Catherine Tate's return to an iconic role: Who she is behind the scenes

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We take a peek into the life of Doctor Who star Catherine Tate. Her journey into the entertainment industry and who the person she is off the screen.

Catherine Tate's portrayal of Donna Noble in the iconic TV series Doctor Who left an unforgettable mark. Playing the sassy companion to the tenth doctor, played by David Tennant, Tate brought her own delightful comedic style to the show. Before becoming the unforgettable Donna Noble, Catherine was a successful comedian and actress, most famous for her comedy sketch show, ‘The Catherine Tate Show.’ Her character Lauren ‘Am I bovvered’ Cooper remains a fan favourite in her repertoire. Catherine has stated that the overly dramatic character, Margaret, was based largely on her mother.

Catherine Tate as Lauren on 'The Catherine Tate Show' Dave Hogan @ Getty_Images

Challenges and triumphs

Catherine Tate was born Catherine Jane Ford on the 5th of December 1969 in Bloomsbury, London. She was raised by her mother, grandmother and godparents after her father left when she was a baby. As a child, she suffered from OCD but succeded in overcoming the disorder. Many celebrities are becoming more open about their mental health, helping to remove the stigma. Lewis Capaldi recently took a break from touring because of a condition he is dealing with right now. She attended St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic primary school in Holborn and subsequently Notre Dame High School in Southwark. During this time she discovered her passion for performing and left school without taking her A levels to pursue this dream. She subsequently enrolled for drama studies at Salesian College in Battersea.

A member of the National Youth Theatre, Tate was resolute in securing admission to the Central School of Speech and Drama in Battersea. It took four attempts, but she remained undeterred and ultimately succeeded on her fourth try. She studied there for three years before beginning her acting career. It was at this point that she changed her name from Catherine Jane Ford to Catherine Tate when she obtained her Actors Union Equity card. Despite her health challenges she continued to show that indomitable spirit, working hard on her career, and touring with the National Youth Theatre before landing TV roles. Made in Chelsea star has recently opened up about own his battle with anxiety.

Catherine Tate on Season 7 finale of the office NBC @Getty_Images

Onward and upward

By 2003, Tate was cast in her first major television role in the comedy Wild West on BBC 1. She played the role of Angela, a co-owner of a post office alongside fellow comedian Dawn French, who commented: ‘Catherine Tate is far too talented and must be destroyed.’ During her time in this role, she became pregnant with her daughter Erin, by her partner at the time Twig Clark and had to wear baggy clothes to hide the fact as the season progressed. Pregnancy while working on a busy set is a serious challenge faced by media personalities, as a star of Love Island, Molly-Mae Hague recently disclosed.

Erin was born in January 2003 and Catherine and Twig remained together until they split in 2011. Catherine's mental health struggles resurfaced in the form of post-natal depression. In the same year, she appeared in the video for Take That’s new single, ‘Happy Now’ for comic relief. She was joined by such well-known comedians as, Alan Carr, James Cordon, John Bishop and David Walliams. Not long after she had a brief dalliance with Take That star Jason Orange. Tate made a big impression on fans of ‘The Office’ when she appeared in the two-part finale of season seven in 2011. Catherine found love at the end of 2019 with the announcement of her engagement to American comedy screenwriter Jeff Gutheim. Fans are eagerly anticipating her appearance on the iconic series as part of the 60th anniversary specials of Doctor Who in November and December of 2023.

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© Mike Marshland @Getty_Images

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