Emma Kennedy

Emma Kennedy (born Elizabeth Emma Williams on 28 May 1967) is an English actress, writer[1] and television presenter.

Emma Kennedy
TV's Emma Kennedy during the final performance of As It Occurs to Me in 2011
Elizabeth Emma Williams

(1967-05-28) 28 May 1967
OccupationActress, writer, television presenter
Political partyLiberal Democrats (2019-)
Georgie Gibbon (m. 2015)

Early life and education

The daughter of teachers,[2] she was educated at Hitchin Girls' School, and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. At Oxford in 1987, she worked with (among others) Richard Herring and Stewart Lee in comedy troupes the Seven Raymonds and The Oxford Revue. After graduating she trained as a solicitor, and practised as a city solicitor. She practised corporate law, human rights law, and intellectual property law.[3]

Acting career

Kennedy first met close friend Mel Giedroyc, who was appearing with the Cambridge Footlights, at the Edinburgh Festival in 1988.[4] Later she became a script editor for Giedroyc's double act with Sue Perkins, and worked as a writer for the Mel and Sue series Late Lunch. Kennedy presented the last series of The Real Holiday Show on Channel 4 in 2000.

She has since made appearances in TV comedies Goodness Gracious Me, This Morning With Richard Not Judy (with Lee and Herring), Jonathan Creek alongside Alan Davies and Caroline Quentin, People Like Us (with Chris Langham) and hit BBC comedy The Smoking Room, along with appearing in several of The Mark Steel Lectures, as well as in several plays and radio shows. She was also a movie reviewer on Five's Terry and Gaby Show. In addition to this, she has made several appearances on Big Brother's Little Brother.

She provided voices for The Comic Side of 7 Days and was a regular on the BBC Radio 2 comedy That Was Then, This Is Now with Richard Herring (in which she was routinely referred to as "TV's Emma Kennedy"). She appeared in the film Notes on a Scandal and also appears in the Five series Suburban Shootout and Suburban Shootout 2: Clackers at Dawn. She appeared as a regular on the popular podcast As It Occurs To Me until June 2011, when the series ended.[5] Active in Comic Relief, Kennedy, with Emma Freud, was involved in setting up the kazoo orchestra concert at the Royal Albert Hall,[6] on 14 March 2011, which broke the Guinness World Record for the largest such ensemble.[7] She also acts the voice of[8] Becky Butters on the CBBC programme Strange Hill High, a series that utilised Japanese vinyl puppets and CGI; that programme was in production during 2013 and 2014. In July 2012, she posed for Tatler in their "Out and Proud - Seven of London's smartest and loveliest lesbians" photoshoot.[9]

Writing career

Kennedy has written for radio, television and the theatre. Her first book, How To Bring Up Your Parents, loosely based on her blog, came out in August 2007. Her second book, The Tent, The Bucket and Me, recounting her childhood camping experiences, was published in April 2009. This was adapted by Kennedy as writer of the six-part BBC TV series The Kennedys,[10] starring Katherine Parkinson, Dan Skinner, Harry Peacock and Emma Pierson, first broadcast on 2 October 2015.[11][12] The comedy centres on a family living in Stevenage New Town in the 1970s, "when suburbia discovered sophistication".[13]

Kennedy has also written children's books. Three books in the Wilma Tenderfoot series have appeared: Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts (published July 2009), Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Putrid Poison (July 2010) and Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Fatal Phantom (November 2010). I Left My Tent In San Francisco, the follow-up to The Tent, The Bucket and Me, appeared in May 2011.

She has also written a guide to TV series The Killing.[14]


Kennedy took part in Celebrity MasterChef in 2012, winning the final after a week of cookery-based tasks, in which ex-footballer Danny Mills and TV presenter Michael Underwood also participated.[15]


Kennedy joined the Liberal Democrats in 2019[16] and uses her Twitter account to be vocal about her opposition to Brexit. In September 2019, she stood in hustings to be the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Surrey Heath, coming second (by three votes) to Alasdair Pinkerton.[17]

Personal life

Kennedy is a lesbian.[18][19][20] On 20 January 2014, Kennedy announced her engagement to girlfriend Georgie Gibbon on Twitter.[21] They were married on 26 July 2015.[22]

Published works

  • Kennedy, Emma (5 August 2011). Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Rascal's Revenge. Macmillan Children's Books. ISBN 978-0330535236.
  • Kennedy, Emma (5 May 2011). I Left My Tent in San Francisco. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-193595-5.
  • Kennedy, Emma (5 November 2010). Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Fatal Phantom. Macmillan Children's Books. ISBN 978-0330469531.
  • Kennedy, Emma (2 July 2010). Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Putrid Poison. Illustrated by Marc Sylvain. Macmillan Children's Books. ISBN 978-0330469524.
  • Kennedy, Emma (3 July 2009). Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts. Macmillan Children's Books. ISBN 978-0-330-46951-7.
  • Kennedy, Emma (26 March 2009). The Tent, The Bucket and Me. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-192678-6.
  • Kennedy, Emma (1 August 2007). How to Bring Up Your Parents. The Friday Project. ISBN 978-1-905548-57-6.


  1. Emma Kennedy, Travel, The Guardian
  2. "Focus: Comedy Chameleon", The Stage, n.d.
  3. Kennedy, Emma (16 October 2019). "Yes Richard. Does that help?".
  4. Adam Jacques "How We Met: Mel Giedroyc & Emma Kennedy", The Independent, 7 September 2008
  5. . Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  6. Nick Curtis "The Comic Relief celebrity kazoo orchestra", Archived 17 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine Evening Standard, 10 March 2011
  7. "BBC Radio 3's Red Nose Show breaks Guinness World Records title for largest ever kazoo ensemble", BBC Press Office, 15 March 2011,
  8. "cbbc.com". cbbc.com. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  9. "We're out-and-out proud to present seven of London's smartest and loveliest lesbians in our August issue! And this is behind the scenes of their shoot - Tatler". Tatler. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  10. "BBC One announces the cast for brand new family comedy The Kennedys". BBC. 9 March 2015.
  11. "The Kennedys". British Comedy Guide. 2 October 2015.
  12. "The Kennedys review – 70s-set sitcom stuffed with non sequiturs". The Guardian. 2 October 2015.
  13. "Plenty of fun and farce from The Kennedys". The Liverpool Echo. 2 October 2015.
  14. "The Tatler List". Tatler. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016.
  15. "Celebrity MasterChef names winner". United Kingdom: BBC News. 21 September 2012. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012. Writer and actress Emma Kennedy has been crowned the winner of this year's Celebrity MasterChef. The 45-year-old beat former footballer Danny Mills and TV host Michael Underwood at the climax of the six-week competition.
  16. Emma Kennedy [@EmmaKennedy] (28 July 2019). "And that's why I've joined the @LibDems" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  17. Emma Kennedy [@EmmaKennedy] (18 September 2019). "I came 2nd. I missed out by three votes. And I'm not remotely disappointed because the fellow who won @AlPinkerton is one of the loveliest men I have ever met" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  18. Dugan, Emily (1 July 2012). "Let's champion lesbians, says society mag Tatler". The Independent. London.
  19. "When Sally Met Sally". Archived from the original on 12 December 2013.
  20. "TATLER FILM: Behind the scenes of our lesbian shoot". Tatler.
  21. Emma Kennedy [@EmmaKennedy] (20 January 2015). "Day 3 in Venice. @GeorgieGibbon asked. I said yes #engaged" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 May 2018 via Twitter.
  22. Emma Kennedy [@EmmaKennedy] (25 July 2015). "Twitter, I married her" (Tweet) via Twitter.
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