV||2013|
|Scots on the Box||BBC One||2012|
|Bring Me Morecambe and Wise||GOLD||2012|
|Little Crackers||Sky 1||2012|
|Britain's Funniest Comedy Characters||GOLD||2012|
|Last Tango in Halifax (Series I)||BBC One||2012|
|QI (Series I, Episode 11)||BBC Two||2011|
|Shooting Stars (Series 8)||BBC Two||2011|
|Loose Women (Series 16)||ITV 1||2011|
|Midsomer Murders (Series 13, Episode 8)||ITV 1||2011|
|My Favourite Joke||BBC One||2011|
|The Comic Strip Presents - Barbara Windsor||Channel 4||2011|
|QI (Series H, Episode 15)||BBC One||2011|
|The Big Red Nose Desert Trek||BBC One||2011|
|QI (Series G, Episode 7)||BBC One||2010|
|A Comedy Roast: Sharon Osbourne||Channel 4||2010|
|Stand Up Hero||ITV4||2010|
|Not Again: Not the Nine O'Clock News||BBC Two||2009|
|Steve Coogan: The Inside Story||BBC Two||2009|
|The Grumpy Guide to Christmas||BBC Two||2009|
|Would I Lie To You?||BBC One||2009|
|Bremner, Bird & Fortune||Channel 4||2009|
|The One Show||BBC One||2009|
|The One Show||BBC One||2009|
|QI (Series F, Episode 1)||BBC Two||2008|
|Ronni Ancona & Co||BBC||2008|
|TV Heaven, Telly Hell||Channel 4||2007|
|Richard & Judy||Channel 4||2007|
|The New Paul O'Grady Show||ITV||2007|
|Comic Relief 2007||BBC One||2007|
|The Comedy Map of Britain||BBC Two||2007|
|Agatha Christie's Marple||ITV||2007|
|Hotel Babylon||BBC One||2007|
|QI (Series D, Episode 4)||BBC Four||2006|
|Have I Got News For You (Series 32, episode 6)||BBC One||2006|
|The Story of Light Entertainment||BBC Two||2006|
|Britain's Funniest Comedy Character||GOLD||2006|
|The Secret Policeman's Ball||Channel 4||2006|
|Annually Retentive (Series 1, episode 4)||BBC Three||2006|
|Gideon's Daughter||BBC One||2005|
|Return of the Goodie||BBC Two||2005|
|Comic Relief: Red Nose Night Live||BBC One||2005|
|The 100 Greatest Christmas Moments||2004|
|The British Comedy Awards 2004||ITV||2004|
|Today with Des and Mel||ITV||2004|
|Hurrah for Cancer||BBC Three||2004|
|From Bard to Verse||2004|
|Film 2018 (Episode 29)||2004|
|Who Did You Do?||2003|
|The British Comedy Awards 2003||ITV||2003|
|Comic Relief 2003||BBC One||2003|
|Sven and Nancy's Big Impression||BBC One||2003|
|Posh and Becks' Big Impression (Christmas Special)||BBC One||2003|
|The Big Impression (4 series, 3 specials)||BBC One||1999–2005 (BAFTA, British Comedy Award, Royal Variety Club Award)|
|The Key||BBC Two||2003|
|The Big Impression Christmas Special||BBC One||2002|
|Sport Relief||BBC One||2002|
|The Sketch Show||ITV||2001 (BAFTA)|
|Night of a Thousand Faces||2001|
|Friday Night with Jonathon Ross||BBC One||2001|
|Combat Sheep||BBC Two||2001|
|Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible||BBC Two||2001|
|The RDA||BBC One||2000|
|Holby City||BBC One||2000|
|Mark Lamarr Leaving 20th Century||BBC Two||1999|
|Comedy Nation||BBC Two||1998|
|Roger and the Rottentrolls||ITV||1997-2000|
|Space Cadets||Channel 4||1997|
|Pulp Video||BBC Two||1995|
|Fist of Fun||BBC Two||1995–1996|
|Scratchy and Co.||CITV||1995|
|What's Up Doc?||1995|
|The Imaginatively Titled Punt and Dennis Show||BBC One||1994|
|Ben Elton: The Man from Auntie||BBC One||1994|
|That's Showbusiness (Episode 6.27)||BBC One||1994|
|Rory Bremner, Who Else?||Channel 4||1993|
|The Full Monty||ITV||1993|
|Standing Room Only||BBC Two||1991|
|The Comedy Store||BBC One|
|Live at Jongleurs||ITV||1997|
|The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand de Bargos||BBC Two||1989|
|The Devil Went Down to Islington||2019||Mrs. Spencer||Skinned Productions|
|Surviving Christmas with the Relatives||2019||Vicky||Studio Soho Films|
|Show Dogs||2018||Poopsie Chow's Owner||Open Road Films|
|The Trip to Italy||2014||Donna||BBC Films|
|Penelope||2008||Wanda||Dir: Mark Polansky|
|A Cock and Bull Story||2005||Anita||Dir: Michael Winterbottom|
|Stella Street: The Movie||2004||Various Roles||Absolutely Productions|
|The Calcium Kid||2004||Pat Connelly||Calcium Films Ltd|
|The Debt Collector||1999||Valerie's Sister||Channel 4 Films|
|The Prince of Denmark||2016||Gertrude|
|The Early Days||2003||Leela|
|Life, Death & Sex With Mike & Sue||Radio 4|
|The Alan Davies Show||Radio 4|
|The Museum of Curiosity||Radio 4|
|Mum's on the Run||Radio 4|
|Shed Town||Radio 4|
|The Games Up||Radio 5|
|Loose Ends||Radio 4|
|Wild Things||Radio 4|
|And This Is Them|
|Griff Rhys Jones Show||Radio 4|
|Gaby's Talking Pictures||Radio 4|
|1996||Miss Conceptions||Edinburgh Festival|
|2004||Singin' in the Rain||Lina Lamont||Sadler's Wells Theatre, London|
|2005||The Hypochondriac||Belline||Almeida Theatre, London|
|2014||Little Revolution||Jane / various||Almeida Theatre|
|2015||The Tale of Mr Tumble||Unsmiling Principle||Manchester Opera House|
|Carry On Chilcot|
|2019||Just Checking In|
|The Week That Wasn't|
|Ronni Ancona & Co|
|Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show|
|The Sketch Show|
|The Big Impression|
|Standing Room Only|
|Just Checking In|
|Posh & Beck's Big Impression: Behind the Scenes & Extra Bits|
|Glamour Woman of the Year Award (Funny woman Award)||2004||WINNER|
|The Best TV Comedy Actress||2003||WINNER|
|The Best Comedy Actress||2002||NOMINEE|
|Television and Radio Industry Award||2002||WINNER|
|The Variety Club Comedy Award||2002||WINNER|
|TRIC (New TV Talent of the Year)||2002||WINNER|
|Maxim Women of the Year Award (Comedy Actress)||2002||WINNER|
|BAFTA (The Sketch Show)||WINNER|
|BAFTA (The Big Impression)||WINNER|
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