Celia Imrie photograph

Celia Imrie

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Gender Female
Age 70
Web site twitter.com
Date of birth July 15,1952
Zodiac sign Cancer
Born Guildford
United Kingdom
Height 166 (cm)
BooksNot Quite Nice
The Happy Hoofer
Sail Away
Nice Work (If You Can Get It)
A Nice Cup of Tea
Orphans of the Storm
Children Angus Imrie
ParentsDiana Elizabeth Blois
David Andrew Imrie
Awards Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Audie Award for Audio Drama
Audie Award for Excellence in Production
Official site twitter.com
Education Guildford High School
Date of Reg.
Date of Upd.
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Celia Imrie Life story

Celia Diana Savile Imrie is an English actress and author. She was described in 2003 as "one of the most successful British actresses of recent decades" She is best known for her film roles, including ...

Celia Diana Savile Imrie (born 15 July 1952) is an English actress and author. She was described in 2003 as one of the most successful British actresses of recent decades. She is best known for her film roles, including the Bridget Jones film series, Calendar Girls (2003), "Nanny McPhee (2005), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015), The English dub of The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales... (2017), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) and Malevolent (2018) and, for the FX TV series Better Things (2016-2022).

In the United Kingdom she is known for her work with Victoria Wood, including Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV (1985–1987), the sitcom dinnerladies (1998–2000) and Acorn Antiques: The Musical!, for which she won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Early life

Imrie was born on 15 July 1952 in Guildford, Surrey, the fourth of five children of Diana Elizabeth Blois (née Cator) and David Andrew Imrie, a radiologist. Her father was from Glasgow, Scotland. Imrie is the ten-times-great granddaughter of the infamous Frances Carr, Countess of Somerset. Imrie was educated at Guildford High School, an independent school for girls in her home town of Guildford, followed by the Guildford School of Acting.



Imrie's film credits include Nanny McPhee, Hilary and Jackie (playing Iris du Pré), and the 1997 film The Borrowers, in which she played Homily Clock. Other films include Bridget Jones's Diary, Calendar Girls, Highlander, and as Fighter Pilot Bravo 5 in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. In 2007 she appeared in St Trinian's.


Imrie's television credits include Bergerac,The Nightmare Man, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Casualty, Absolutely Fabulous, The Darling Buds of May and Upstairs, Downstairs.

In the 2000 miniseries of Gormenghast, she played Lady Gertrude. She also appeared in the 2005 BBC television drama Mr. Harvey Lights a Candle, where she played the role of a teacher taking an unruly party of pupils on a day-trip to Salisbury Cathedral. She starred alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst in the BBC sitcom After You've Gone (2007–2008), and in the ITV1 drama Kingdom (2007–2009) with Stephen Fry. Her part in After You've Gone has, whilst being critically acclaimed, been described as "criminally squandered". In 2013, she guest-starred in the BBC's Doctor Who, playing the villainous Miss Kizlet in "The Bells of Saint John". In May 2016, she made her US television debut in the DC action-adventure series Legends of Tomorrow. Since September 2016 she has starred as Phyllis in the FX series Better Things. In December 2021, Imrie narrated the BBC's Talking Pictures: Film's Family Favourites.


In 2005, she received very positive reviews for her US stage debut in Unsuspecting Susan. In 2009, she appeared in Plague Over England in the West End, a play about John Gielgud, and received a positive reviews for her performance. That same year, she appeared in the world premiere of Robin Soans' Mixed Up North, directed by Max Stafford-Clark. In 2010, she appeared alongside Robin Soans in a production of Sheridan's The Rivals.

Imrie narrated during the ceremonial event held to mark the 75th anniversary of D-day at Portsmouth in 2019.


Imrie's radio work includes parts in BBC Radio 4's No Commitments and Bleak Expectations. " The Adventures of a Black Bag and Doctor Finlay – Further Adventures of a Black Bag" 2002 and 2003 ; In early 2007, she narrated the book Arabella, broadcast over two weeks as the Book at Bedtime.

Work with Victoria Wood

Imrie is perhaps best known in Great Britain for her frequent collaborations with Victoria Wood, with whom she appeared in TV programmes such as the sitcom dinnerladies and sketch show Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV. It was on the latter show in 1985 that she first played the part of Miss Babs, owner of Acorn Antiques, a parody of the low-budget British soap opera Crossroads. These sketches became such a British institution that the show was turned into Acorn Antiques: The Musical!, a West End musical, in 2005 starring most of the original cast. Imrie won an Olivier Award in 2006 for her performance. The character has curly blonde hair, and is known for her frequent parodic flirtations with the customers, and her interactions with the housekeeper, Mrs Overall (portrayed by Julie Walters).


Her debut novel Not Quite Nice was published by Bloomsbury in 2015, had six weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten, was cited by The Times as a 'delicious piece of entertainment', and also reached number 5 in the Apple ibook chart and 8 in Amazon's book chart. Her second novel, Nice Work (If You Can Get It), was published in 2016; and her third, Sail Away, was published in February 2018. Her next work, A Nice Cup of Tea, was published in 2019.

The Happy Hoofer (2011), Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 978-1444709278

Not Quite Nice (2015), Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 978-1632860323

Nice Work (If You Can Get It) (2016), Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 978-1408876909

Sail Away (2018), Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 978-1408883235

A Nice Cup of Tea (2019), Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1408883266

Orphans of the Storm (2021), Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1526614896

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

As part of the cast of the 2018 film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Imrie achieved her first UK Top 40 single alongside Lily James with a cover of the ABBA song "When I Kissed the Teacher", which reached number 40 in August 2018.

Personal life

Imrie lives in London and in Nice, France. She has a son, Angus Imrie, with the actor Benjamin Whitrow, but has said that she "hated the idea of marriage", describing it as a "world of cover-up and compromise". Angus appears as her on-screen son in Kingdom and has acted in other productions, having studied drama and performance at the University of Warwick.When she was 14, she was admitted to the Royal Waterloo Hospital suffering from anorexia nervosa. Under the care of controversial psychiatrist William Sargant, she was given electroshock and large doses of the anti-psychotic drug Largactil.She was the guest on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 on 13 February 2011. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Winchester.Imrie was featured in the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in October 2012 and discovered that an ancestor on her mother's side was William, Lord Russell, a Whig parliamentarian executed for treason in 1683, after being found guilty of conspiring against Charles II. Imrie's great-great uncle, William Imrie, was a founder of the White Star Line and she is a descendant of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon who survived the sinking of the Titanic.


(1992) The Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Sea

(2006) Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical in Acorn Antiques:The Musical!

(2017) UK WFTV (Women in Film and Television) Award for the EON Productions Lifetime Achievement







External links

Celia Imrie at IMDb

Celia Imrie at British Comedy Guide

Celia Imrie Wins Olivier Award

Interview with Celia Imrie

Celia Imrie talks about Star Wars

Celia Imrie Article with The Daily Telegraph

Photograph of Celia as Marianne Bellshade in 1982 in Bergerac

Celia Imrie Photos

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