Katherine Jane Parkinson (born 9 March 1978) is an English actress. She is best known for appearing in several comedy series, most notably as Jen Barber in Channel 4's The IT Crowd, for which she received a British Comedy Best TV Actress Award in 2009 and again in 2014, and a BAFTA TV Award in 2014 (having received a nomination in 2011).
Katherine Jane Parkinson
9 March 1978
|Education||St Hilda's College, Oxford|
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
She was also a main cast member of the series Doc Martin for three series, and performed the voice-overs for the games Worms Clan Wars and Worms Battlegrounds. She co-starred in Series 1-3 of Humans, a science-fiction drama on AMC/Channel 4, which premiered in June 2015. She has also appeared in such films as How to Lose Friends & Alienate People and The Boat That Rocked.
Parkinson was born in Hounslow, London, to an English mother and Northern Irish father, the historian Alan Parkinson. She grew up in Tolworth and Surbiton, and studied at Tiffin Girls' School before going on to read classics at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She then studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art where she met Chris O'Dowd, later to be her co-star in The IT Crowd. She left her course to star in the play The Age of Consent. At the conclusion of the run, she was nominated for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art Award (LAMDAA).
Between 2005 and 2009, Parkinson played Pauline Lamb, the doctor's receptionist – and later phlebotomist – in series 2–4 of the long-running ITV comedy-drama series Doc Martin, based on the film Saving Grace (2000).
While working on Doc Martin, she was asked by her college friend Chris O'Dowd to audition for the comedy series The IT Crowd as the show was having trouble casting a female lead. In an interview with The Independent, Parkinson said that show creator Graham Linehan originally wanted Jen to be "likeable" but "I know what he wanted now – he wanted her to be the more normal person people could relate to." Although she would act as the straight woman to the two guys, her klutziness was well received by the audience. She had straight hair for the role, in contrast to her curly hair from Doc Martin.
On New Year's Day 2009 in the United Kingdom, she appeared in a feature-length episode of Jonathan Creek entitled "The Grinning Man". She also contributed sketch characters to Katy Brand's ITV2 show, having been friends with Brand since their time at university. At the end of 2009, she appeared in the play Cock at the Royal Court Theatre with Ben Whishaw and Andrew Scott.
She has performed several times on BBC Radio 4, including on Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking, Mouth Trap, again with Katy Brand, and in The Odd Half Hour. She also starred in television advertisements for Maltesers alongside fellow actress and comedian Amanda Abbington, and provided her voice for a Herbal Essences shampoo advertising campaign in 2010.
Parkinson played Sophie, one of the lead roles along with Mark Heap (Bob Stevens), in BBC Four's three-part comedy series The Great Outdoors, which followed the hikes, heartaches, friendships and rivalries of a misfit rambling club, first aired on 28 July 2010. In 2010–2011, she appeared in Season's Greetings at the National Theatre and in 2011 as Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal (directed by Deborah Warner) at the Barbican Centre.
Parkinson starred in The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, a four-part BBC comedy series which premiered on BBC Two on 19 December 2011. Parkinson next appeared in series 2 episode 3 of Sherlock, "The Reichenbach Fall", as journalist Kitty Riley in January 2012.
In 2015 Parkinson starred in the BBC One comedy series The Kennedys, written by Emma Kennedy about growing up on a Stevenage New Town estate in the 1970s. She also played one of the lead roles as Laura Hawkins in the British-American science fiction series Humans Series One broadcast on Channel 4 and AMC between 14 June and 2 August 2015, Series Two in 2016 and Series Three in 2018.
During 2016 she performed in the stage play Dead Funny at the Vaudeville Theatre,where she played the role of Eleanor. In 2018 and 2019 she has performed in Home, I'm Darling, for which Parkinson has been nominated for an Olivier award in the Best Actress category.
In 2019 Parkinson's debut work as a playwright Sitting had its London premiere, following a month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Parkinson is married to actor Harry Peacock.
|2006||Hard to Swallow||Katie|
|2007||Christmas at the Riviera||Vanessa|
|2008||Easy Virtue||Marion Whittaker|
|2008||How to Lose Friends & Alienate People||PR Woman|
|2009||The Boat That Rocked||Felicity|
|2009||St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold||Physics Teacher|
|2014||Britain Isn't Eating||Marion / Sarah|
|2018||The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society||Isola|
|2020||This Nan's Life|
|2005||Ahead of the Class||Vicky Foley|
|2005||Casualty||Helen Gibbons||Episode: "The Long Goodbye"|
|2005||Extras||Woman in Queue||Episode: "Ross Kemp and Vinnie Jones"|
|2005–2009||Doc Martin||Pauline Lamb|
|2006–2013||The IT Crowd||Jen Barber||British Comedy Award for Best Television Comedy Actress|
Nominated – BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance
Winner of BAFTA award Best Female Performance In A Comedy Programme 2014
|2007||Fear, Stress & Anger||Gemma|
|2007||Christmas at the Riviera||Vanessa|
|2007–2009||Katy Brand's Big Ass Show||Various Characters|
|2009||Jonathan Creek||Nicola||Episode: "The Grinning Man"|
|2009||The Old Guys||Amber|
|2010||The Great Outdoors||Sophie|
|2011||Comedy Showcase: Coma Girl||Pip||1 episode|
|2011||The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff||Conceptiva|
|2012||Sherlock||Kitty Riley||Episode: "The Reichenbach Fall"|
|2013||Love Matters||Jo Pepper||Episode: "Officially Special"|
|2014||The Honourable Woman||Rachel Stein|
|2014||Inside No. 9||Rebecca||Episode: "Sardines"|
|2014||Crackanory||Storyteller||Second Series - Episode 3 "The Crisis Plan"|
|2014||Officially Special||Jo Pepper|
|2014–present||In the Club||Kim Hall|
|2015–2018||Humans||Laura Hawkins||Lead role|
|2015||The Kennedys||Brenda Kennedy||Lead role|
|2018||Hang Ups||Karen Muller|
|2019||Defending the Guilty||Lead role|
|2004||A Certain Smile||Catherine|
|Good Times Role||Patient|
|2008||The Odd Half Hour|
|2010||Sarah Millican's Support Group||Kim|
|2011||The Lost Weekend|
|2011||The Drover of Clissold Common|
|2011||The One and Only||Layla|
|2012||Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully||Katrina|
|2012||Diary of a Nobody||Carrie Pooter|
|2012||The Bat Man||Colette|
|The Lady from the Sea||Bolette|
- "Winner Katherine Parkinson - The IT Crowd". BAFTA Television Awards. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Katherine Parkinson interview: Sherlock actress on likeability and". 8 June 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- "Katherine Parkinson: interview". The Telegraph. 29 March 2013.
- Bruce Dessau (28 December 2007). "Big in 2008: Comedy". Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Katherine Parkinson - Classics, 1996". St Hilda's College University of Oxford. University of Oxford. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Katherine Parkinson Interview". Channel 4. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Gilbert, Gerard (8 June 2015). "Katherine Parkinson interview: Sherlock actress on likeability and being 'intimidated' by America". The Independent. Retrieved 6 November 2015. States she was 37 at the time of writing.
- Harries, Rhiannon (20 December 2009). "How We Met: Katherine Parkinson & Katy Brand". The Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Mouth trap". BBC Radio 4. 20 May 2008.
- "The Odd Half Hour". BBC Radio 4.
- "The Great Outdoors". BBC Four.
- "BBC One announces the cast for brand new family comedy The Kennedys". BBC. 6 March 2015.
- Haynes, Natalie (4 July 2018). "Home, I'm Darling review – cupcakes, cocktails and fetishising wifeliness". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- Paskett, Zoe (14 March 2019). "Katherine Parkinson's debut play Sitting will have London premiere at the Arcola Theatre". Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- Belotti, Alex (14 March 2013). "Hollywood's lure doesn't work on laughter-loving Katherine Parkinson". Hampstead & Highgate Express. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- "The Winners - 2009". British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Female Performance in a Comedy Programme 2010". British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
- "Whites". BBC Two.
- "Sherlock". BBC One.
- "Before the Party - cast". Almeida Theatre. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Dominic Cavendish (29 March 2013). "Before the Party, Almeida Theatre, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Charles Spencer (10 February 2012). "Absent Friends, Harold Pinter Theatre, Review". The Telegraph.
- "66 – Sixty Six Books". Bush Theatre. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "The School for Scandal". Barbican Centre. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Ian Shuttleworth (13 December 2010). "Season's Greetings, National Theatre (Lyttelton), London". Theatre and Dance. FT.com. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Cock at the Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Michael Billington (26 January 2007). "The Seagull, Royal Court, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "The Lightning Play". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Michael Billington. "Other Hands, Soho Theatre, London". Theatre. The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Aleks Sierz (26 April 2004). "Flush". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Archive for Cigarettes and Chocolate/Hang up at the Kings Head Theatre". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- John Highfield (1 November 2004). "The Unthinkable". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "The Riot Act (play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Archive for Camille at Lyric Theatre Hammersmith". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Johann Hari (12 August 2002). "Edinburgh festival - Sex and violence". New Statesman. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Frame 312 (Play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Age of Consent". UK Theatre Archive. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Katherine Parkinson on IMDb
- Dan Collacott & Imran Mirza (22 August 2010). "Interview with comedy siren Katherine Parkinson". liberationfrequency.co.uk.
- "Agency profile: Katherine Parkinson". curtisbrown.co.uk.
- "Katherine Parkinson Interview". The IT Crowd. Channel 4. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Katherine Parkinson". United Agents. Retrieved 9 July 2014.