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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Catherine Tate - A Brief Biography

Catherine Tate (born Catherine Ford 12 May 1968) is an English comedienne and actress best known for her BBC Two sketch comedy series, The Catherine Tate Show. Following its success, Tate played Donna Noble in the 2006 Christmas special of Doctor Who and is now set to reprise the role to become the Doctor's companion throughout series four in 2008. She has won numerous awards for her work on The Catherine Tate Show and has been nominated for an Emmy Award and four BAFTA Awards.

Also at that time, Tate was a guest star at the 77th Royal Variety Performance and once again appeared in the guise of Lauren Cooper. During the sketch, Tate looked up at the Royal Box and asked The Queen, "Is one bovvered? Is one's face bovvered?". She also commented during the sketch that Prince Phillip had fallen asleep: "she is bing, but the old fella next to her is asleep!". He then reportedly complained to the show's executive producer saying he had been insulted.

At the end of 2005 she appeared in the award-winning BBC television adaptation of Bleak House. She has been commissioned to write a TV drama for the BBC's forthcoming Decades project. She also had a role in the television adaptation of the novel The Bad Mother's Handbook, where she co-starred with Anne Reid.

Despite speculation that the third series would be the last, Tate and the BBC have not ruled out further series or episodes. In an interview on The Paul O'Grady Show on December 18, 2006 Tate indicated that a fourth series was unlikely but hoped to film a one-off special episode in 2007. This has now been confirmed and the episode will air at Christmas. She has also indicated that she would be happy to take the show on a live tour.

Tate has been nominated for and won several awards for her work on the show. In 2004, Tate won a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Newcomer for her work on the first series of The Catherine Tate Show and on December 13, 2006, Tate won a British Comedy Award for Best British Comedy Actress, for her work in the second series. She has also been nominated for four BAFTA Awards, including Best Comedy Performance. Upon Tate not winning a BAFTA for a third year, she reportedly accused the BAFTA panel of being out of touch with the views of the British public.

In late 2006, Tate's catchphrase "bovvered", used by her character Lauren Cooper, became so influential in popular culture that it was named Word of the Year and was even poised to enter the Oxford English Dictionary.

It was announced on July 4, 2007 that Tate would be returning to Doctor Who to reprise the role of Donna as the Doctor's companion throughout the fourth series, due to be shown as a 13-week run in spring 2008. Producer Russell T. Davies said, "We are delighted that one of Britain's greatest talents has agreed to join us for the fourth series". Tate added, "I am delighted to be returning to Doctor Who. I had a blast last Christmas and look forward to travelling again through time and space with that nice man from Gallifrey" She has now started filming for the new series.

Tate had roles in three films in 2006. These included: Starter for Ten, Sixty Six and Scenes of a Sexual Nature. She appears in the forthcoming films Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution, in which she plays the title character, and Love and Other Disasters.

Tate was born in Bloomsbury, London and brought up in the Brunswick Centre. Her mother, Josephine, was a florist. Tate's character of Margaret, who shrieks at the slightest of disturbances, is said to be largely based on Josephine. Tate never knew her father as he left very early on in Tate's life, consequently, Tate was brought up in a female dominant environment, being cared for by her mother, grandmother and her godparents. As a child, Tate suffered from an obsessive-compulsive disorder which centred around word association. An example of her disorder is: Tate was not able to leave a jumper on the floor or it might have brought misfortune to her mother whose name began with J like jumper.

Tate attended St Joseph's, Macklin Street, Holborn, a local Catholic primary school. She then attended Notre Dame High School, Southwark, a south London convent secondary school for girls that was run by nuns. By the time Tate was a teenager, she knew she wanted to follow a professional acting career, and was subsequently sent to a boys Catholic school at sixteen which had the necessary facilities for drama that Notre Dame High School could not offer. Tate left school before sitting her A-Levels as she already knew that she wanted to study drama and that it was not necessary to have qualifications to study the subject. Tate then tried for four years to get a place in the Central School of Speech and Drama, succeeding on her fourth attempt. She studied there for three years. Until the age of 26, Tate lived in Holborn and Bloomsbury.

Tate's partner is stage manager Twig Clark. They have one daughter called Erin (born 2003) whom Tate was pregnant with during the filming of the first series of The Catherine Tate Show. Following an emergency Caesarean section to deliver Erin, Tate suffered from postnatal depression which she only recovered from after the filming of the second series. During this difficult period, Clark gave up his work to care for Erin so that Tate could concentrate on her own work. She also suffers from occasional panic attacks. The family currently have a home in Fulham, London.



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