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Catherine Tate née Ford, (born May 12, 1968) is a BAFTA and Emmy Award-nominated English comedienne and actress best known for her BBC Two sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show. Following her success on The Catherine Tate Show, she played Donna Noble in the 2006 Christmas special of Doctor Who and is now set to reprise the role of Donna to become the Doctor's companion throughout series four in 2008.
Tate began her acting career with roles in serial dramas such as Casualty. She appeared in comedy series such as The Harry Hill Show, Barking and That Peter Kay Thing and soon after she became involved with Lee Mack's Perrier-nominated New Bits show at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2000. In 2001 she returned to the festival with her own one-woman show which was followed by roles in Big Train, Attention Scum and TVGoHome. After being spotted at Edinburgh, she was offered a role in the comedy Wild West with Dawn French. She was then given her own programme, which she co-wrote with Derren Litten, entitled The Catherine Tate Show.
After The Catherine Tate Show became a success, in March, 2005, she made an appearance during the BBC's Comic Relief as the character of Lauren Cooper from The Catherine Tate Show, alongside boy-band McFly. In November, 2005, Tate appeared in another charity sketch as part of the BBC's annual Children in Need telethon. The segment was a crossover between EastEnders and The Catherine Tate Show, featuring Eastender characters Peggy Mitchell, Little Mo Mitchell and Stacey Slater, and Tate appeared in the guise of her well-known character Lauren Cooper. The sketch saw Lauren arrive in Walford in search of revenge on Stacey, who had apparently stolen her boyfriend. After arguing with Peggy, Lauren eventually left The Queen Victoria pub after uttering some famous lines from the soap, including "Hello Princess" and "Rickaay!", along with her usual catchphrase, "Am I Bovvered?" and making various references to cockney culture, such as asking Peggy whether she knew Chas & Dave.
Also in November, Tate was a guest star at the 77th Royal Variety Performance and once again appeared in the guise of Lauren, accompanied by her friends Ryan and Liese. During the sketch, Tate, as her character Lauren, looked up at the Royal Box and asked the Queen; "Is one bovvered? Is one's face bovvered?".
At the end of 2005 she appeared in the award-winning BBC television adaptation of Bleak House. She has been commissioned to write a TV drama for the BBC's forthcoming Decades project. She also had a role in the television adaptation of the novel The Bad Mother's Handbook where she co-starred along side Anne Reid.
On March 16, 2007, Tate appeared on Comic Relief in the guise of some of her well-known characters from The Catherine Tate Show. Tate appeared as character Lauren Cooper in sketches with David Tennant who acted as Lauren Cooper's teacher and British Prime Minister Tony Blair who saw Lauren Cooper while she was on work experience at 10 Downing Street. Tate also appeared as Elaine Figgis who had met actor Daniel Craig on the internet, as Geordie Georgie with Lenny Henry, and Joannie "Nan" Taylor on an episode of Deal or No Deal hosted by Noel Edmonds.
Tate co-wrote and starred in her own comedy sketch programme called The Catherine Tate Show. Despite speculation that the third series would be the last, Tate and the BBC have not ruled out further series or episodes. In an interview on The Paul O'Grady Show on December 18, 2006 Tate indicated that a fourth series was unlikely but hoped to film a one-off special episode in 2007. She has also indicated that she would be happy to take the show on a live tour.
Tate has been nominated for and won several awards for her work on the show. In 2004, Tate won a British Comedy Award for "Best comedy newcomer" for her work on the first series of The Catherine Tate Show and on December 13, 2006, Tate won a British Comedy Award for "Best British Comedy Actress" for her work in the second series of The Catherine Tate Show. She was also nominated for a BAFTA Award for "best comedy performance" in the second series. Doctor Who
In 2006, Tate appeared in Doctor Who as Donna Noble, a woman in a wedding dress who suddenly appeared in the TARDIS at the end of the episode "Doomsday". She then played a major role as Donna in the Christmas special "The Runaway Bride", the episode which continued from "Doomsday". On her appearance in the series, Tate commented "I was holding out for a summer season at Wigan rep but as a summer job, this'll do."
It was announced on July 4, 2007 that Tate would be returning to Doctor Who to reprise the role of Donna as the Doctor's companion throughout the fourth series of the revived series, due to be shown in 2008. Russell T Davies said: "We are delighted that one of Britain's greatest talents has agreed to join us for the fourth series".
Tate had roles in three films in 2006. These films included; Starter for Ten, Sixty Six and Scenes of a Sexual Nature. She appears in the forthcoming films: Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution, in which she plays the title character, and Love and Other Disasters.
In 2001 she played Smeraldina in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of A Servant to Two Masters. In 2005, Tate played a role in the West End play Some Girl(s), alongside Friends star David Schwimmer, Sara Powell, Lesley Manville and Saffron Burrows. In an interview Tate commented that she could not look Schwimmer in the eye during her time with him, leading to speculation that the pair did not get on. Tate immediately denied the rumours, explaining that she was joking about her attempts to act "cool" around the actor who she described as "a very funny, personable man, and easy to get along with".
Tate was born in Bloomsbury, London and brought up in the Brunswick Centre. Her mother was a florist. Tate never knew her father as her mother left him very early on in Tate's life. Consequently Tate was brought up in a female dominant environment, and was cared for by her mother, grandmother and her godparents.
Tate attended St Joseph's, Macklin Street, a local Catholic primary school; followed by Notre Dame High School, Southwark, a south London convent secondary school for girls. She studied for A-levels in the sixth form of Salesian College, Battersea, another south London secondary school, before going on to train at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Until the age of 26, Tate lived in Holborn and Bloomsbury.
Tate's partner is stage manager Twig Clark. They have one child, a girl called Erin (born 2003). After giving birth to Erin, Tate suffered from bad postnatal depression. The family currently have a home in Fulham, London.