Katherine Parkinson is an English actress.

Parkinson is best known for her role as Jen Barber in the Channel 4 comedy seriesThe IT Crowd, for which she received a British Comedy Best TV Actress Award in 2009 and a BAFTA TV Award in 2014[1] (having received a nomination in 2011). She was also a main cast member of the series Doc Martin for three seasons, and performed the voiceovers for the games Worms: Clan Wars and Worms Battlegrounds.

She portrays Laura Hawkins in AMC's Humans.

Early life Edit

Parkinson was born in Hounslow, London, the daughter of historian A. F. Parkinson. Her family are from Northern Ireland and Devon. She grew up in Tolworth and Surbiton,[2] and studied at Tiffin Girls' School[3] before going on to read Classics at St Hilda's College, Oxford.[4][5] 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.[5] She left her course to star in the play The Age of Consent.

Career Edit

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.[6] 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 TalkingMouth Trap,[7] again with Katy Brand, and in The Odd Half Hour.[8] 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.[9] 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.

She 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.

In 2014, she co-starred in TV advertisements for Kit-Kat.

Filmography Edit

Film Edit

Year Title Role
2006 Hard to Swallow Katie
2007 Christmas at the Riviera Vanessa
2008 Easy Virtue Marion Whittaker
2008 [[How to Lose Friends & Alienate People PR Woman
2009 The Boat That Rocked Felicity
2009 St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold Physics Teacher
2014 Britain Isn't Eating Marion / Sarah

Television Edit

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Ahead of the Class Vicky Foley
2005 Casualty (TV series) Helen Gibbons Episode: "The Long Goodbye"
2005 Extras (TV series) Woman in Queue Episode: "Ross Kemp and Vinnie Jones"
2005–2009 Doc Martin Pauline Lamb
2006–2013 The IT Crowd Jen Barber British Comedy Awards 2009 for Best Television Comedy Act
2007 Fear, Stress & Anger Gemma
2007 Christmas at the Riviera Vanessa
2007–2009 Katy Brand's Big Ass Show Various Characters
2009 Jonathan Creek Nicola Episode: "The Grinning Man (Jonathan Creek)"
2009 The Old Guys Amber
2010 The Great Outdoors Sophie
2010 Whites (TV series) Caroline
2011 Psychoville Fiona 1 episode
2011 Comedy Showcase Pip 1 episodes
2011 The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff Conceptiva
2012 Sherlock (TV series) Episode: "The Reichenbach Fall" Kitty Riley
2013 Love Matters Jo Pepper Episode: "Officially Special"
2014 The Honourable Woman Rachel
2014 Inside No. 9 Rebecca Episode: "Sardines (Inside No. 9)"
2014 Officially Special Jo Pepper
2014 In the Club (TV series) Kim
2015 Humans (TV series) Laura Hawkins Prominent role

Personal life Edit

Parkinson is married to actor Harry Peacock, with whom she had a daughter in 2012. In 2014, it was announced that the couple were expecting their second child.

Quotes Edit

  • "We definitely tried to make it (a/n Humans ) seem like it’s a now that’s just right around the corner. It’s quite scary talking about it because you realize that it’s almost an inevitability that we’re going to have these synthetic beings in our homes, and it’s quite scary the consequences of that. There’s something in the paper every day that chimes with stuff we’re dealing with in the show.” (source)