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It’s just possible you may already know about some of these clips, what with Catherine holding down her own massively successful sketch show and appearing in the American version of The Office. Nevertheless, hers is a career blessed with more variety than a Manhattan newsstand on delivery day.
And here are just some of her greatest clips:
Here she is, playing the unexpected girlfriend in the 1991 comedy Surgical Spirit:
And two year’s later, another unnamed role, this time in Men Behaving Badly:
Then, after the British Character Actress Apprenticeship that comes from regular appearances in the police drama The Bill, and the fire brigade drama London’s Burning, came a breakthrough. In 2000 Catherine took a role in the series That Peter Kay Thing, a collection of mournfully comic character portraits:
And then there was the sketch comedy, like Big Train, written by Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews (the men who wrote Father Ted):
It was at this point Catherine’s comic talents began to get some serious attention, and the next few years were dominated with sketch comedy shows. Like Harry Hill, from 2000:
Or, for a slightly darker hue, 2001′s Attention Scum:
Or TV Go Home (same year):
Of course her crowning glory was The Catherine Tate Show, which ran for five years from 2004, reaching a peak when her character Lauren met the Prime Minister Tony Blair, although it’s her foul-mouthed character Nan that people love the best:
Then there was the comedy grotesque Wild West, with Dawn French:
This is amazing, Marple: A Murder Is Announced from 2005. it’s like a Doctor Who women survivor’s club, but from an era before any of these actresses had appeared on Doctor Who. In fact the show itself had only recently restarted after a long absence. How very timey wimey:
Also from that year, here’s Twisted Tales, a comedy horror romp:
And a year later, Love and Other Disasters:
And Starter for 10, starring James “Mr Tumnus” McAvoy:
And Sixty-Six, in which she burns a thing in a pan:
Then there’s Scenes of a Sexual Nature, from 2006, the same year Donna Noble took off:
Then she took part in the ritual humiliation of Robert Pattinson, in 2007′s The Bad Mother’s Handbook:
And more of a slice of life approach to Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution, that same year.
Not that sketch comedy was ever off the menu. Here she is in The One Ronnie, with Ronnie Corbett:
And she’s in this
abominable delightfully quirky reworking of Gulliver’s Travels too:
AND the Selena Gomez movie Monte Carlo:
But of course the big news of the last few years (since Donna got married, at any rate) has been The Office:
Looks more than a little comfortable, doesn’t she?
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic