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Miranda Katherine Hart Dyke is an English Actress, comedienne and writer best known for her roles as Chummy in Call the Midwife and Miss Bates in Emma (2020).[1]

Early Life[]

Hart was born on 14 December 1972 in Torquay, Devon, the child of Royal Navy officer David Hart Dyke and Diana Margaret Luce, daughter of Sir William Luce, Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Aden, and sister of Lord Luce. Hart is from an aristocratic background, but does not consider herself upper class, stating that her aunt and uncle live in a castle.

Her father was commanding officer of HMS Coventry when it was sunk during the 1982 Falklands conflict, and he was badly burned trying to escape the stricken warship. She has a younger sister, Alice Louisa Hart Dyke.

Hart grew up in Petersfield, Hampshire. She was privately educated at Downe House, an independent boarding school for girls near Thatcham, Berkshire. She was a classmate and friend of the sports presenter Clare Balding, who was head girl. She attended the University of the West of England, Bristol, graduating with a 2:1 in political science. She then completed a postgraduate course in acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts.

Career[]

Acting[]

Before her own series was commissioned, Hart made appearances in various British sitcoms. In Not Going Out she initially appeared as an acupuncturist. However, her performance impressed producers so much that they wrote a regular role for her as Barbara, a sarcastic and clumsy cleaner. She continued to play the part until the production of Miranda in 2009. Hart earned a British Comedy Award nomination for her role as Teal in two series of the BBC television comedy sci-fi sitcom Hyperdrive, which ran from January 2006 to August 2007.

She also appeared in even smaller roles in French & Saunders, My Family and Other Animals, Nighty Night, Absolutely Fabulous, The Vicar of Dibley as a speed-date programmer, Lead Balloon, William and Mary, Smack the Pony (for which she wrote and performed in a couple of sketches and a number of video diaries), Stupid!, Monday Monday as Tall Karen, and as a minicab driver in the Channel 5 comedy Angelos, which ran for 6 episodes. Hart at the London premiere of I Want Candy in March 2007

Hart is best known for her performance in her self-titled, self-penned and semi-autobiographical sitcom Miranda, which started recording for BBC Two in 2008 and began airing on 9 November 2009. The situation comedy also features Sarah Hadland, Tom Ellis, Patricia Hodge, James Holmes, and Sally Phillips. The series is based on Hart's semi-autobiographical writing and followed a television pilot and the BBC Radio 2 comedy Miranda Hart's Joke Shop. Described as an "old-fashioned" sitcom, it received positive comments from critics and Hart won the 2009 Royal Television Society award for comedy performance for her role in the first series.

A second series was commissioned and filming started in mid-2010. The series began airing on BBC Two and BBC HD on 15 November 2010. A third series began broadcasting from 26 December 2012 on BBC One. Repeats of the show have begun airing on UKTV Gold. She also presented a BBC spoof programme looking back over 2009 called 2009 Unwrapped with Miranda Hart. A similar show looking back over 2010 was also broadcast in December 2010. In 2014, she announced that her sitcom Miranda would come to an end after two final episodes due to air in December 2014.

In 2012, Hart began to appear in the BBC One drama Call the Midwife, playing the character of "Camilla 'Chummy' Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne". As part of the 60-year Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Hart co-presented a number of segments at the Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012. In 2013, Hart presented a one-off interview show with her hero Bruce Forsyth entitled When Miranda Met Bruce. Hart played a cameo in David Baddiel's feature film The Infidel and appeared in World of Wrestling, a short film by Tim Plester, in which she played "Klondyke Kate", a wrestler billed as "hell in boots." The film was released in late 2007 alongside its companion shorts Blakes Junction 7 and Ant Muzak. Hart made a cameo appearance as a loan officer in the 2007 comedy film Magicians which featured David Mitchell and Robert Webb, both stars of the long running television series Peep Show.

In 2013, 12 in a Box was released, a feature film in which Hart plays a small role that was originally made in 2007. In 2015, she co-starred in the comedy film Spy, which was filmed on location in Budapest, Hungary. In 2020, Hart played "harmless chatterbox" Miss Bates in the Jane Austen adaptation film Emma., alongside Anya Taylor-Joy and Bill Nighy.

Radio[]

Her semi-autobiographical series Miranda Hart's Joke Shop was aired on BBC Radio 2 in 2008 and went on from there to be developed into the television series Miranda.[citation needed] Hart has also presented comedy specials for the network alongside Jon Holmes. In October 2011 she attracted criticism after co-hosting The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Holmes while Chris Evans was on holiday. The website Digital Spy reported that some listeners were unhappy with the quality of the programme. The BBC issued a statement in response saying, "Miranda Hart is one of the UK's best-loved comedians and BBC Radio 2 felt it appropriate to bring her warmth to its audience for a week. Jon Holmes is a highly experienced presenter from BBC Radio 6 Music [...] BBC Radio 2 appreciates if their presentation wasn't to everyone's liking, but feels it's important to be able to bring new talent to its output and hopes its audience understands the importance of maintaining a breadth of content on the network."

Personal Life[]

Hart is a Christian; she once said to fellow theist Victoria Coren Mitchell, "It's scary to say you're pro-God". She lives in Hammersmith, West London.

In her early twenties, Hart had an unsuccessful trial at Queens Park Rangers' women's team; she revealed this during Would I Lie to You. During a special guest exclusive on the BBC Red Button, her first guest was her friend Clare Balding who was head girl in their schooldays.

References[]

  1. Miranda Hart's Personal Website
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