Katherine Parkinson

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[1] (having received a nomination in 2011).

Katherine Parkinson
Katherine Jane Parkinson

(1978-03-09) 9 March 1978
Hounslow, London, England
EducationSt Hilda's College, Oxford
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active2001–present
Spouse(s)Harry Peacock

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.

Early life

Parkinson was born in Hounslow, London, to an English mother and Northern Irish father, the historian Alan Parkinson.[2] She grew up in Tolworth and Surbiton,[3] and studied at Tiffin Girls' School[4] before going on to read classics at St Hilda's College, Oxford.[5][6] 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.[6] 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.[6] 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.[7]

In 2007, she appeared in a new production of Chekhov's The Seagull at London's Royal Court Theatre, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Mackenzie Crook.

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.[8] 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,[9] again with Katy Brand, and in The Odd Half Hour.[10] 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.[11] 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.

During 2012 and 2013 Parkinson played the roles of Diana in Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter Theatre, and Laura in Rodney Ackland's Before the Party at the Almeida Theatre respectively.

In 2013, she filmed The Honourable Woman for the BBC and SundanceTV.

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.[12] 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.[13]

In 2019 Parkinson's debut work as a playwright Sitting had its London premiere, following a month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe.[14]

Personal life

Parkinson is married to actor Harry Peacock.[15]



Year Title Role
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


Year Title Role Notes
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[16]
Nominated – BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance[17]
Winner of BAFTA award Best Female Performance In A Comedy Programme 2014[1]
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
2010 Whites Caroline[18]
2011 Psychoville Fiona 1 episode
2011 Comedy Showcase: Coma Girl Pip 1 episode
2011 The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff Conceptiva
2012 Sherlock Kitty Riley[19] 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
2015 Horizon Katherine Parkinson Narrator
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


Year Title Role
2004 A Certain Smile Catherine
Good Times Role Patient
2008 The Odd Half Hour
2008 Mouthtrap Writer, performer
2010 Sarah Millican's Support Group Kim
2011 The Lost Weekend
2011 The Drover of Clissold Common
Souvenirs Samantha
20112012 Don't Start Kim
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
2013 Start/Stop Alice


Year Title Role Notes
2018 Home, I'm Darling[20] Judy Theatr Clwyd and Royal National Theatre Co-Production

Nominated - Olivier Award for Best Actress

2016 Dead Funny Eleanor Vaudeville Theatre
2013 Before the Party[21][22] Laura Almeida Theatre
2012 Absent Friends[23] Diana Harold Pinter Theatre
2011 66 Books[24] Jo Bush Theatre
2011 The School for Scandal[25] Lady Teazle Barbican Theatre
2010 Season's Greetings[26] Pattie Royal National Theatre
2009 Cock[27] W Royal Court Theatre
2007 The Seagull[28] Masha Royal Court Theatre
2006 The Lightning Play[29] Imogen Cumberbatch Almeida Theatre
2006 Other Hands[30] Lydia Soho Theatre
2004 Flush[31] Lily Soho Theatre
2004 Cigarettes and Chocolate[32] Gail King's Head Theatre
2004 The Unthinkable[33] Fran Sheffield Crucible
2003 The Riot Act[34] Antigone The Gate (London)
2003 The Increased Difficulty of Concentration Anna Balcar The Gate (London)
2003 Camille[35] Olympe Lyric Hammersmith
2002 Deep Throat Live on Stage[36] Linda Lovelace Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Festival Fat Bloke Productions
2002 Frame 312[37] Maggie / Doris / Marie Donmar Warehouse
2002 The Age of Consent[38] Stephanie Bush Theatre


  1. "Winner Katherine Parkinson - The IT Crowd". BAFTA Television Awards. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  2. "Katherine Parkinson interview: Sherlock actress on likeability and". 8 June 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  3. "Katherine Parkinson: interview". The Telegraph. 29 March 2013.
  4. Bruce Dessau (28 December 2007). "Big in 2008: Comedy". Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  5. "Katherine Parkinson - Classics, 1996". St Hilda's College University of Oxford. University of Oxford. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  6. "Katherine Parkinson Interview". Channel 4. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  7. 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.
  8. Harries, Rhiannon (20 December 2009). "How We Met: Katherine Parkinson & Katy Brand". The Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  9. "Mouth trap". BBC Radio 4. 20 May 2008.
  10. "The Odd Half Hour". BBC Radio 4.
  11. "The Great Outdoors". BBC Four.
  12. "BBC One announces the cast for brand new family comedy The Kennedys". BBC. 6 March 2015.
  13. Haynes, Natalie (4 July 2018). "Home, I'm Darling review – cupcakes, cocktails and fetishising wifeliness". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  14. 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.
  15. Belotti, Alex (14 March 2013). "Hollywood's lure doesn't work on laughter-loving Katherine Parkinson". Hampstead & Highgate Express. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  16. "The Winners - 2009". British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  17. "Female Performance in a Comedy Programme 2010". British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
  18. "Whites". BBC Two.
  19. "Sherlock". BBC One.
  20. https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/home-im-darling?queueittoken=e_priority280618~q_00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000~ts_1530131820~ce_false~cv_3~rt_idle~h_052da85954165426be07194715b7b9ede368fc0afae4940a67603a1526b200bb
  21. "Before the Party - cast". Almeida Theatre. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  22. Dominic Cavendish (29 March 2013). "Before the Party, Almeida Theatre, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  23. Charles Spencer (10 February 2012). "Absent Friends, Harold Pinter Theatre, Review". The Telegraph.
  24. "66 – Sixty Six Books". Bush Theatre. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  25. "The School for Scandal". Barbican Centre. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  26. Ian Shuttleworth (13 December 2010). "Season's Greetings, National Theatre (Lyttelton), London". Theatre and Dance. FT.com. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  27. "Cock at the Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  28. Michael Billington (26 January 2007). "The Seagull, Royal Court, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  29. "The Lightning Play". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  30. Michael Billington. "Other Hands, Soho Theatre, London". Theatre. The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  31. Aleks Sierz (26 April 2004). "Flush". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  32. "Archive for Cigarettes and Chocolate/Hang up at the Kings Head Theatre". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  33. John Highfield (1 November 2004). "The Unthinkable". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  34. "The Riot Act (play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  35. "Archive for Camille at Lyric Theatre Hammersmith". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  36. Johann Hari (12 August 2002). "Edinburgh festival - Sex and violence". New Statesman. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  37. "Frame 312 (Play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  38. "Age of Consent". UK Theatre Archive. Retrieved 2 July 2014.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.