• Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian
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    ‘After I got sick, the toughest thing was what it did to my mental health’

    The actor has made a documentary series about women’s lives today. She discusses power, single life and why being skinny didn’t make her happy The Guardian Kathy Burke is distracted. It’s the hottest day of the year, and she is desperate for a fag and a brew. “I’m gasping,” she says, disappearing outside for a couple of minutes before we start our interview. “It’s so hot, mate,” she says, when she reappears. “I wouldn’t normally leave the house on a day like this.” Then, just when I seem to have her full attention, her eyes dart upwards as she catches sight of a TV screen in the bar we are…

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    Kathy Burke in Walking and Talking on Sky Atlantic

    Kathy Burke has a glint in her eye, which suggests she has many a story to tell, but she won’t write her autobiography for love nor money. Daily Post Kathy Burke has a glint in her eye, which suggests she has many a story to tell, but she won’t write her autobiography for love nor money. “I’ve been asked,” says the 48-year-old, who’s just come in from a sneaky fag break. “I just feel we’re inundated with them, you know?” She pauses, then adds: “But I’m also such a lover of books, I so admire the writer, more than anyone else, that it just never appealed to me to write…

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    Kathy comes home: A new sitcom paints a happier picture of Kathy Burke’s childhood

    Her childhood was scarred by cancer and alcoholism, yet ‘Walking and Talking’ paints a happy picture of her youth. The Independent Over the years, publishers have constantly pestered Kathy Burke to write her autobiography. But the actress, writer and director has always rejected their advances, considering such books “money for old rope”. Now, Burke has finally been persuaded – after a fashion. She has scripted Walking and Talking, a delightful new Sky Atlantic comedy about her own childhood. “Walking and Talking is my autobiography,” she confirms. “It’s best to do it that way, rather than spend months writing a book that then ends up in the bargain bucket with all…

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    Q&A: Kathy Burke

    The Guardian What is your earliest memory?Sausage and chips at Auntie Joan’s. What was your most embarrassing moment?In my 20s, walking past a building site and getting my first and last wolf whistle – I was so shocked I did the classic bumping into a lamppost. What would your super power be?Rendering a person speechless with a stony stare. What do you most dislike about your appearance?Happy with all of it – it’s other people who have expressed “dislike”. If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?Sammy Davis Junior. Who would play you in the film of your life?Beyoncé. What is your most unappealing habit?Smoking. What is your…

  • Kathy Burke. Pic by Clara Molden
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    Kathy Burke: ‘A national treasure? I’m the opposite!’

    After four near-death moments, Kathy Burke is returning to directing – and acting. The Telegraph Kathy Burke keeps being mistaken for someone quite different. But it’s not a problem. In fact, she couldn’t be happier about it. The director and actress, widely loved for playing such roles as Perry (from Kevin and Perry) and Waynetta Slob (catchphrase: “I am smokin’ a fag!”) alongside Harry Enfield, takes up the story. “People come up to me all the time and say, ‘All right, Perry? How’s Kevin?’ It could be annoying, but I’m actually really glad. I’m knocking on 50, and I’m still getting recognised for playing a 14-year-old boy. It makes me…

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  • Kathy Burke at home. Pic by Teri Pengilley
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    From Waynetta to director

    She’s given up acting – much to the delight of Britain’s hottest comedy duo. The Independent Hanging in pride of place over the dining room table in Kathy Burke’s north London home is a still from the set of Nil by Mouth, the acclaimed domestic-violence drama for which she deservedly won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes film festival in 1997. But there’s a surprise. The photo depicts the film’s director, Gary Oldman, leaning over to whisper something to her co-star Ray Winstone. Burke is not in the picture. It’s an apt image. For Burke, one of our most adored actresses, is now far happier to be absent from…

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    ‘I’m a person who walks on eggshells’

    The Observer A hit comedy career plus a Palme d’Or for straight acting should be enough for anyone. Not ex-Kevin and Perry star Kathy Burke. Now directing a new Sam Shepard play, she talks about demons, heroes and life as a ‘smoking humanist’ Three years ago Kathy Burke began throwing plates. She turned over a few tables. ‘I called up a friend and just screamed down the phone at them,’ she says wide-eyed, as if surprised by the memory. There was, though, something familiar about this burst of anger. ‘I used to be terribly aggressive in my twenties,’ she says. ‘But I thought I’d sorted it out.’ Clearly she hadn’t.…

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    60-second interview: Kathy Burke

    The Metro Kathy Burke is one of Britain’s best loved actresses for parts including the comedy roles of Waynetta Slob and Linda in Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. She won Best Actress at Cannes in 1997 for Nil By Mouth but gave up acting to direct in 2001. Her latest play, Brendan Behan’s The Quare Fellow, returns to London’s Tricycle Theatre after a sell-out national tour. The Quare Fellow has had great reviews. Does that bolster your confidence as a director?Not really – but it does get people in to see the play. Good reviews obviously help a lot more than bad reviews. We’ve done this play before and we know that it works and that…

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    Kathy stars in a change of role

    Tonight, actress Kathy Burke makes her Sheffield Crucible directorial debut. Yorkshire Post. I’m standing upstairs in the Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, talking to a photographer, when I sense a movement down the corridor. Turning, I see it’s an old friend. I’m about to say hello when I realise I’m mistaken, this is no old friend. “Awright, ah’m Kaffi,” says Kathy Burke. That’s the thing with Kathy Burke. You would never mistake, say Kim Basinger (one of the actresses also nominated when Burke won the Best Actress award at Cannes in 1997) for an old friend. But Burke, you would. Maybe it’s because she looks so much the opposite of a movie…

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    My acting days are over

    Kathy Burke had it all as an actress – critical acclaim, a top award at Cannes, and a place in the nation’s heart as Waynetta Slob. But now she has found a new passion, she tells Jasper Rees The Daily Telegraph Kathy Burke was, for a period in the 1990s, a sort of cockney working-class Judi Dench. Straddling the broad comedy of the television sketch show Harry Enfield and Chums and the unflinching realism of Gary Oldman’s movie Nil By Mouth, for which she won a best actress award at Cannes in 1997, she was one of those much loved performers everyone got used to always being around. When an…