Katherine Parkinson Biography
Katherine Parkinson (Katherine Jane Parkinson) was born on 9th March 1978 in Hounslow, United Kingdom. She is an actress known for her role as Jen Barber in ‘IT Crowd’. She received British Comedy Best TV Actress Award in 2009 and a BAFTA TV Award in 2014 for her role.
Katherine Parkinson 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.
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 2000 film Saving Grace. In 2007, she appeared in a new production of Chekhov’s The Seagull at London’s Royal Court Theatre. On New Year’s Day 2009 in the UK, 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.
She has performed several times on BBC Radio 4, including on Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking, Mouth Trap, and in The Odd Half Hour. 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.
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 2013, she filmed The Honourable Woman for the BBC and SundanceTV. In 2014, she co-starred in TV advertisements for Kit-Kat. In 2015 Parkinson starred in the BBC One TV comedy series The Kennedys.
Katherine Parkinson Age
Katherine Parkinson was born on 9 March 1978 in Hounslow, London, to an English mother and Northern Irish father, the historian Alan Parkinson. She grew up in Tolworth and Surbiton.
Katherine Parkinson Husband
Katherine Parkinson married Harry Peacock in 2009, he is an actor popularly known for his role in Gulliver’s Travels. They have two children Dora Peacock and Gwendolyn Peacock.
Katherine Parkinson Sister
This information will be updated.
Katherine Parkinson Feet
Katherine Parkinson IT Crowd
She plays Jen Barber in IT Crowd, a Relationship Manager for the IT Department of Reynholm Industries. She managed to lie her way into the job when she said on her CV that she had a lot of experience with technology, despite having to be told how to pronounce the word ‘computers’.
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Katherine Parkinson Doc Martin
Between 2005 and 2009 Katherine Parkinson played Pauline Lamb, the doctor’s receptionist – and later phlebotomist. She was formerly an assistant in a veterinary office, Pauline has been Dr. Martin Ellingham’s receptionist since 2005, when she assumed the job from her cousin Elaine Denham. She is a native of Portwenn and until recently lived with her mother Dawn Lamb in the village. After proving herself to be clear headed in emergencies, she was sent on a phlebotomy course and is now in charge of bleeding Dr. Ellingham’s patients. Her calm, pragmatic manner and quick wit make her one of the few people able to get along with her surly boss.
Katherine Parkinson Humans
Katherine Parkinson plays Laura Hawkins – a lawyer; the wife of Joe Hawkins and the mother of Matilda Hawkins, Sophie Hawkins and Toby Hawkins. She is an ally of the conscious synths.
Katherine Parkinson Movies and TV Shows
Katherine Parkinson Movies
- 2018: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
- 2014: Britain Isn’t Eating
- 2009: The Boat That Rocked
- 2009: St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold
- 2008: Easy Virtue
- 2008: How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
- 2007: Christmas at the Riviera
- 2006: Hard to Swallow
Katherine Parkinson TV Shows
- 2015–present: Humans
- 2015: Horizon
- 2015: The Kennedys
- 2014–present: In the Club
- 2014: The Honourable Woman
- 2014: Inside No. 9
- 2014: Crackanory
- 2014: Officially Special:
- 2013: Love Matters
- 2012: Sherlock
- 2011: Psychoville
- 2011: Comedy Showcase: Coma Girl
- 2011: The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff
- 2010: The Great Outdoors
- 2010: Whites
- 2009: Jonathan Creek
- 2009: The Old Guys
- 2007–2009: Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show
- 2007: Fear, Stress & Anger
- 2007: Christmas at the Riviera
- 2006–2013: The IT Crowd
- 2005–2009: Doc Martin
- 2005: Ahead of the Class
- 2005: Casualty
- 2005: Extras
Katherine Parkinson Interview with The Guardian
You’re a fan of Carla Lane’s 1970s sitcom Butterflies. Are you a student of sitcoms?
Katherine Parkinson: Yes I love Butterflies but I wouldn’t say I’m a student of sitcoms in the way that many people who work in comedy are. Some people have an extraordinary knowledge, almost geeky. But I’ve never been geeky about anything. It’s not in my nature. That said, growing up, sitcoms were what we watched together as a family: Only Fools and Horses, Dad’s Army and things like Butterflies, Yes, Prime Minister and Rising Damp. I loved anything that Leonard Rossiter was in.
Unlike The IT Crowd, The Kennedys doesn’t have a laughter track on it. Where do you stand on the laughter track?
Katherine Parkinson: In The IT Crowd Graham Linehan said he always wanted to work with a laughter track. He’s since done a sitcom where he didn’t have one and that was brilliant, so I wonder if he’s changed his mind. I think it depends on the comedy. When it’s quite gaggy and broad it feels really peculiar not to have a laughter track. I’m glad we don’t have one on The Kennedys because we have so so much wonderful music. I find it irritating as a viewer when producers get anxious and want laughter after every joke.
The aesthetic in The Kennedys is very Abigail’s Party. How do you think you would have fitted into the 1970s?
Katherine Parkinson: Well I’m a huge fan of Abigail’s Party, particularly Alison Steadman. In fact she in that and Nuts in May first piqued my interest in acting. I couldn’t believe how funny it was. I grew up myself in suburban hell, so it really struck a chord. I think the first episode does make you think of Abigail’s Party because it’s a dinner party and I’m in a sort of Beverly dress. But I’m happy to feel moments of Beverly. I did even think of doing a sibilance, which sits quite naturally with me. I think that might have been too much. But I love the 70s clothes. The food not so much.
You read classics at Oxford. Who’s your favourite classical character?
Katherine Parkinson: What a wonderful question. The Sun TV mag doesn’t ask you that. I think probably Dido, although my favourite writer was Euripides. I’m so delighted there’s this resurgence of classical theatre suddenly. My God, there’s good parts for women, seeing Kristin Scott Thomas and Helen McCrory doing these fantastic productions. With British classical theatre you think there are the parts but then you look at Gertrude and realise she hasn’t got anything to say.
When were you first bitten by the acting bug?
Katherine Parkinson: You hear some actors say that they wanted to act from the age of four. I find the specificity of that so strange because I can’t remember anything when I was four. Whereas I played Puck in the school play when I was 13 and remember feeling extremely comfortable and happy on stage and I also remember my dad being really chuffed. I think I felt quite noticed.
So going to Oxford, did you already know that you wanted to be an actor?
Katherine Parkinson: I think I had a desire to act but didn’t think it could be possible in a family of teachers and people who worked in shipyards. I used to read about people like Thandie Newton and Rachel Weisz in the Sunday papers and think, Oh, they went to Oxford and they acted from there, so maybe my parents would let me – because they were all about education. And that became a legitimate route. I thought if I got to Oxford those frivolous things wouldn’t be frowned upon by my parents. I’m afraid it wasn’t any profound intellectual need.
You’re quite a protean actor who changes her appearances a lot. Do you ever fear that without a more fixed identity people will think “who’s that?”
Katherine Parkinson: It can backfire sometimes. I went through this phase when I was younger wanting to look really different in every part. I remember I played Marion in Easy Virtue, the frumpy daughter of Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth, and I went to the premiere. Nobody knew that I’d been in it and I thought, Oh what’s the point of it! And an actor said to me, don’t work too hard at that, because they want you to be a thing. So then I thought it’s more about genre, that’s how I can interest myself. For instance I finished Humans one week and started The Kennedys the next and the difference between those two shows was so profound. So the superficial things, like appearance are not so important.
What’s your favourite non-acting pastime?
Katherine Parkinson: I think probably at the moment, because I’ve got two small children, I do a lot of stuff with clay. And I’m not very talented artistically but I love doing it anyway. So I make pots that people assume my children have made. My other favourite thing to do is go running but I’m finding it hard to get out at the moment.
Tell me something surprising about yourself.
Katherine Parkinson: This won’t show me in a good light but it will show I’m like the character I play in The Kennedys: I’ve never successfully boiled an egg. I think I have an undiagnosed syndrome which is that I can make a mess in the kitchen but I can’t make anything edible.
Is there an actor whose career you particularly admire?
Katherine Parkinson: There’s a few. People like Lesley Sharp, Lesley Manville. Anyone called Lesley. Anna Chancellor and Imelda Staunton obviously. The thing I admire about all those actresses is the way that they do lots of theatre. So to see Helen McCrory in Medea and then on TV in Peaky Blinders and managing the rigorous demands of different media as well as different characters, that’s what excites me. I feel inspired by those sorts of actresses more than Meryl Streep.
Is it more satisfying to make an audience laugh or cry?
Katherine Parkinson: I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently. There’s a great feeling of control in comedy. And I think it’s really instinctive as well, so you don’t have to do any homework. Whereas I think with drama everyone has an emotional truth and it’s about accessing it. Some actors can access it more easily but you have to put the work in. You can’t do a play about someone with depression, for example, without thinking that through. It’s not to say comedy is easier – I think the talent is rarer – but I find it easier. For me the most satisfying thing is to do both in the same play or programme, which is frustratingly rare. That’s what I’m always on the hunt for. And that’s why I love Butterflies.