Tessa Wyatt

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Tessa Wyatt
Born (1948-04-23) 23 April 1948 (age 71)
Years active1960–present
Tony Blackburn
(m. 1972; div. 1977)

Bill Harkness (m. 1986)
Partner(s)Richard O'Sullivan (1978–1985)

Tessa Wyatt (born 23 April 1948) is an English actress who first came to the public spotlight through her marriage to Tony Blackburn. She later starred in the sitcom Robin's Nest.[1]

Early life[edit]

Wyatt was born in Woking, Surrey, in 1948 and attended Elmhurst Ballet School and was encouraged to act by her maternal grandmother.[1] She got her first professional job, aged 12, in a television programme featuring Richard Hearne's Mr Pastry character and soon after she gained an agent.[1] Other early television appearances included parts in Z-Cars, The Wednesday Play, Public Eye, Callan, Dixon of Dock Green, Doctor at Large, Play for Today, UFO and The Goodies. Her few film appearances included Wedding Night (1970), the cult horror film The Beast in the Cellar (1970), England Made Me (1973) opposite Peter Finch, and Spy Story (1976).

In 1972 Tessa Wyatt married Tony Blackburn, the radio DJ,[1] but the couple divorced in 1977 after five years, having had a son.[1] Blackburn was left devastated by the breakup of their marriage, and would plead on air for her return (this was later parodied in Smashie and Nicey: The End of an Era). By curious coincidence, Wyatt had played a character called Judy Blackburn in the episode The Comedian's Graveyard in the 1969 series of Public Eye.

Television success[edit]

From 1977 to 1981, Tessa Wyatt played Vicky Nicholls, later Tripp, in the ITV sitcom Robin's Nest, a spin-off from the successful sitcom Man About the House. Her on-screen boyfriend and later husband Robin Tripp was played by Richard O'Sullivan. Wyatt and O'Sullivan were a couple for seven years from 1978 and had one son.[1] Following Robin's Nest, Wyatt appeared in Return of the Saint, Boon and 2point4 Children.

Later career[edit]

Wyatt married property developer Bill Harkness at Hammersmith Register Office in 1986, and they have two children.[1] Wyatt was part of the original cast of the Channel Five soap opera Family Affairs playing Samantha Cockerill.[1] Since 2000 she has also appeared in Casualty and Doctors.[1] She appeared in the fifth series of Peep Show as Jeremy's mother and recently was Tom's love interest in one episode of The Old Guys opposite Roger Lloyd-Pack and Clive Swift. In 2013, she joined the cast of EastEnders, playing Betty Spragg.[2] Tessa made a second appearance in the BBC series Doctors on 19 May 2015 alongside George Layton another sitcom stalwart from the 1970s.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Robertson, Peter (18 August 2007). "What happened to... ? Tessa Wyatt from Robin Nest". Daily Express.
  2. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (13 June 2013). "'EastEnders' unveils new characters Ollie and Betty". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 13 June 2013.

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