Catherine Tate

Last updated 09 January 2020

Catherine Tate
(this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)

Catherine Ford

Born: Sunday 12th May 1968 (age: 55)

Dawn Sedgwick Management (Agent)

Catherine Tate is an English actress, writer, comedian and model who played Donna Noble alongside Tenth Doctor David Tennant.

Tate was born in Bloomsbury in central London. She never knew her father, as he left very early on in her life, and  was brought up in a female-dominated environment, being cared for by her mother, grandmother and her godparents. She attended St Joseph's, Macklin Street, Holborn, aand Notre Dame High School, Southwark, a South London convent secondary school for girls that was run by nuns. 

Tate began her television acting career with roles in serial dramas such as The Bill, and London's Burning. She started stand-up comedy in 1996, and has appeared in comedy series such as The Harry Hill Show, Barking and That Peter Kay Thing and a role in Men Behaving Badly. 

She acted the role of Smeraldina in a 2000 RSC production of A Servant to Two Masters, and another role in The Way of the World at the National Theatre.

Tate was given her own programme on BBC Two in 2004, which she co-wrote and starred in with Derren Litten, entitled The Catherine Tate Show, which ran for three seasons. Two of the show's well-known characters are teenager Lauren Cooper and Joannie "Nan" Taylor, the cockney grandmother. Tate's inspiration for the cockney grandmother came from visits to old people's homes when she was at drama college. Tate won a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Newcomer for her work on the first series of The Catherine Tate Show, and with the first series becoming a success, in March 2005, Tate made a guest appearance during the BBC's Comic Relief as the character of Lauren from The Catherine Tate Show, alongside boy-band McFly, which gained her further exposure.

The third series of The Catherine Tate Show aired in 2006, won the National Television Award for most popular comedy as voted for by the public, and Tate's catchphrase "bovvered", used by her character Lauren Cooper, became so influential in popular culture that it was named Word of the Year and was even poised to enter the Oxford English Dictionary. 

At the end of the second series of Doctor Who, in the episode Doomsday, Catherine Tate appeared in a surprise cameo role as a bride who suddenly appeared in the TARDIS. She went on to guest star in the Christmas 2006 special, where she played the role of The Runaway Bride, Donna Noble.

On 16 March 2007, Tate appeared for a second time on Comic Relief as some of her well-known characters from The Catherine Tate Show. She acted in sketches with David Tennant, Daniel Craig, Lenny Henry, and the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, who used the show's famous catchphrase, "Am I bovvered?"

Tate returned to Doctor Who in 2008  reprising the role of Donna Noble for the entire Season 30, which was shown on BBC One starting on 5 April for a 13-week run. Producer Russell T Davies said, "We are delighted that one of Britain's greatest talents has agreed to join us for the fourth series." Tate added, "I am delighted to be returning to Doctor Who. I had a blast last Christmas and look forward to travelling again through time and space with that nice man from Gallifrey." 

She left the series after the episode Journeys End, although made a cameo appearance in the final David Tennant story, The end of Time.

In 2008, she starred as Michelle, a 38-year-old promiscuous maths teacher, in David Eldridge's Under The Blue Sky at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, alongside Francesca Annis and Nigel Lindsay. 

In 2011 she will play Beatrice opposite David Tennant's  Benedict in the London production of  Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing