Tamzin Outhwaite

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Tamzin Outhwaite
Tamzin Outhwaite 2015.jpg
Outhwaite at the 2015 Oliver Awards
Tamzin Maria Outhwaite

(1970-11-05) 5 November 1970 (age 50)
Ilford, London, England
  • Actress
  • presenter
  • narrator
Years active1989–present
(m. 2006; div. 2014)

Tamzin Maria Outhwaite (/ˈθwt/; born 5 November 1970) is an English actress, presenter and narrator. Since coming to national notice for portraying the role of Mel Owen in the BBC soap opera EastEnders (1998–2002, 2018–2019), she has starred in a number of theatre and television productions, including army series Red Cap and crime drama New Tricks.

Early life[edit]

The only daughter of Anna (née Santi) and Colin Frank Outhwaite, born in Ilford, East London, Tamzin has two younger brothers, Kes and Jake. She was educated at Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green.

Outhwaite attended the Stagestruck Theatre Company as a teenager, taking part in several productions during the mid-1980s. While at school, she studied part-time at Sylvia Young Theatre School and on leaving school in 1987, she joined the London Studio Centre to study drama and dance.


Early career and EastEnders[edit]

On graduation from the London Studio Centre she started her career in the theatre, taking roles in productions including Grease and Oliver!, and work at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, before landing bit parts in television series The Bill and Men Behaving Badly.

She found national fame in 1998 when she was cast as Mel Healy in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders. Her first appearance was aired in October 1998 and her final one was in April 2002. During nearly four years in Walford, Outhwaite's feisty character was central to many explosive storylines. Outhwaite left EastEnders in 2002, shortly after the departure from the soap of co-star Martin Kemp, who had played her on-screen husband Steve Owen.

She stated in 2006 that she wouldn't rule out returning to EastEnders[1] and her return was confirmed on 24 October 2017.[2] Outhwaite departed the soap for a second and final time in November 2019, when Mel was killed off.

Other work[edit]

She appeared in a revival of Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, the film Cassandra's Dream,[3] and the ITV drama series, The Fixer, which was shown in March and April 2008.[4] In 2009, she played the lead in the sci-fi crime series for the BBC entitled Paradox,[5] which first aired on BBC1 on 24 November 2009. In 2010, she appeared in Over the Rainbow, a talent show casting for Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage production of The Wizard of Oz. In the same year, she was a member of the judging panel on the UK television programme Don't Stop Believing broadcast on Channel 5.

She joined the cast of the popular BBC comedy-drama series New Tricks as DCI Sasha Miller, replacing Amanda Redman as head of the team in the show. Outhwaite had earlier appeared in series 9, episode 6 of the show, guest-starring as a different character who is brought to justice at the end of the episode. In March 2016, Outhwaite was cast to play Teresa Phillips in a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.[6] Outhwaite has done introductory segments of true crime episodes of NBC's Dateline for British television audiences.[7] In May 2020, Outhwaite played Indie Hendricks in Dun Breedin, a project by Julie Graham about women who are going through the menopause during lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, her scenes were filmed at her own house. The episodes were uploaded to YouTube weekly.

Personal life[edit]

Outhwaite lives in London. From 2006 to 2014, she was married to actor Tom Ellis. They have two daughters together. It was announced in 2013 that the couple had separated and the following month Outhwaite had filed for divorce.[8][9][10]

Outhwaite was the subject of an episode of BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? shown on 21 August 2014.[11] Her mother is of Italian heritage.[12] Her maternal great grandfather Adelmo Santi and his eldest son Pietro Santi were born in Barga, Italy, and became naturalised British citizens in 1957, living first in Glasgow, Scotland, and then settling in Fishburn, England, with a thriving ice cream business.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
2005 7 Seconds Sgt. Kelly Anders Video
2006 Backwaters Lili Taylor
2008 Radio Cape Cod Jill Waters
2012 Great Expectations Molly
2014 MOTH (Man of the House) Mum Short film
2020 The Haunting of Alice Bowles Alice
2021 Bull Sharon
Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Mystery of Dr Martinu Girlfriend Television film
1995 Men Behaving Badly Girl in Pub 1 episode
1996 The Bill Liz Crane Episode: "Hers"
1998–2002, 2018–2019 EastEnders Mel Owen Regular role; 617 episodes
2000 Da Ali G Show Melanie Episode: "Gail Porter"
2001 Tamzin Outhwaite Goes Wild with Dolphins Presenter BBC One documentary
2002 Out of Control Shelley Richards Television film
2003 Final Demand Natalie Taylor
2003–2004 Red Cap Sgt. Jo McDonagh Main role
2004 Hustle Katherine Winterborn Episode: "A Touch of Class"
When I'm 64 Caz Television film
Frances Tuesday Frances West
2005 Walk Away and I Stumble Claire Holmes
2006 Vital Signs Rhoda Bradley Main role
2006–2007 Hotel Babylon Rebecca Mitchell Main role (series 1–2)
2007 The Catherine Tate Show Shelley 2007 Christmas special
2008–2009 The Fixer Rose Chamberlain Main role
2009 Crimewatch Narrator
Paradox D.I. Rebecca Flint TV mini-series
2011 Law & Order: UK Miriam Pescatore Episode: "Immune"
Fast Freddie, The Widow and Me Patsy Morgan Television film
2012 Silent Witness Beth Gilston Episodes: "Fear: Parts 1 & 2"
New Tricks Victoria Kemp Episode: "Love Means Nothing in Tennis"
2013 Foyle's War Brenda Stevens Episode: "Sunflower"
Doctor Who Captain Series 7, Episode 12: "Nightmare in Silver"
Agatha Christie's Marple Mrs. Rogers Episode: "Endless Night"
2013–2015 New Tricks DCI Sasha Miller Main role (series 10–12)
2016 Josh Valerie Episode: "Bed & Breakfast"
2016–2017 Dateline with Tamzin Outhwaite Presenter
2017 Inside No. 9 Connie Episode: "Empty Orchestra"
Murdoch Mysteries Penelope Marsh Episode: "Up from Ashes"
2018 Midsomer Murders Samantha Adler Episode: "The Lions of Causton"
2019 Naked Beach Narrator
Meghan Markle: Movies, Marriage & Motherhood Television special
2020 Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators Jessica Duke Episode: "Teach Me, Dear Creature"
2020–present Dun Breedin Indie Hendricks Online series; main cast member
2020 Martin & Roman Kemp's Sunday Best Herself Episode 20
2021 Saturday Kitchen Herself 1 episode[14]


  1. ^ "Outhwaite won't rule out 'Enders return". 22 April 2006.
  2. ^ "Tamzin Outhwaite returns to EastEnders". BBC News. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Allen role for Tamzin Outhwaite". BBC News. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  4. ^ "Bees to buzz off". The Mirror. 5 October 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  5. ^ "Outhwaite to star in sci-fi drama". BBC News. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Casting announced for How the Other Half Loves". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Dateline with Tamzin Outhwaite TV Guide from RadioTimes". Radio Times.
  8. ^ Kelby McNally. "Tamzin Outhwaite 'files for divorce from Tom Ellis, citing adultery'", Express, 10 September 2013.
  9. ^ (No author.) "Tamzin Outhwaite 'Divorcing' Tom Ellis After He Reportedly Admits Cheating With One-Night Stand", Huffington Post UK, 9 October 2013.
  10. ^ Kelby McNally. "'We're all moving forward' Tom Ellis speaks out about Tamzin Outhwaite split", Express, 19 September 2013.
  11. ^ Watts, Halina (15 August 2014). "Tamzin Outhwaite left distraught after discovering great granddad was sent to WW2 prison camp".
  12. ^ "Tamzin Outhwaite". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  13. ^ "Tamzin Outhwaite - Who Do You Think You Are - Former Eastenders actress with true East End roots discovers more about her Italian ancestry". thegenealogist.co.uk.
  14. ^ "Saturday Kitchen". BBC. Retrieved 27 December 2020.

External links[edit]