Miranda Hart

Miranda Hart

Hart in 2011
Born Miranda Katherine Hart Dyke[1]
(1972-12-14) 14 December 1972
Torquay, Devon, England
Nationality English
Citizenship United Kingdom
Occupation Comedian, writer, actor
Years active 2000–present
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Website Official website
Miranda Hart's voice
from the BBC programme Desert Island Discs, 22 December 2013.[4]

Miranda Katherine Hart Dyke (born 14 December 1972), known professionally as Miranda Hart or sometimes referred to as Miranda, is an English actress and comedian. Following drama training at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, Hart began writing material for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and making small appearances in various British sitcoms including Hyperdrive and Not Going Out.

Hart reached a wider audience with her self-driven semi-autobiographical BBC sitcom Miranda, which is based on her earlier BBC Radio 2 radio series Miranda Hart's Joke Shop (2008). The television sitcom ran for three series and several Christmas specials from 2009 to 2015 and earned its star 3 Royal Television Society awards, 4 British Comedy Awards and 4 BAFTA nominations. In 2012, she began appearing in the BBC drama Call the Midwife as Camilla "Chummy" Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne. She made her Hollywood debut in Paul Feig's film Spy (2015) as Melissa McCarthy's sidekick Nancy B. Artingstall.

Hart has also written three books, Is It Just Me? (2012), a semi-autobiographical book, The Best of Miranda (2014), a compilation of scripts from the TV series, and Peggy and Me (2016). She embarked on her first stand-up tour, My, What I Call, Live Show, which toured arenas in the UK and Ireland in 2014 and was later released on DVD.

Early life


Miranda was born on 14 December 1972 in Torquay, Devon, the daughter of Captain David Hart Dyke RN and Diana Margaret Luce.[5] Her father was commanding officer of HMS Coventry when it was sunk by the Argentinians in the 1982 Falklands conflict, and he was badly burned in trying to escape the stricken warship. She has a younger sister, Alice Louisa Hart Dyke (born 1975).

Hart descends from barons, marquesses, earls, and dukes,[5] but she has stated that she hates saying that she is from an aristocratic background and does not consider herself upper class.[6] Hart added that her genealogy can be traced back to the 12th century and that her aunt and uncle (Sarah and Guy Hart Dyke) live in a castle which they cannot afford to run.

Her paternal family can be traced through her grandfather, the Reverend Eric Hart Dyke. Her paternal great-great-great-grandfather was cricketer and Rector Thomas Dyke. Hart's patrilineal great-great-great-great-grandfather was Sir Percival Hart Dyke, 5th Baronet (1767–1846). Her distant cousin, the 10th and present baronet, Sir David Hart Dyke,[7] lives in Canada. One of her first cousins is plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke, creator of the World of Gardens at Lullingstone Castle.

Her maternal grandfather was Sir William Luce (1907–1977), who was Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Aden (1956–60).[6] Her mother's only sibling is The Rt Hon The Lord Luce, a former Conservative MP and Minister, later HM Governor and Commander in Chief of Gibraltar (1997–2000) and Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household (2000–06). Richard's son, the journalist and author Edward Luce, is one of Miranda Hart's first cousins.

Her great-uncle, the brother of her maternal grandfather, was Admiral Sir David Luce, who served as First Sea Lord. The father of David and William, Miranda Hart's great-grandfather, was Rear Admiral John Luce. John's brother, her great-great-uncle, was Major General Sir Richard Harman Luce, who served as Member of Parliament for Derby from 1924–29.

Her other maternal great-grandfather (through William's wife Margaret Napier) was Vice Admiral Sir Trevylyan Napier, who was the Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station (1919–20). His wife, Miranda's great-grandmother, was Mary Elizabeth Culme-Seymour, daughter of Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, 3rd Baronet, Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom (1901–20). Both the Culme-Seymours were implicated in the Mylius affair.[8][9]

Hart is a fourth cousin, twice removed, of Diana, Princess of Wales. Their common ancestors were George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer and his wife Lavinia Spencer, Countess Spencer.[5]

Education and training

Though born in Torquay, Hart grew up in Petersfield, Hampshire,[10] and was educated at Downe House, Berkshire,[10] an independent girls' boarding school, where she was a classmate and friend of the sports presenter Clare Balding, who was head girl.[11]

She attended the University of the West of England in Bristol, graduating with a 2:1 degree in political science. Hart then completed a postgraduate course in Acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. In 2002, she performed a solo show in Edinburgh and in 2004 she pitched a comedy show to the BBC. At her read-through for BBC executives, Ab Fab writer and star Jennifer Saunders was present.[12]



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 clumsy cleaner. She continued to play the part until the production of Miranda in 2009.[13] 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 where she played a 'Japanese' woman called Yoko, 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.[14] 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.

She appeared as guest host of Have I Got News for You in October 2009, December 2010 and again in December 2011. On 27 December, she was a team member on Big Fat Quiz 2011, a quiz about the events of that year presented by Jimmy Carr, appearing alongside David Walliams (team blue). As a fan of the series, Hart has also appeared twice on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two. On Boxing Day 2011, she appeared in an episode of Bear Grylls' Wild Weekend. She also scaled down one of the Alps with Bear Grylls in a show with him in March 2013. She has appeared on the Graham Norton Show 7 times, on 10 May and 3 December in 2010, 29 April 2011, 19 October 2012, 20 December 2013, 24 October 2014 and 8 May 2015.[15] In January 2013, Hart appeared on Room 101 along with Reggie Yates and John Craven.[16]

In 2012, Hart began to appear in the BBC One drama, Call the Midwife,[17] playing the character of "Camilla 'Chummy' Fortescue-Cholmeley-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.[18]

In December 2013, Hart appeared in David Walliams' film adaptation of his book Gangsta Granny. She played Linda, Ben's mother.[19] Also in December 2013, she was lined up to star in To Love, Honour and Betray (Till Divorce Do Us Part), the TV version of Kathy Lette's novel.[20]


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.[21]

In 2015, she co-starred in the comedy film Spy, which was filmed on location in Budapest, Hungary.[22]


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. Hart has also presented comedy specials for the network alongside Jon Holmes.[23] 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."[24]

Live performances

Avoiding the normal stand-up circuit for more character-based comedy, including an appearance in the Edinburgh and touring show The Sitcom Trials, Hart has written her own theatre material for the Edinburgh Fringe. Her one-woman shows include Miranda Hart – Throbs, It's All About Me and Miranda Hart's House Party. She also performed in Alecky Blythe's 2006 play Cruising at the Bush Theatre.

She was among the performers at the Diamond Jubilee concert held outside Buckingham Palace on 4 June 2012.

Hart embarked on her first tour in 2014, titled My, What I Call, Live Show, performing in arenas in the UK and Ireland. Tickets went on sale on 17 December 2012.[25]

Comic Relief

Hart was the second contestant to be voted off the third series of Comic Relief does Fame Academy in 2007.[26] Two years later, she appeared in the final sketch from comedy duo French and Saunders, which was broadcast during Red Nose Day 2009. In 2010, she and six other TV celebrities raised over £1 million for the charity Sport Relief cycling from John O'Groats to Land's End.[27] She starred as a judge on both series two and three of Let's Dance for Comic Relief, alongside other guest judges including Kelly Brook, Rufus Hound and Louie Spence in 2010 and 2011. In aid of Comic Relief, a Miranda mini-episode set in the world of Pineapple Dance Studios was broadcast on 18 March as part of Red Nose Day 2011. She took part in a Red Nose Day edition of Celebrity MasterChef in 2011, which she won. Hart also co-presented Sport Relief 2012, which concluded with her and fellow comedian David Walliams dancing semi-naked to ABBA's Dancing Queen.[28] She also donated a signed Miranda script to be auctioned in aid of Comic Relief.

Other work

Hart released a book in October 2012 titled Is It Just Me?, featuring stories, anecdotes and life advice delivered in her own style.[29] In January 2013 it was announced that she was writing a second book, called Peggy and Me,[30] which was to be published on 9 October 2014 but has been pushed to 2015.[31] The Best of Miranda, a compilation of scripts from the TV series Miranda, was published on 23 October 2014.[32]

Personal life

Hart is a Christian; she admitted to fellow theist Victoria Coren Mitchell, "It's scary to say you're pro-God".[33] She lives in Hammersmith, west London.[34]

In her early twenties, Hart had an unsuccessful trial at Queens Park Rangers Ladies; she revealed this during Would I Lie to You.[35] During a special guest exclusive on the BBC Red Button, her first guest was her good friend Clare Balding who was her head girl in their schooldays.

On The Graham Norton Show, in 2011, Hart mentioned she suffers from asthma.[36]


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Smack the Pony Various Characters Series Three – 3 episodes
2004 William and Mary Penelope Series Two, Episode Four
2004 Mothers & Daughters Kate Feature film
2004 Absolutely Fabulous Yoko Christmas Special – "White Box"
2004–07 Stupid! Various Characters Series One & Two
2005 The Vicar of Dibley Suzie New Year Special – "Happy New Year"
2005 Man Stroke Woman Customer Series One, Episode Five
2005 Nighty Night Beth Series Two – 4 episodes
2005 My Family and Other Animals Jonquil Television film
2005–06 Comedy Lab Various Characters 2 episodes – "Speeding" & "Slap"
2006 Don't Even Think It! Ginny Singleton Short film
2006 Lead Balloon Maureen Series One, Episode One – "Rubbish"
2007 12 in a Box Rachel Feature film
2007 Rush Hour Lollipop Lady Series One
2007 I Want Candy Working Title Receptionist Feature film
2007 Roman's Empire Casting Director Series One, Episode Five
2007 Magicians Bank Manager Feature film
2006–07 Hyperdrive Teal Series One & Two – 12 episodes
2007 World of Wrestling Klondyke Short film
2007 Angelo's Shelley Series One – 6 episodes
2007 The Everglades Unnamed role Television short
2008 Tales of the River Bank Miss Much Direct-to-DVD feature film
2008 Hotel Trubble Mrs. Lily Lemon Series One, Episode Four – "Tall Tales"
2009 French and Saunders' Mamma Mia! Phyllida Lloyd Sketch part of Red Nose Day 2009
2009 Monday Monday Tall Karen Series One – 7 episodes
2006–09 Not Going Out Acupuncturist / Barbara Series One to Three – 17 episodes
2009 A Very British Cult Joyce Short film
2010 The Infidel Mrs. Keyes Feature film
2010 The One Ronnie Cake Shop Owner / Church Committee Member Christmas television special
2011 The Itch of the Golden Nit Julie (voice) Short film
2013 Gangsta Granny Linda Television film
2009–15 Miranda Miranda Three Series & two specials – 20 episodes (also writer)
2012–2015 Call the Midwife Chummy Browne (later Noakes) 22 episodes
2015 Spy Nancy B. Artingstall Feature film
TBA The Canterville Ghost The Ghost Catcher Voice
2016 Graham Norton Show Herself 10th oct 2016

Awards and nominations

In 2010, Hart won the Best Comedy Performance award from the Royal Television Society for her performance in Miranda[37] and was also nominated for best comedy writing.[38] She and Patricia Hodge were both nominated for "Best Comedy Actress" awards at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival 2010.[39]

In 2011, she won[40] "Best Comedy Actress" and "People's Choice Award for the King or Queen of Comedy" in the British Comedy Awards 2011, where Miranda also won "Best New British TV Comedy" and was nominated for "Best Sitcom".[41] The same year, she was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actress in a comedy role and her hit BBC Two sitcom Miranda was nominated for the BAFTA YouTube choice award, the only award voted for by the public.

Year Nominated work Award Category Result[42]
2006 Hyperdrive British Comedy Awards Best Female Comedy Newcomer Nominated
2010 MirandaSeries 1 Best TV Sitcom Nominated
Best New TV Comedy Won
Best TV Comedy Actress Won
People's Choice Award Won
British Academy Television Awards Best Female Performance in a Comedy Role Nominated
Best Situation Comedy Nominated
Monte-Carlo TV FestivalGolden Nymph Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Royal Television Society Awards Best Writer for a Comedy Nominated
Best Comedy Performance Nominated
2011 Miranda—Series 2 Won
Best Scripted Comedy Won
Banff TV FestivalBanff Rockie Award Best Sitcom Nominated
British Academy Television Awards Best Female Performance in a Comedy Role Nominated
British Comedy Awards Best TV Comedy Actress Won
Best TV Sitcom Nominated
People's Choice Award Nominated
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Comedy and/or Entertainment Won
TV Quick Awards Best Comedy Show Nominated
2012 National Television Awards Most Popular Sitcom Nominated
Call the Midwife British Academy Television Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Is It Just Me? National Book Awards Non-Fiction Book of the Year Won
2013 Call the Midwife National Television Awards Outstanding Drama Performance (Female) Won
Miranda—Series 3 British Academy Television Awards Best Female Performance in a Comedy Role Nominated


Works and publications


  1. "Miranda Hart". www.burkespeerage.com. Retrieved 18 May 2012. (subscription required (help)).
  2. Ojomu, Nola; Malm, Sara. "Miranda Hart on how she learned to love her height after struggling to fit | Daily Mail Online". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  3. Mosley, Charles (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th Edition. Burke's Peerage Ltd. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  4. "Miranda Hart". Desert Island Discs. 22 December 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 "Miranda Katharine Hart Dyke". The Peerage.
  6. 1 2 "Tragedy and despair behind Miranda Hart's rise to the top". Daily Express. 16 February 2012.
  7. "Hart Dyke, David Ontario, Hamilton East – Stoney Creek, Green Party of Canada". Globe and Mail. Federal Election 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  8. Thomas, Donald (2007). Freedom's frontier: censorship in modern Britain. John Murray. p. 400.
  9. Ashdown-Hill, John (2013). Royal Marriage Secrets: Consorts & Concubines, Bigamists & Bastards. The History Press. p. 224.
  10. 1 2 Cochrane, Kira (2 December 2010). "Miranda Hart – TV's queen of uncool". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  11. "Miranda Extra". BBC. 15 November 2010.
  12. Maxwell, Dominic (2 November 2009). "Miranda Hart stands head and shoulders above the rest". The Times. Retrieved 23 December 2013. (subscription required (help)).
  13. "Miranda Hart to miss Not Going Out 4". British Comedy Guide. 12 March 2010.
  14. "Miranda starts filming for new sitcom on BBC Two". BBC Press Office. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  15. List of The Graham Norton Show episodes
  16. List of Room 101 episodes#Series 13
  17. Mickel, Andrew (17 December 2011). "No new 'Miranda' until late 2012". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  18. Prior, Vicky (21 September 2013). "When Miranda met Bruce: As Saturday night TV ate itself, they should have got shot of Miranda Hart altogether and just shown Bruce Forsyth". Metro. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  19. "All-star cast announced for David Walliams' Gangsta Granny on BBC One". BBC Media Centre. BBC. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  20. "Miranda Hart lined up for new BBC comedy series". British Comedy Guide. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  21. Kelly, Stephen (18 March 2013). "12 In A Box: A cynical cash-in on Miranda Hart's current comic success". TotalFilm.com. Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom: Future Publishing. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  22. "Paul Feig Taps Miranda Hart For Female Spy Comedy". deadline.com.
  23. Laughlin, Andrew (28 March 2011). "Miranda Hart rejoins BBC Radio 2". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  24. Daniels, Colin (8 October 2011). "BBC responds to Miranda Hart complaint". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  25. Hart, Miranda. "Miranda Hart: My, What I Call, Live Show". Miranda Hart. WordPress. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  26. "Comic Hart booted out of Academy". BBC News. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  27. Celebrity cycle team raises £1m for Sport Relief Daily Telegraph 4 March 2010
  28. "Sport Relief Video". YouTube.com. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  29. "Miranda Hart Announces New Book 'Is It Just Me?'". 10 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  30. "New Book: Peggy and Me". 18 January 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  31. "New autumn offering from Miranda Hart". Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  32. "Miranda Hart – The Best of Miranda – Hodder & Stoughton". Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  33. Victoria Coren Mitchell (5 December 2010). "As I didn't say to the Archbishop". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  34. Miranda Hart on how her Falklands hero dad's ship was bombed
  35. "Would I Lie To You Series 5 Episode 1 Pt 2 of 2". YouTube. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  36. "The Graham Norton Show: Jack Whitehall, Adele, Miranda Hart Part 2". YouTube. 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  37. Royal Television Society Awards shun talent shows Daily Telegraph 17 March 2010
  38. Miranda heads Royal Television Society awards nominations inthenews.co.uk 1 March 2010
  39. Nominees – Actresses Monte-Caro TV Festival Website
  40. British Comedy Awards Winners DigitalSpy 22-Jan-11
  41. British Comedy Awards Nominations DigitalSpy 15 January 2011
  42. "Awards for Miranda Hart". Internet Movie Database. IMDb. imdb.com. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  43. 1 2 "Tour Dates". Mirandahart.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
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