“My first television appearance was as an eight year old on Danish TV talking about Christmas for which I adopted an inexplicable and unexpected lisp.”
My British television career began with the live kid’s Saturday morning show, No 73. It was a part sit-com, part magazine programme in which I played Ethel, the owner of No 73. The show was improvised but I also wrote many short dramas for the programme. I did it for six years working with everyone from Elton John to Frankie Howard and several less than well behaved wild beasts.
Since then I have performed in almost every kind of show imaginable from panel games to dramas. I spent many years as a team captain on Call My Bluff where I worked with my much missed friend Alan Coren.
Playhouse Live (Sky Arts)
It was my idea to bring back the short play to television on the Sky Arts channel. I executive produced three seasons of plays for the channel during which time I also wrote two of the pieces – Charity Begins, a comedy and The Man, a drama starring Zoe Wannamaker, Stellan Skarsgård and Stephen Fry.
If you are a Sky customer you can watch Playhouse Live at no extra cost online, on iPhone, iPad or selected Android smartphones. Simply click on the link below or download the Sky Go app from the App store.
1001 Things You Should Know
I have now hosted two seasons of this general knowledge quiz show for Channel 4. It is a lovely gentle show with a great range of information and no one being unkind to anyone.
I came to the show late in its run but have now made a large number of appearances. It is always a mental challenge and nothing ever comes up that one might predict. I have know Stephen Fry since I was 19 when we were at university together.
Up the Women
My latest acting role was as Emmeline Pankhurst in this suffragette sit-com by the brilliant Jessica Hynes. It was a far cry from an historical portrayal but it was more fun than I have had in a long time. I cannot think why it has taken so long for television to wake up to the joy of a great big group of women being allowed to be funny together.
Call the Midwife
I have just played the part of a rather stern nurse in the Christmas special. If anyone needs help with an iron lung I now fancy myself as quite the expert.