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Joanna Scanlan

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Occupation  Actress, screenwriter
Role  Actress
Name  Joanna Scanlan
Years active  1997–present

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Born  27 October 1961 (age 54) (1961-10-27) West Kirby, Merseyside, England
Upcoming movie  How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Nominations  British Academy Television Award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme
Movies and TV shows  The Thick of It, Getting On, The Invisible Woman, Testament of Youth, Girl with a Pearl Earring
Similar People  Vicki Pepperdine, Jo Brand, James Kent, Peter Webber, Armando Iannucci

Education  University of Cambridge

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Joanna Scanlan (born 27 October 1961) is an English actress and screenwriter. She is known for her roles in British television series, such as The Thick of It (2005–12), Getting On (2009–12), Puppy Love (2014), and No Offence (2015–present). She was nominated for three BAFTA TV Awards for Getting On, including two for Best Writing. Her film appearances include Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003), Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Invisible Woman (2013), and Bridget Jones's Baby (2016).


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Early life

Joanna Scanlan Joanna Scanlan 39I39ve never even tried to be funny

Scanlan was born in West Kirby, Wirral. She attended Brigidine convent, Denbigh, New Hall School, Chelmsford and Howell's School Denbigh. The daughter of hoteliers, Michael and Patricia Scanlan, she moved to North Wales with her parents at the age of three, where her parents later bought the Ruthin Castle hotel. She then studied history at Queens' College, Cambridge. She then joined the Cambridge Footlights, where she became friends with Tilda Swinton.

Early career

Joanna Scanlan Actress Joanna Scanlan on new Channel 4 crime drama No

After graduation, Scanlan joined the academic staff of Leicester Polytechnic lecturing in drama for five years, before she undertook a similar role at the Arts Council of Great Britain for three years.

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After the Arts Council of Great Britain broke up in 1994, at age 34 Scanlan decided to try her hand at professional acting, quickly gaining the role as a nurse in ITV1's Peak Practice. This formed some what of a theme in her early career, then playing a midwife in The Other Boleyn Girl with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, before playing a nurse again alongside Ade Edmondson's doctor in ill-fated Doctors and Nurses, and latterly Dr Diana Dibbs in Doc Martin with Martin Clunes.

The Thick of It

Joanna Scanlan Pin Joanna Scanlan At Event Of The Invisible Woman 2013

Scanlan is renowned for her portrayal of 'Terri Coverley', the notoriously useless senior press officer for the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship in the British comedy television series The Thick of It from 2005-2012. Set in the corridors of power and spin, the series satirises the inner workings of modern British Government, accurately highlighting the trials and tribulations between politicians, civil servants, advisers and the media. Arguably described as the 21st century's answer to Yes Minister, the series was initially broadcast for two short series on BBC Four in 2005 before the cast was significantly expanded for two hour-long specials coinciding with Christmas and Gordon Brown's appointment as Prime Minister in 2007. The series received a plethora of awards including Best Situation Comedy from the Royal Television Society in 2006 and 2010, and best sitcom and writing team in the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2006 and 2010.

Getting On

Among her successes is Scanlan's critically acclaimed dark satirical NHS drama Getting On, which she starred and co-wrote with Jo Brand and Vicki Pepperdine. The series earned her a BAFTA nomination for 'Best Female Performance in a Comedy' and a BAFTA Television Craft nomination for screenwriting in both 2011 and 2013. They were also nominated for 'Best Comedy Screenwriting' at The Royal Television Awards in 2010 and 'Best Comedy' at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards in 2011. The comedy series was adapted for an American audience with HBO, with Scanlan onboard as an executive producer to closely work on script development. Scanlan was a guest star in the American version, reprising her role as 'Denise Flixter'. The Emmy nominated show ran for three seasons between 2013-2015.

Puppy Love

Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine teamed up again to write and star in their BBC Four comedy series Puppy Love, which follows two women at their dog training classes on the Wirral. Under their production company George and George Co., they are currently adapting Puppy Love with HBO for America and have a new sitcom This Land is Ours in development for US Network IFC.

No Offence

Scanlan returned to series two of Paul Abbott's BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning primetime drama, No Offence, playing lead character DI Inspector 'Viv Deering'. A cast-iron cop with a tough-love approach to managing her team, Deering and her 'Friday Street Squad' will do everything possible to restore justice to the streets of Manchester. The series features a strong female cast that includes Elaine Cassidy, Alexandra Roach and Sarah Solemani. Series one was awarded Best Drama Series as The Royal Television Society Awards in 2016.

Bridget Jones's Baby

Scanlan returned to the big screen as 'Cathy' in the beloved comedy series Bridget Jones's Baby. Based on Helen Fielding's 2006 columns, the film fills in the gap between the last film and her subsequent book Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. Directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones's Diary), the film finds Bridget unexpectedly expecting.


Other film credits include Joanna's hugely celebrated performance as Charles Dicken's wife in Ralph Fiennes directed The Invisible Woman, Get Santa, Testament of Youth, In the Loop, The Bad Education Movie, The Other Boleyn Girl, Stardust, Notes on a Scandal and Girl With A Pearl Earring and Kinky Boots.

Additional television credits include Death Comes To Pemberley, Fungus the Bogeyman, Mapp and Lucia, Heading Out, Stella, Doc Martin and Spaced.

On stage, Joanna has worked with Thea Starrock in her production of Cloud 9 at the Almeida Theatre and Top Girls, with Rufus Norris in Vernon God Little at The Young Vic and featured in Polly Teale's Madame Bovery.


Joanna Scanlan Wikipedia