BACKGROUND AND PERSONAL LIFE
Caroline Quentin, 37, studied at an arts boarding school
in Hertfordshire, aiming for a career in modern dance.
With no formal training she found herself most
comfortable on stage. She started in a pantomine in
Luton at £18 a week, and then moved on to be a summer
season chorus girl in a show on Lowestoft pier. She says she's lucky enough to have been
able to 'show off for money' ever since, honing her skills in classical theatre as well as
comedy and drama. However, Caroline has recently admitted that she would
give up all her current career success in a second if she had the chance
to dance professionally, as it has always been her greatest ambition.
She has three older sisters, who she claims are much funnier than her. "All my family are
dry, witty people. But I'm the one who ended up doing it for a living. Laughter was our way
of communicating. It is a drug and I'm addicted to it. If you can make people laugh, they
can't bully you. It's a fantastically powerful tool which I developed at boarding school...
There's nothing nicer than making your classmates laugh when your teacher's writing on
the blackboard and then making your face go completely straight."
Caroline went to an all-girls school and so when she was young, men were 'alien beings'.
"I was chronically shy as a girl and socially hopeless... I overcame it by being extrovert."
Lives: Flat in Soho with her elderly dog Ollie
On being single - " I have really taken to it. I think I would be happy to do it for
the rest of my life."
Whose line is it anyway? - 1988-present
An Evening With Gary Linekar - 1994 -
Have I got news for you (guest)
Paul Merton comedy series
"Don't Tell Father" - 1992
Men Behaving Badly -
- 6 series, at least 11 videos
Written by Simon Nye and produced by Beryl Vertue, Men Behaving Badly is a sitcom
about Gary and Tony, two lads who share an apartment below Leslie Ash's character,
the blonde and attractive Deborah. Caroline Q plays Dorothy, the ever tolerant
but nevertheless in control and assertive girlfriend (and sometimes flat-mate) of
man behaving badly Gary. She definitely wears the trousers in their relationship,
and as a result her character comes out with some hilarious one-liners, commonly
used to insult Gary.
Dorothy (to Gary) - "Rearrange these words into a sentence; 'Tony and Gary are
Dorothy - "Gary, Let me put it this way. Two people in car going down to
countryside, relationship intact. One person in car going down
to countryside, relationship over."
Gary - "Right, we're off."
Kiss Me Kate - new for 1998, was
the BBC's second most successful
sitcom last year. A second series
was recently produced by Carlton.
Caroline Quentin plays Kate, an
independent and happily single
therapist who runs a counselling
practice from home. She works with
her partner Douglas (played by the
show's writer Chris Langham),
sassy secretary Mel and the nice
-but-dim computer 'expert' Craig,
who lives downstairs.
Jonathon Creek - crime drama
co-starring Alan Davies (won
1998 BAFTA for Best Drama Serial)
"Up Line" - 1987
A Bit of Fry and Laurie - 1991
Paul Merton, the series - 1991
Mr Bean - "The Trouble with Mr Bean" 1992, traffic warden
Harry Enfield - 1990 2 guest appearances
"This is David Lander" - 1988
The masterson Inheritance - improvisational show on Radio 4 - 4 series
Much more (still to be researched)
Women Exercising Madly - for Comic Relief
'Party, Party' - 1983 + 1996 comedy video also with Gary Olsen and Nick Berry
An evening with Gary Lineker - Granada video, cast include Martin Clunes, Gary Lineker
and Paul Merton.
Men Behaving Badly - at least 11 videos are available
Paul Merton in Galton and Simpson's
"Love Lies" by Deborah McKinley 1997
"The Tennis Party" by Madeleine Wickham 1995
Les Miserables - one of the original cast
The Comedy Store - one of the 'players'
The Improthon 1993
-in aid of charity at the london
palladium with stars including
An evening with Gary Lineker
Live Bed Show - 1995; Paul Merton and CQ
in Arthur Smith's comedy about
sex, at the Garrick theatre, London.
Low Level Panic (by Clare McIntyre)
The London Cuckolds 1998
- 2 days before opening night she dislocated her
knee when she gave the cast a party in her flat.
"I slipped on a puddle of beer when dancing."
Pictures of Caroline Quentin at the stage door
at the London Cuckolds, Royal National Theatre, 2 July 1998
Quentin and Ash - Tell Him 1996, Warner Records
Music and singing in the London Cuckolds
QUENTIN MORRISSEY PRODUCTIONS - In 1998 Caroline Quentin set up
a production company with Men Behaving Badly co-star Neil Morrissey.
The company will be mainly concerned with TV, and Neil Morrissey has
some adverts promoting safety for Bonfire Night which feature his ex-wife and their son.
"As a woman in the industry, it can be difficult to move your career beyond people's
expectations. This will give me new opportunities, but also allow me to encourage
other women to get involved in production."
Three Christmas specials of Men Behaving Badly
Quentin Morrissey Productions
Theatre Directing - "When I finish there [the National Theatre - London Cuckolds]
in August I'm directing a play at Watford Palace - Terry Johnson's DEAD
FUNNY. So that's scary! I've frightened myself actually!"
Her internet knowledge is in her own words
"on a scale of 1-10, way off the map". She
leaves the emailing to her party Neil "He
knows everything about it.. What I need is
a Jonathon Creek. A lateral thinker, gentle,
with endless patience who can help unravel
the mysteries of the web and make me feel
that it's oh-so-easy when you know how.
Which I'm convinced it is. In the meantime
I would be lost without my mobile phone
and my fax machine - utterly indispensable".
Although she admits to not being very computer or internet-literate, Caroline went on-line
to chat with fans recently at the BBC's "Oi!" website to talk about her latest sitcom Kiss
Me Kate. To view the transcript go to: http://www.oi.beeb.com/chat/transcripts/index.html
CAROLINE QUENTIN QUOTES
"... all the girls get the funnies in the shows I do. I'm just very lucky with
the writers I work with, they seem to think women can be funny too."
"I hope with the characters I play that they're not one dimensional"
"If there's anything remotely grand thing about what I do, it's sharing what it's like
to be human".
Do you prefer comedy or serious drama?
"Really, I think anything worth doing has both. I don't think any comedy not
based in reality is funny and neither do I think any drama without humour is
true, because I think that's the human condition."
Her perfect day:
"Get up at 7, do a bit of gardening, go for a swim, have lunch with a girlfriend,
go back to bed for an hour, go to Marks and Spencer and something else I can't
say in the category of entertainment for the evening - and I have to walk my
dog too. I don't have many days like that in my schedule though!"
By the way;
Her agent recently conned her out of almost half a million pounds!! It emerged that
Caroline Quentin's agent of 16 years had been stealing from her wage packets!! Yet
she never noticed because she was still receiving pleasantly fat cheques!
" I had no idea what enormous sums of money I was earning... Because I never had
never had the money, it was like a phantom sum. As the amount I was estimated to
have lost got higher and higer, it became more and more ridiculous. It's like being told
you won the lottery but someone burnt the ticket." She issued a writ against her
theatrical agent Sharon Hamper and a few days later Sharon Hamper Management
went bust, owing an estimated £750,00 to around 100 theatre and television stars.
On an application by the Department of trade and Industry in 1997, she was banned
from practising as an agent.
However, Caroline still seems remarkably pleasant about the whole experience;
"I'm not on the streets, am I? I haven't starved to death. I'm not saying it isn't nice
to earn a good living - it's delightful - but I'm not going to lose sleep over cash. There
are great tragedies in life and I wouldn't laugh through those. Being told I'd lost
£421,000 was not one of them."
The Men Behaving Badly team got together for a Comic Relief special edition of the
programme, set several decades ago. It was broadcast on March 12 1999.
Caroline is currently working on a new series of Jonathon Creek. The second series
of Kiss Me Kate is being broadcast on BBC1.
It was recently revealed that Caroline is now expecting her first child.
She appeared on the cover of the Radio Times in May, with a full interview
to supplement the new series of Kiss Me Kate.
The London Cuckolds
Men Behaving Badly at the BBC's site
Men Behaving Badly
The Comedy Store and related sites
Whose Line is it anyway?, Have I got News for you
Also by Caroline Marshall
Gimme Gimme Gimme