How audiences fell in love with Olivia Colman

From her breakthrough in TV comedies in the early 2000s to her award-winning performance on the big screen in The Favourite in 2019, British actress Olivia Colman is fast becoming both a national treasure and a major Hollywood player.

She has already won a Golden Globe for best actress so far this awards season, been shortlisted for a Bafta, with an Oscars nomination likely later this month.

At the age of 44, Colman has reached star status after appearing in a vast array of TV shows and films.

She first caught our attention as a sidekick to Robert Webb and David Mitchell in sketch shows and sitcoms like Peep Show, Bruiser and That Mitchell and Webb Look (pictured).

In 2008, she appeared in a BBC Four drama to mark the centenary of Mills & Boon, playing a typist who writes a steamy hospital romance. The cast also included a certain Jodie Whittaker as the wife of the publishing house’s co-founder Charles Boon.

Colman played mum Debbie in BBC Two’s Beautiful People a year later, a story about a boy who rose from his suburban English upbringing to running a New York fashion house.

The wife of Tom Hollander’s priest in BBC sitcom Rev often found herself below his flock in her husband’s priorities.

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The actress showed a different side in the hard-hitting independent film Tyrannosaur in 2011, and credits director Paddy Considine with allowing her to show her dramatic skills.

That led to roles in tougher shows like Accused (Mo’s Story), an instalment of Jimmy McGovern’s crime anthology. It earned her a Bafta TV Award for best supporting actress in 2013.

At the same ceremony, she also won best female performance in a TV comedy for playing Sally, the PA to Hugh Bonneville’s Olympic mandarin in the BBC’s Twenty Twelve.

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Another big hit came in the form of ITV’s crime drama Broadchurch, in which she played DS Ellie Miller opposite David Tennant, earning her another Bafta the following year.

She popped up as a gloriously hideous godmother in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy Fleabag – and received yet another Bafta TV nomination.

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Her role as spy boss Angela in glossy drama The Night Manager led to her first Golden Globe win – for best supporting actress in a limited TV series in 2017.

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20th Century Fox

Two years on, she now has another Golden Globe, thanks to her delectable performance as the fragile Queen Anne in The Favourite.

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Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix

And she will be seen playing another monarch later in 2019 when she takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s royal saga The Crown.

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