Joanna Scanlan

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Joanna Scanlan
Born1961 (age 52–53)
Ruthin, Wales[1]
OccupationActress, Lecturer
Years active1997–present
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Joanna Scanlan
Born1961 (age 52–53)
Ruthin, Wales[1]
OccupationActress, Lecturer
Years active1997–present

Joanna Scanlan (born 1961) is a British 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, Catherine Dickens in period drama, The Invisible Woman and Little Britain.

Early life[edit]

The daughter of hoteliers, her father owned the Ruthin Castle hotel where she was born.[1] She was educated in Denbigh, Wales, and then studied history at Cambridge University. There she joined the Cambridge Footlights, where she became friends with Tilda Swinton.

Early career[edit]

On graduation, she joined the academic staff of De Montfort University lecturing in drama for five years, before she undertook a similar role at the Arts Council of Great Britain for three years.[1][3]

After the Arts Council of Great Britain broke up in 1994, at age 34 she decided to try her hand at professional acting, quickly gaining the role as a nurse in ITV1's Peak Practice.[1] The 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 a doctor in Martin Clunes Doc Martin.[1]

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.[4][5]

All three writers were nominated for the 2009 Royal Television Society Award for Best Writing in Comedy.[6]

Both Scanlan and Brand were nominated for the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Role.[7]

Selected credits[edit]


Jane EyreBessie
Coming SoonCludia
2005, 2007, 2009, 2012
The Thick of ItTerri Coverley
2009, 2010, 2012
Getting OnSister Den Flixter
Home TimeMrs Pitman
Doc MartinDr Diana Dibbs
Heading OutToria
Big SchoolMrs 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


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Thick of It star from Ruthin in new hospital comedy". Daily Post. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  2. ^ BBC Comedy Blog: The Thick of It's Joanna Scanlan on playing Terri
  3. ^ Veronica Lee (10 February 2013). "Joanna Scanlan: From bumbling Whitehall press officer in The Thick of It to lifestyle coach in Heading Out". The Independent. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "'Getting On' In The Press...". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Banks-Smith, Nancy (9 July 2009). "Last night's TV: Getting On, Taking the Flak". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "RTS Programme Awards 2009". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2010". BAFTA. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 

External links[edit]