Aisling Cliodhnadh O'Sullivan (//; born 16 March 1984), better known as Aisling Bea, is an Irish actress, writer, and comedian.
Bea performing in August 2014
Aisling Cliodhnadh O'Sullivan
16 March 1984
County Kildare, Ireland
|Occupation||Actress, writer, comedian|
After appearing in bit parts in several Irish and British television series from 2009, Bea began her career as a stand-up comedian in 2011. By 2012, she was regularly appearing on sketch comedy shows and sitcoms. After winning an award at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, she began to be booked regularly for various panel shows, where she has become a fixture. From 2016 to 2017, she was a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats, and is a frequent contestant on the spinoff 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
In 2018, Bea co-starred with Amy Huberman on her Irish television series Finding Joy. Since 2019, she has starred on the Netflix comedy drama series Living with Yourself and the Channel 4 comedy series This Way Up, on which she is also head writer.
Aisling Cliodhnadh O'Sullivan was born in County Kildare on 16 March 1984. Her father, Brian, was an equine vet who took his own life when Bea was three years old, though she was not told how he died until she was 13. She adopted the stage name "Bea" as a tribute to her father, and wrote an article for The Guardian in 2017 about her family's experience of suicide. Bea and her younger sister, Sinéad, were raised by their mother, Helen (née Moloney), a secondary school teacher, jockey trainer, and former professional jockey. Her family were "obsessed" with horses and race meetings. In her youth, Bea worked as a tour guide at the Irish National Stud. However, she knew from a young age that she was not interested in the racing industry "as a career" and instead enjoyed performing.
Bea's grandfather was the Irish language novelist and poet Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, while her great-aunt was the playwright Siobhán Ní Shúilleabháin. Musician Liam O'Flynn was a family friend. She was educated at a Catholic convent school and then studied French and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. While there she was part of a student sketch comedy group. She then studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
After drama school, Bea spent two years trying to get work in theatre as a dramatic actress. Instead, she was cast mainly in comedic television series including Cardinal Burns and Dead Boss (both 2012). While filming Dead Boss in 2011, Bea decided to try stand-up comedy. In 2012, she won the Gilded Balloon So You Think You're Funny award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and, in 2013, was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for her show C'est La Bea.
The exposure brought by these awards marked a "turning point" in Bea's career and she began to appear as a regular guest on panel shows including QI and Insert Name Here. Bea and Yasmine Akram co-wrote and co-hosted the BBC Radio 4 comedy folklore series Micks and Legends (2012, 2015); it was nominated for a Chortle Award in 2013. Bea won the 2014 British Comedy Award for Best Female TV Comic and returned to Edinburgh in 2015 with the live show Plan Bea. In 2016, she became a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats and was a cast member on Taskmaster in 2017.
Bea has continued to act in television sitcoms including Trollied (2014–2015) and The Delivery Man (2015), and the crime dramas The Fall (2016) and Hard Sun (2018). In 2018, she and Sara Pascoe began to co-host the BBC Radio 2 comedy chat show What's Normal? She recorded a 15-minute stand-up special that was aired on Netflix in late 2018.
Bea was a vocal supporter of the Repeal the 8th campaign in the successful 2018 Irish referendum to introduce legal abortion in the Republic of Ireland, including her contribution of an essay to Una Mullally's Repeal the 8th a month before the vote. She previously campaigned for same-sex marriage legislation in the successful 2015 Irish referendum.
|2009||Fair City||Cliodhna Norris||3 episodes|
|2009||We Are Klang||Inspector||1 episode|
|2009||The Roy Files||Ticket girl||1 episode (Truth And Lies)
|2009||Belonging to Laura||Leanne Thompson||TV3 television movie|
|2009-2014||The Savage Eye||Various||4 episodes|
|2010||Come Fly with Me||Mary O'Mara||1 episode|
|2011||Lewis||Hotel receptionist||1 episode|
|2011||Holby City||Amelia Warner||1 episode|
|2012||Cardinal Burns||Sally||5 episodes|
|2012||Dead Boss||Laura Stephens||6 episodes|
|2012||In with the Flynns||Naimah||1 episode|
|2012||The Town||Carly||3 episodes|
|2012||Assassin's Creed III||Emily Burke||Voice only
|2013||Soul Sacrifice||Similia||Voice only
|2013||Quick Cuts||Customer||1 episode|
|2013||Very Few Fish||Gráinne||Short|
|2014||Playhouse Presents||Toddler Woman||1 episode|
|2014||The Architects||Hayley||BBC Radio 4 sitcom
|2014||The Assets||Kara Jensen||1 episode|
|2015||The Delivery Man||Lisa||6 episodes|
|2015||The Trap||Marie||Feature film|
|2015||Nish Kumar's Christmas||Agent||Short|
|2016||Bullet to the Heart||Jane||Short
|2016||The Fall||Kiera Sheridan||4 episodes|
|2017||Drunk History||Guinevere||1 episode|
|2017||Gap Year||Kendra||2 episodes|
|2018||Hard Sun||Mari Butler||5 episodes|
|2018||I Feel Bad||Simone||1 episode|
|2018||Finding Joy||Amelia||6 episodes|
|2019||This Way Up||Aine||6 episodes|
|2019||Living with Yourself||Kate Elliot||8 episodes|
|2009||Sabotage||BBC Radio 4 Extra||Live at Hoxton Hall|
|2009||Fresh From the Fringe||BBC Radio 4||Edinburgh Festival Fringe|
|2013||Seann Walsh's Late Night Comedy Spectacular||BBC Three||Edinburgh Festival Fringe|
|2013||Russell Howard's Good News||BBC Three|
|2013||Set List||Nerdist Channel|
|2014||Live at the Apollo||BBC One||Hammersmith Apollo|
|2014-2016||Channel 4's Comedy Gala||Channel 4||O2 Arena|
|2018||Netflix Comedy Lineup||Netflix|
Panel show appearances
Since 2016, Bea is a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats. She has made guest appearances on many other panel shows, including:
- 8 Out of 10 Cats (2013, 2014)
- QI (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- Insert Name Here (2016, 2018)
- Taskmaster (2017)
- The Big Fat Quiz of the Year (2016, 2017)
- @midnight (2016, 2017)
- The Last Leg (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Word of the Year 2017 (2017)
- 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (2014, 2015, 2016, 2019)
- A League of Their Own (2015, 2016)
- Room 101 (2016)
- The Unbelievable Truth (2016)
- It's Not What You Know (2016)
- Very British Problems (2015, 2016)
- Duck Quacks Don't Echo (2015)
- Jack Dee's HelpDesk (2015)
- Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled (2015)
- Listomania (2015)
- Would I Lie to You? (2015)
- Channel 4's Alternative Election Night (2015)
- Celebrity Squares (2014, 2015)
- This Week (2014)
- Don't Make Me Laugh (2014)
- Virtually Famous (2014)
- Never Mind the Buzzcocks (2014)
- Don't Sit In The Front Row (2013)
- The Guessing Game (2013)
- Bad Language (2013)
- Sweat the Small Stuff (2013)
- "Life's on the up for Aisling Bea ahead of new TV comedy". Irish Examiner. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "10 awesome Kildare women making waves in the world". Leinster Leader. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
- "Five Essentials: Actor". Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "Aisling Bea Official Site". AislingBea.com. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- "100 funny jokes by 100 comedians". The Daily Telegraph. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "In another life: Aisling Bea". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "My father's death has given me a love of men, of their vulnerability and tenderness". The Guardian. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- Jones, Alice (12 August 2015). "Aisling Bea interview: The prize-winning comedian with the CV of a veteran on bringing her second stand-up show to the Fringe". The Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Fitzpatrick, Richard (18 July 2014). "Funny woman, Aisling Bea, is of good stock". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Aisling Bea: 'My father's death has given me a love of men, of their vulnerability and tenderness'". the Guardian. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
- "Aisling Bea". Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. 15 August 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018.
- Fitzpatrick, Richard (18 July 2014). "Funny woman, Aisling Bea, is of good stock". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Insider Interrogation: writer and actor Aisling Bea - Independent.ie". Independent.ie. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "From horses to hilarity". Galway Advertiser. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- @WeeMissBea (15 March 2018). "Aisling Bea" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Prize-winning comedian Aisling Bea on making the leap into stand-up". The Independent. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- Jarlath Regan (19 September 2015). "Aisling Bea". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (105 ed.). SoundCloud. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "Interviews - Development & Alumni". Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Parkinson, Hannah Jane (18 September 2016). "Aisling Bea: 'I am making no money in LA, but creatively it is rewarding'". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Interview with Aisling Bea (Humour Me Comedy Podcast)". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- Jones, Alice (12 August 2015). "Prize-winning comedian Aisling Bea on making the leap into stand-up". The Independent. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Biography.... WHO IS THIS BROAD?". www.aislingbea.com. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Aisling Bea wins So You Think You're Funny". BBC News. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Duffy, Claire. "Aisling Bea is nominated for Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer Award". Entertainment.ie. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Aisling Bea". Beyond The Joke. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Comedy Irish Micks and Legends back on BBC Radio 4". RTE.ie. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Irish Micks And Legends". www.radiolistings.co.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- "Aisling crowned Queen Bea at British Comedy Awards". Herald.ie. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- "Aisling Bea: Edinburgh festival review – peppy set from standup with star quality". The Guardian. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- Guide, British Comedy (11 April 2018). "Sara Pascoe and Aisling Bea pilot Radio 2 chat show". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- Petski, Denise (10 August 2018). "Paul Rudd To Topline Netflix Comedy Series 'Living With Yourself' From Timothy Greenberg". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (28 August 2018). "Aisling Bea Joins Netflix's 'Living With Yourself' Opposite Paul Rudd". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
- Nelson, Samantha (18 October 2019). "Netflix's Living With Yourself fuses sitcom humor with high-tech anxiety". The Verge. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
- "Could Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan's new Channel 4 comedy be the next Fleabag?".
- "Standup for Choice - Repeal Eight". Repeal Eight. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Autonomy edited by Kathy D'Arcy, Repeal the 8th edited by Una Mullally review". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
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