• News

    Many happy returns

    It was Kathy’s birthday on Sunday i.e. yesterday 13 June, making her older than 50 and younger than 60. She was on Twitter about it, in response to people wishing her Happy Birthday, and had some observations too: “Thanks so much for all the beautiful birthday messages yesterday. I’d especially like to thank Raheem Sterling for scoring a goal in celebration and the BBC for airing Paddington 2. I really didn’t know they cared.” The goal was the winner for England against Croatia, at Wembley no less, in England’s first game of Euro 2020, so cause for celebration indeed. And Paddington 2 is, of course, an absolutely brilliant film (on…

  • Articles,  Media

    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…

    Comments Off on Kathy comes home: A new sitcom paints a happier picture of Kathy Burke’s childhood
  • Kathy Burke at home. Pic by Teri Pengilley
    Articles,  Media

    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…

  • Articles,  Media

    Kathy Burke: Why I’m giving up acting

    Kathy Burke, one of this country’s best-loved character actresses, is directing her first West End play. She tells James Rampton about the frustrations of being an actor and why she decided to quit The Independent Five years ago, Kathy Burke was being taken in Luc Besson’s private jet to the Cannes Film Festival to pick up her Best Actress Award for her stunning performance as the battered wife in Nil by Mouth. Hollywood producers were door-stepping her like so many double-glazing salesmen. This week, she is to be found in the rather more humble surroundings of a run-down church hall normally used by an Islington Scout group. But she couldn’t be…

  • Articles,  Media

    Beautiful things: Kathy Burke and Jonathan Harvey

    The Independent It’s official. Kathy Burke is a national treasure. Stephen Fry confirmed as much in his appearance last week on BBC2’s Room 101. Wishing to condemn Room 101 to Room 101, he proposed an alternative repository for everything fluffy in life: Room Lovely. The very first thing he suggested placing in Room Lovely was Kathy Burke. “She’s just great,” Fry rhapsodised. “She’s got everything that’s great about being great. She’s incredibly clever and charming – she writes brilliant plays as well as being a wonderful actress and extremely amusing. If she appears on television or in a film, we immediately think ‘oh great’. And she’s gutsy. If I was a woman, she’d be…

    Comments Off on Beautiful things: Kathy Burke and Jonathan Harvey
  • Articles,  Media

    The gay, the sad and the ugly

    Kathy Burke says she knows her place when it comes to casting. And it’s not among the beautiful people. The Independent If you thought that Waynetta was a slob, Linda, the character Kathy Burke plays in a new BBC2 sitcom, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, is even more gross than the shell-suited, chain-smoking wife of Wayne she inhabits for Harry Enfield and Chums. Life for Linda and her gay flatmate Tom (James Dreyfus from The Thin Blue Line) is one long sex, drugs and rock’n’roll perma-bender. Done up in a ginger fright-wig and white-rimmed clown glasses, Linda gets so out of it her only way of knowing whether she ended the blinder…

  • Articles,  Media

    With most television stars, their small-screen personas are larger than life. With Kathy Burke, it’s the other way round

    The Independent On the front door of Kathy Burke’s house, there is a sticker of a slavering bull terrier. Perhaps for fear that this should give too menacing an impression, there are a couple of stickers of guinea-pigs as well. Inside the airy Islington council maisonette, a sly glance at the bookshelves of the best British character actress of her generation reveals – among other impressive tomes – Charles Bukowski’s Post Office, a slang thesaurus and Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. In brazen contravention of the international actor’s bookshelf charter, these have the look of having been read. If I was a star of stage and screen, currently directing the…

    Comments Off on With most television stars, their small-screen personas are larger than life. With Kathy Burke, it’s the other way round