Home > Categories > Art and Entertainment > Actors > Catherine Tate's Biography

Catherine Tate's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z
Catherine Tate was born Catherine Ford in 1968 in London. She grew up with her mother, who left her father when Catherine was six months old.

When she was a child, Catherine Tate had a version of obsessive compulsive disorder based on word association.

Catherine Tate studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama and had roles on stage like Smeraldina in the RSC play, A Servant to Two Masters, and Peg in The Way of the World at the National Theatre.

After around five years of stand-up comedy, and roles in TV shows like Barking, That Peter Kay Thing, and The Harry Hill Show, Catherine Tate's career progressed when, in 2000, she was nominated for a Perrier as part of Lee Mack's Bits.

She starred as Angela in the BBC's Wild West series alongside Dawn French.

However, it was with her own show, The Catherine Tate Show that she achieved massive accolades from critics and public alike.

As well as writing on the sketches, Catherine Tate plays a diverse range of characters.

Catherine Tate's interview in The Times has some interesting background on her characters:

"Tate is also incredibly grateful to the woman larding her face right now, Vanessa White, who, with prosthetics and pigment, has built the features of every character from scratch. White does those race and gender-swap programmes, as well as Nighty Night. She based Nan on a photograph of the ancient Bette Davis. “It’s her neck, and you can see it move when I swallow,” says Tate. When she plays Derek Faye, the effeminate man whose catchphrase is “How very dare you!”, the transformation takes three hours, with layers of latex leaving just her eyes visible. Nan goes on in 45 minutes, and comes off in five."

Perhaps the most famous Catherine Tate character is teenager Lauren and her catchphrase "Am I bovvered ...Do I look bovvered?"

Catherine Tate has also started to play less comic roles in film, theatre and TV.

She took to the stage in London's West End in 2005 as Sam in Some Girls.

On TV, Catherine Tate has played Mrs Chadband, Esther's childhood nurse, in Bleak House and Donna, a runaway bride in a Doctor Who Christmas Special.

In February 2007, Catherine Tate took the leading role of Karen Cooper, a 30-something divorcee, in ITV's The Bad Mother's Handbook.

Tate's film roles include a high quality performance as Aunt Lila in Sixty Six.

Catherine Tate lives in Fulham with her partner, Twig Clark, and their daughter Erin.

In July 2007, the BBC announced that Catherine Tate was to play Doctor Who's new companion for the complete 13-week run of the series of Doctor Who, filmed later that month.

In 2023, she was selected as the Eurovision spokesperson delivering the results of the UK’s National Jury.

In the same year she starred in, executive produced and co-wrote Queen of Oz on BBC One.

Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: