Life Outside The TARDIS: Catherine Tate

Catherine Tate as Donna Noble in 'Doctor Who' (Pic: BBC)

Catherine Tate as Donna Noble in ‘Doctor Who’ (Pic: BBC)

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 years 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 on into various roles in Big Train, a sketch show 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:

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 this particular meeting of minds that people seem to love the best:

Oh and while we’re talking about Shakespeare with David Tennant, this is from 2011:

Then there was the 2004 comedy grotesque Wild West, with Dawn French:

And two years later, Love and Other Disasters:

And Starter for 10, starring James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Corden and a host of other British acting giants:

And Sixty-Six, in which she burns a thing in a pan:

Then there’s Scenes of a Sexual Nature, all from 2006, the same year Donna Noble took off in the TARDIS:

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 another starring Daniel Craig for 2007’s Comic Relief telethon:

And she’s in this delightfully quirky reworking of Gulliver’s Travels too:

AND the Selena Gomez movie Monte Carlo:

And of course the big news of the last few years (since Donna got married, at any rate) has been The Office:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR5W01Xg-dM

Looks more than a little comfortable, doesn’t she?

Here are some more of her recent appearances, including Eva Braun in the psychologist’s chair in Sky’s Psychobitches:

And Miss Postern, the French teacher and apple of David Walliams’ eye in Big School:

Not to mention Sophie, the apple of Martin Clunes’ eye (if he could only remember) in Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey:

See more:
Life Outside The TARDIS: Elisabeth Sladen
Life Outside the TARDIS: Billie Piper
Life Outside The TARDIS: Karen Gillan
Life Outside The TARDIS: David Tennant (Part 1)

Fraser McAlpine

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
View all posts by Fraser McAlpine.