Katherine Parkinson

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Katherine Parkinson
BornKatherine Jane Parkinson
(1977-03-09) 9 March 1977 (age 37)
Hounslow, London, England
Years active2001–present
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Katherine Parkinson
BornKatherine Jane Parkinson
(1977-03-09) 9 March 1977 (age 37)
Hounslow, London, England
Years active2001–present

Katherine Jane Parkinson (born 9 March 1977 in Hounslow, London[1]) is an English actress. She is best known for her role as Jen Barber in the Channel 4 comedy series The IT Crowd, for which she received a British Comedy Best TV Actress Award in 2009 and a BAFTA TV Award in 2014[2] (having received a nomination in 2011). She was also a main cast member of the series Doc Martin from series 2 to 4. She also performed the voiceovers for the games Worms: Clan Wars and Worms Battlegrounds.

Early life and education[edit]

Parkinson grew up in Tolworth, Surbiton[3] and studied at Tiffin Girls' School[4] before going on to read Classics at St Hilda's College, Oxford.[5][6] She studied at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) where she met Chris O'Dowd, later to be her co-star in The IT Crowd.[6] Parkinson left her course to star in the play The Age of Consent.


In 2007, she appeared in a new production of Chekhov's The Seagull at London's Royal Court Theatre, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Mackenzie Crook.

On New Year's Day 2009 in the UK, she appeared in a feature-length episode of Jonathan Creek entitled "The Grinning Man". In 2009, for the third series of The IT Crowd, Parkinson became one of the highest paid actresses on a Channel 4 commissioned programme. She also contributed sketch characters to Katy Brand's ITV2 show, having been friends with Brand since their time at university.[7] At the end of 2009 she appeared in the play Cock at the Royal Court Theatre.

She has appeared several times on BBC Radio 4, including on Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking, Mouth Trap,[8] again with Katy Brand, and in The Odd Half Hour.[9] She also starred in a television advertisement for Maltesers alongside fellow actress and comedian Amanda Abbington, and provided her voice for a Herbal Essences shampoo advertising campaign in 2010.

Parkinson is one of the main cast in BBC Four's three-part comedy series The Great Outdoors, which first aired on 28 July 2010.[10] In 2010–2011 she appeared in Season's Greetings at the National Theatre and in 2011 as Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal (directed by Deborah Warner) at the Barbican Centre.

Having played the doctor's receptionist, and later phlebotomist, in series 2-4 of Doc Martin, while in series 5 her character was replaced by a new receptionist.

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.

Personal life[edit]

Parkinson's family are from Ulster and Devonshire. Her father is Northern Irish historian Dr. A F Parkinson. Parkinson is married to actor Harry Peacock, with whom she had a daughter in 2012. In 2014, it was announced that the couple are expecting their second child.[11]



2006Hard to SwallowKatie
2007Christmas at the RivieraVanessa
2008Easy VirtueMarion Whittaker
2008How to Lose Friends & Alienate PeoplePR woman
2009The Boat That RockedFelicity
2009St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's GoldPhysics teacher


2005Ahead of the ClassVicky Foley
2005CasualtyHelen GibbonsEpisode: "The Long Goodbye"
2005ExtrasWoman in queueEpisode: "Ross Kemp and Vinnie Jones"
2005–2009Doc MartinPauline LambSeries 2–4
2006–2013IT Crowd, TheThe IT CrowdJen BarberBritish Comedy Award for Best Television Comedy Actress[12]
Nominated – BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance[13]
Winner of BAFTA award Best Female Performance In A Comedy Programme 2014[2]
2007Fear, Stress & AngerGemma
2007Christmas at the RivieraVanessa
2007–2009Katy Brand's Big Ass ShowVarious charactersSeries 1–3
2009Jonathan CreekNicolaEpisode: "The Grinning Man"
2009Old Guys, TheThe Old GuysAmber
2010Great Outdoors, TheThe Great OutdoorsSophie
2011PsychovilleFionaSeries 2, Episode 5
2011Comedy Showcase: Coma GirlPipSeries 3, Episode 2
2011The Bleak Old Shop of StuffConceptiva
2012SherlockKitty Riley[15]Episode: "The Reichenbach Fall"
2013Love MattersJo PepperEpisode: "Officially Special"
2014The Honourable WomanRachel
2014Inside No. 9RebeccaEpisode: "Sardines"
2014Officially SpecialJo Pepper
2014In the ClubKim


2004A Certain SmileCatherine
Good Times RolePatient
2008The Odd Half Hour
2008MouthtrapWriter / performer
2010Sarah Millican's Support GroupKim
2011The Lost Weekend
2011The Drover of Clissold Common
2011–2012Don't StartKim
2011The One and OnlyLayla
2012Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade CarefullyKatrina
2012Diary of a NobodyCarrie Pooter
2012The Bat ManColette
The Lady from the SeaBolette


2014In The Club2013Before the Party[16][17]LauraAlmeida
2012Absent Friends[18]DianaHarold Pinter Theatre
201166 Books[19]JoBush Theatre
2011The School for Scandal[20]Lady TeazleBarbican Theatre
2010Season's Greetings[21]PattieNational Theatre
2009Cock[22]WRoyal Court
2007The Seagull[23]MashaRoyal Court
2006The Lightning Play[24]Imogen CumberbatchAlmeida
2006Other Hands[25]LydiaSoho Theatre
2004Flush[26]LilySoho Theatre
2004Cigarettes and Chocolate[27]GailKing's Head Theatre
2004The Unthinkable[28]FranSheffield Crucible
2003The Riot Act[29]AntigoneThe Gate (London)
2003The Increased Difficulty of ConcentrationAnna BalcarThe Gate (London)
2003Camille[30]OlympeLyric Hammersmith
2002Deep Throat Live on Stage[31]Linda LovelaceAssembly Rooms Edinburgh Festival Fat Bloke Productions
2002Frame 312[32]Maggie / Doris / MarieDonmar Warehouse
2002The Age of Consent[33]StephanieBush Theatre


  1. ^ http://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/world-records/england-and-wales-births-1837-2006?firstname=katherine%20j&lastname=parkinson&eventyear=1978&eventyear_offset=1
  2. ^ a b "Winner Katherine Parkinson The IT Crowd". BAFTA Television Awards. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-features/9960579/Katherine-Parkinson-interview.html
  4. ^ Bruce Dessau (2007-12-28). "Big in 2008: Comedy". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  5. ^ "Katherine Parkinson - Classics, 1996". St Hilda's College University of Oxford. University of Oxford. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Katherine Parkinson Interview". Channel 4. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Harries, Rhiannon (2009-12-20). "How We Met: Katherine Parkinson & Katy Brand". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  8. ^ "Mouth trap". BBC Radio 4. 2008-05-20. 
  9. ^ "The Odd Half Hour". BBC Radio 4. 
  10. ^ "The Great Outdoors". BBC Four. 
  11. ^ Belotti, Alex (2013-03-14). "Hollywood’s lure doesn’t work on laughter-loving Katherine Parkinson". Hampstead and Highgate Express. 
  12. ^ "The Winners - 2009". British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  13. ^ "Female Performance in a Comedy Programme 2010". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 
  14. ^ "Whites". BBC Two. 
  15. ^ "Sherlock". BBC One. 
  16. ^ "Before the Party - cast". Almeida Theatre. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Dominic Cavendish (29 March 2013). "Before the Party, Almeida Theatre, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Charles Spencer (10 February 2012). "Absent Friends, Harold Pinter Theatre, Review". The Telegraph. 
  19. ^ "66 – Sixty Six Books". Bush Theatre. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "The School for Scandal". Barbican Centre. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  21. ^ Ian Shuttleworth (13 December 2010). "Season’s Greetings, National Theatre (Lyttelton), London". Theatre and Dance. FT.com. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Cock at the Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  23. ^ Michael Billington (26 January 2007). "The Seagull, Royal Court, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "The Lightning Play". Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  25. ^ Michael Billington. "Other Hands, Soho Theatre, London". Theatre. The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  26. ^ Aleks Sierz (26 April 2004). "Flush". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Archive for Cigarettes and Chocolate/Hang up at the Kings Head Theatre". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  28. ^ John Highfield (1 November 2004). "The Unthinkable". The Stage. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "The Riot Act (play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Archive for Camille at Lyric Theatre Hammersmith". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  31. ^ Johann Hari (12 August 2002). "Edinburgh festival - Sex and violence". New Statesman. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Frame 312 (Play) archive". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  33. ^ "Age of Consent". UK Theatre Archive. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 

External links[edit]