• Articles,  Media

    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…

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    Kathy Burke and her quare fellow

    Kathy Burke is one of our most popular actresses. Winner of the Best Actress Award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 1997 for Gary Oldman’s lacerating Nil by Mouth, regular nominee and award winner in the TV comedy stakes, she could by now be pulling in the mega-bucks. She also taught me, “don’t just be involved as an actor in this business. Try and branch out and understand the other side of things”.’ Instead, here she is on a grey January evening, sitting in the bare dressing room of London’s famous Old Vic Theatre, solemn-faced, chain-smoking – a far cry from her larger-than-life comic creations – love-lorn Linda of Gimme Gimme…

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    Bold as brass, that’s our Kathy

    The Evening Standard ‘I think if I was a bloke I’d be quite f***ed up because I’ve got a lot of male in me. It’s because I’m a bird that I’m not. Which is just as well, really.’ Kathy Burke lights another ciggie and looks across Old Compton Street to the door of a prominent sex shop. She’s people watching – one of her favourite pastimes – from her usual table in a Soho café. ‘We sometimes catch the eye of some bloke coming out. They always look embarrassed.’ Burke has been described as a ‘national treasure’. And ‘the best British character actress of her generation’. And ‘Rita the Rottweiler’.…

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    Meet the romantic lead in the new Merchant-Ivory film. (Just kidding)

    The Observer Common sense and Equity unemployment statistics prove acting is a madly competitive business. Yet the way actors tell it, this same profession breeds nothing but solidarity, tolerance and mutual admiration among its members. Only occasionally does someone break rank. In a letter to the London magazine Time Out last October, replying to comments made in an interview by Helena Bonham Carter, the actress Kathy Burke wrote: ‘As a lifelong member of the non-pretty working classes, I would like to say to Helena Bonham Carter (wholly pledged member of the very pretty upper-middle classes): shut up you stupid c-.’ But The Observer has enough scruples about printing the f-word, let alone the c-word.…