That Actress Tamsin Greig - So Sick You Have to Laugh

I first met actress Tamsin Greig, who plays Debbie Aldridge in the radio soap, The Archers, when one of her three children - it was difficult to tell which one - was projectile vomiting over her shoulder at a rather smart garden party thrown by her radio 'father', the caddish Brian Aldridge aka actor Charles Collingwood at his country estate in Hampshire.

A year or so later it was her turn to be violently sick on stage where she played an uptight wealth manager in Yasmina Reza's brilliant comedy of modern manners, God of Carnage. As a versatile and hugely talented comedy actress who has difficulty with 'corpsing' on set, her career is nothing to laugh at. She starred in the eccentrically surreal TV comedy, Green Wing, played a scorned middle-aged housewife in the British movie Tamara Drew and won the Olivier and Critics' Circle Awards when she played Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

I next met her again at another of Charles' legendary BYO garden parties last year just as she had finished filming Episodes, a dead on take of two idealistic English scriptwriters who fly to Hollywood to bring their creative baby to the screen. That's before they meet the show's slippery star, Matt Le Blanc of Friends fame and a classic array of showbiz egos.

As we sipped our wine - her children kept at a safe distance - I mused that in a few months time her picture would be up in lights along Sunset Boulevard and her face plastered all over billboards, buses and communal seats. So it prove. I was walking up La Cienaga, adjacent to Sunset, when a long bus showing pictures the show's stars - Matt Le Blanc, Stephen Mangan - pulled up alongside me.

I regaled Tamsin with this story at the weekend when once again we were guests of Charles and his wife Judy at the wedding of their beautiful daughter Jane. Tamsin didn't miss a beat. 'Yes,' she said drily. 'A few friends told me. What an achievement - I have a face that looks like the back of a bus.'

A 'bus' though that has been a hit on Showtime in the US and sold to a further 186 territories.

This September she stars in a new comedy at London's Royal Court theatre about a former Greenham Common protester who faces parental angst about a teenage daughter whose materialistic, shallow values contrast with her own worthy view of the world.

Promises to be a cracker. But don't sit at the front. Just in case.

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As one of the world’s best-known biographers and a leading authority on modern celebrity, Morton has been called "the king of celebrity biographers." He became an overnight sensation with the publication of his groundbreaking 1992 biography revealing the secret world of the late Diana, Princess…

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