Joanna Scanlan

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Joanna Scanlan
Born1961 (age 52–53)
West Kirby, Wirral, England
OccupationActress, lecturer
Years active1997–present
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Joanna Scanlan
Born1961 (age 52–53)
West Kirby, Wirral, England
OccupationActress, lecturer
Years active1997–present

Joanna Scanlan (born 1961 in West Kirby, Wirral[1]) is an English actress and television writer, best known for her roles in various British comedy series, such as The Thick of It,[2] Doctors and Nurses, Getting On, Little Britain, and as Catherine Dickens in the period drama The Invisible Woman.

Early life[edit]

The daughter of hoteliers, Scanlan moved with her parents to North East Wales aged 3 where they later bought the Ruthin Castle hotel.[3] She was educated in Denbigh, Wales, and then studied history at Cambridge University. Scanlan then joined the Cambridge Footlights, where she became friends with Tilda Swinton.

Early career[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Getting On[edit]

Getting On is co-written by and stars Scanlan, Jo Brand and Vicki Pepperdine. Its first series received high praise from television critics across the board in the UK, with praise for the actors' performances, and for the realistic portrayal of an NHS hospital.[6][7]

All three writers were nominated for the 2009 Royal Television Society Award for Best Writing in Comedy.[8]

Both Scanlan and Brand were nominated for the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Role.[9]

Selected credits[edit]


Jane EyreBessie
Coming SoonCludia
The Thick of ItTerri Coverley
Getting OnSister Den Flixter
Home TimeMrs Pitman
Doc MartinDr Diana Dibbs
Heading OutToria
Big SchoolMrs Janine Klebb
Puppy LoveNana V
The Killings of CopenhagenClara Trout
Rev.Jill Mallory


2003Girl with a Pearl EarringTanneke
2005A Little Trip to HeavenJosie
Kinky BootsTrish
2006Notes on a ScandalSue Hodge
2007Grow Your OwnBarbara
2008The Other Boleyn GirlMary's midwife
2009In the LoopRoz
2013The Invisible WomanCatherine Dickens
2014Get Santa
TBATestament of Youth


External links[edit]