Sally Phillips

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Sally Elizabeth Phillips
Born (1969-05-10) 10 May 1969 (age 51)
EducationWycombe Abbey
Alma materNew College, Oxford
OccupationActress
Spouse(s)
Andrew Bermejo
(m. 2003; div. 2017)
Children3

Sally Elizabeth Phillips (born 10 May 1969)[citation needed] is an English actress, television presenter and comedian. She co-created and was one of the writers of the sketch comedy show Smack the Pony. She is also known for her roles in Miranda as Tilly, I'm Alan Partridge as Sophie, Parents as Jenny Pope, Set the Thames on Fire as Colette in 2015 and her guest appearances as the fictional Finnish Prime Minister Minna Häkkinen in the US TV series Veep. Phillips also co-starred in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as Mrs Bennet, and in the role of Shazza in all three films of the Bridget Jones franchise.

Since 2004, Phillips has played the title role in the BBC Radio 4 comedy show Clare in the Community. Since 2018, she has been curator of The Museum of Curiosity on the Radio 4 comedy programme of that name.

Early life[edit]

Phillips was born in British Hong Kong; her father Tim, later chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club,[1] was an executive with British Airways. Following her father's job, she grew up in the Far East, the Middle East, Italy and Australia. Aged 13 she was sent to board at Wycombe Abbey School, where she studied for both O Levels and A Levels.[2]

She then studied Italian and linguistics at New College, Oxford. Whilst there, she joined the Oxford Revue, playing mostly male parts, alongside contemporaries including Stewart Lee and Richard Herring (who went on to have their own television show, Fist of Fun, in which Phillips appeared as "the girl who smells of Spam"). She then co-wrote and performed the one-woman show Benadetta, the Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy, based on a true story. Phillips appeared in the 1990 Oxford Revue THRASH which also starred Ed Smith.[2]

After graduating with a first class degree, Phillips applied to write a PhD on the Spaghetti Western, but changed her mind and ended up studying drama with the Théâtre de Complicité.[2]

Career[edit]

Phillips performed at nine consecutive Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, appearing in shows including Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Arthur Smith's version of Hamlet (as Ophelia) and Cluub Zarathustra with Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee, Richard Thomas, Julian Barratt and Lori Lixenburg. Her first television role was in Lee and Herring's Fist of Fun in 1994, followed shortly after by a cameo in Alas Smith and Jones with Mel Smith. In 1995, Phillips played the role of a reporter in the unbroadcast pilot of Chris Morris's spoof series Brass Eye, which at that point was called Torque TV, but she did not appear in the series itself. She had a role as a "Travel Tavern" receptionist in I'm Alan Partridge (1997).

Phillips had a starring role in the short-lived 1999 British comedy series Hippies (with Simon Pegg and Julian Rhind-Tutt), and also co-created and wrote Smack the Pony, a double Emmy Award-winning comedy show, for which she was nominated for best female newcomer at the 1999 British Comedy Awards. Phillips also featured in Eddie Izzard's sitcom Cows.

In 2001, she took the starring role in the David Nicholl's series Rescue Me for BBC 1. She also played cameo roles in Mean Machine, Birthday Girl and Born Romantic and wrote episodes for the animation Bob and Margaret.

In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. She appeared in Bridget Jones's Diary as "Shazza", previously auditioning for Bridget; the character was based upon the film's director, Sharon Maguire.

In 2004, she took the title role in the BBC radio sitcom Clare in the Community which ended after 74 episodes in 2019. In August 2005, she returned to the stage after a long absence, in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest at the Oxford Playhouse. In 2006, she appeared in the Australian comedy feature BoyTown; on television, she appeared as Clare Winchester in the BBC2 science fiction comedy Hyperdrive.

In the second series of Green Wing, Phillips played the character of Holly, whose appearance threatens the blossoming relationship between Mac (Julian Rhind-Tutt) and Caroline (Tamsin Greig). Between 2006 and 2009, she had a recurring role in the BBC's comedy Jam & Jerusalem as Natasha "Tash" Vine, a scatterbrained New Ager.

In 2009, Phillips took the role of Tilly in Miranda as Miranda Hart's character's irritating upper class friend. The series found critical success and Phillips remained a part of the show throughout its duration, from 2009 to 2015.

She also had a guest star part in E4's Skins, series 3 playing Pandora's mother.

In 2009, Phillips won a British Film Council screenwriting competition for her film Fag Mountain. Her first feature film script, The Decoy Bride, started production in spring 2010. Phillips appeared in a supporting role in the film, playing Emma, a Hollywood assistant. The film was released in February 2012, premièring first on cable television and as a digital download, and then had a limited theatrical release.

In December 2010, she appeared in the BBC1 drama Accidental Farmer.

In 2012, she played the lead role in the Sky 1 comedy Parents and also appeared in the CBeebies television series Justin's House. The same year she also appeared with Justin Fletcher in the role of Mr Tumble in Something Special, in one episode (series 5) with her son in which they take a trip to the beach at Brighton.[3]

She made two episodes of series 3 of the Dave maths and comedy series, Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums in 2014, in which she was set various maths-based physical challenges. In America, Phillips has made five appearances in the HBO comedy series Veep as Minna Häkkinen, a fictional Finnish prime minister.

In 2014, she narrated the first series of The Supervet on Channel 4.

During 2015, Phillips appeared in several TV shows, notably House of Fools and Death in Paradise. Phillips has also appeared in the comedy Burn Burn Burn as Ingrid, a main character, and also the TV movie Distinguished Ladies in which she plays the lead role of Bianca.

Phillips appeared in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) as Mrs Bennet, and as Shazza in Bridget Jones's Baby.

In 2016, she presented the one-off BBC documentary A World Without Down's Syndrome?, which examined the potential impact of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

In 2017, she competed in series 5 of Taskmaster against Bob Mortimer, Aisling Bea, Nish Kumar and Mark Watson finishing runner-up to the eventual winner Mortimer. She appeared in All Star Musicals and Tim Vine Travels in Time in December 2017.

In 2018, she played the scatty new night manager Lou in Trollied.

In 2020, she played Gibby in Channel 4's sitcom Friday Night Dinner.

Personal life[edit]

When appearing on the panel show Q.I. in 2020, Phillips told the story of being hospitalized from salmonella in 2002 on a charity trip to Mexico. She revealed the illness led to a brain infection that caused neurological symptoms and took months to recover from.

Phillips is a Christian.[4] She was married to Andrew Bermejo for 14 years and has three sons from their marriage, one with Down syndrome.[5]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Notting Hill Caroline Uncredited
2001 Birthday Girl Karen
Mean Machine Tracey
Bridget Jones's Diary Sharon "Shazza"
2004 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Sharon "Shazza"
Gladiatress Worthaboutapig
2011 The Decoy Bride Emma Also writer
2015 Set the Thames on Fire Colette
2016 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Mrs Bennet
Bridget Jones's Baby Sharon "Shazza"
The Rizen The Suited Woman
2017 Ferdinand Greta (Voice)
2017 You, Me and Him Amy
2018 The More You Ignore Me Marie Henty [6]
2019 The Rizen: Possessio The Suited Woman Post-production[7]
2019 Surviving Christmas Miriam Filming
2019 Blinded by the Light Mrs Anderson

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Smith & Jones Episode #8.1, #8.3
1995–1996 Fist of Fun Various 7 episodes
1997 I'm Alan Partridge Sophie 6 episodes
1998 Holding the Baby Laura
1998 In the Red Jemma White 3 episodes
1999 Hippies Jill Sprint 6 episodes
1999–2003 Smack the Pony Various characters Also writer
2000 The Junkies Sal Short
2002 Rescue Me Katie Nash
2005-2006 Green Wing Holly Hawkes Series 2
2006 Hyperdrive Clare Winchester Series 1
2006 The Amazing Mrs Pritchard Meg Bayliss 5 episodes
2006–2009 Jam and Jerusalem Natasha "Tash" Vine All three series (18 episodes)
2009–2015 Miranda Matilda "Tilly" Main character (20 episodes)
2009 Skins Angela Moon Episode: "Pandora"
2009 Svengali Michelle TV Movie
2012 Parents Jenny Pope Main character (6 episodes)
2012— The Undateables Narrator
2013 Chickens Miss Trimble Episode: "Leper"
2013 Something Special Special Guest 1 episode Series 5
2013–2014, 2016–2017, 2019 Veep Minna Häkkinen 5 episodes
2014 The Supervet Narrator Series 1
2015 We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story Ann Croft TV movie tribute
2015 Death in Paradise Cheryl Moore Episode 29: "Swimming In Murder"
2016 Galavant Ivanna Episode: "Bewitched, Bothered, Belittled"
Midsomer Murders Lucy Keswick Episode 19.1 "The Village that Rose from the Dead"
A World Without Down's Syndrome? Presenter BBC Documentary[8]
2016–2017 Zapped Slasher Morgan 4 episodes: "Pear Fair" (2017), "The Party" (2017), "Mr Wuffles" (2016), "Mr Weaver" (2016)
2017 Lip Sync Battle UK Herself 1 episode
Comic Relief Co-presenter 2017 telethon
Henry IX Queen Katerina [9]
Hospital People Helena Steel MP, Health Minister Episode: "he New Ward"
Taskmaster Herself Series 5
The One Show Guest presenter Two episodes
Travel Man Guest One episode
All Star Musicals Herself, participant
Tim Vine Travels in Time Catherine of Aragon Christmas special
2018 Trollied Lou Chettle 6 episodes
The One Show Guest presenter 2 episodes
2018-19 Tourist Trap Elaine Gibbons Main character (13 episodes)[10][11]
2019 Year of the Rabbit Princess Juliana of Bulgaria 3 episodes
2020 Friday Night Dinner Gibby 1 episode - Guest Star

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelso, Paul (5 July 2007). "More screens to entertain drenched punters". The Guardian. London.
  2. ^ a b c Farndale, Nigel (8 April 2001). "Funny, bright, lovely". Telegraph.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Anyone see 'something special' today?". Pregnancy Forum. 7 March 2013.
    - "Strange to see Sally Phillips". Twitter. 29 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Sally Phillips on High School Shooting - The Last Leg". YouTube. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
    - Gilbert, Gerard (19 January 2013). "Always the best friend: Sally Phillips on Christianity, comedians and the class system". The Independent. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  5. ^ The Last Leg (19 February 2018), Sally Phillips on High School Shooting - The Last Legs, retrieved 3 March 2018
    - Potton, Ed (14 December 2017). "Sally Phillips: Whenever Weinstein saw my face in the edit suite he said, 'Cut it!'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  6. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (11 April 2018). "Gurinder Chadha's 'Blinded By The Light' Blessed By Bruce Springsteen; Cast Set". Deadline. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  7. ^ "The Rizen: Possession - Goldfinch Studios". Goldfinchstudios.co.uk. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  8. ^ "A World Without Down's Syndrome?". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Henry IX cast and crew credits". British Comedy Guide.
  10. ^ {https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bmfpy5 "A new comedy series following the tourist team of Wow Wales, who are tasked with selling Wales to the world."] BBC One Wales website
  11. ^ "BBC One - Tourist Trap - Episode guide". BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2020.

External links[edit]