Miranda Hart, sometimes referred to simply as Miranda, is an English actress and comedian. Best known for her performance in the self-titled, semi-autobiographical sitcom ‘Miranda,’ which she is also credited with writing, she is truly a class apart in the English comedy scenario which is predominantly male-oriented. Described as an "old-fashioned" sitcom, the show was much liked by people across generations owing to its clean, family-oriented content. It also won the talented comedian several accolades and awards. Born into a family with an aristocratic background, Hart descends from a lineage of barons, marquesses, earls, and dukes. She, however, doesn’t consider herself upper-class, and has absolutely no airs about her. Growing up in Hampshire, she decided as a teenager to pursue a career in performance arts and completed a course in Acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. Confident and talented, she embarked on a career in comedy though it would be a few years before she earned fame. She began by taking up small roles in various British sitcoms, eventually building a name for herself. It was BBC Radio 2 radio series ‘Miranda Hart's Joke Shop’ that established her as a comedian to look out for and opened up newer opportunities for her. As of today, she is not just a comedian and actress, but also a successful author with three book titles under her belt.
Childhood & Early Life
Miranda Hart was born on 14 December 1972 in Torquay, Devon, to Captain David Hart Dyke RN and his wife Diana Margaret Luce. Her father is a retired Royal Navy officer and former commanding officer of HMS Coventry, which was sunk during the Falklands War by the Argentinians in 1982. She has one younger sister, Alice Louisa Hart Dyke.
She is from an aristocratic background and her ancestors include barons, marquesses, earls, and dukes.
She was primarily raised in Petersfield, Hampshire, and was sent to Downe House, an independent girls' boarding school, for her education. There she became friends with the future sports presenter Clare Balding. As a teenager she was good at sports and even considered pursuing lacrosse on a professional level.
Following her high school graduation, she enrolled at the University of the West of England in Bristol from where she earned a degree in political science. She then proceeded to complete a postgraduate course in Acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London.
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After getting her postgraduate degree, Miranda Hart did not venture into acting immediately. Instead, she took up a job as a Personal Assistant in the charity sector in 1997 and worked with several charities, most notably Macmillan Cancer Support and Comic Relief.
Around this time she also started doing gigs and small roles in stage shows and on radio and television. She performed a solo show in Edinburgh in 2002 which proved to be quite popular.
Over the ensuing months her confidence level grew and she pitched a comedy show to the BBC in 2004. Jennifer Saunders of the ‘Ab Fab’ fame was also present at Hart’s read-through for BBC executives and was thoroughly impressed by the young woman’s comedic skills.
During the initial years of her career, she appeared in a variety of sitcoms in minor roles. One of her early roles was that of Barbara, a clumsy cleaner, in the comedy series ‘Not Going Out’ in the mid-2000s.
While struggling to establish herself as a comedic actress, she also did bit roles in series, such as ‘French & Saunders,’ ‘My Family and Other Animals,’ ‘Nighty Night,’ and ‘Absolutely Fabulous.’
Eventually Miranda Hart was able to secure considerable popularity as a comedian which brought her to the notice of executives at BBC Two who offered her the chance to write and star in her own show.
Her self-titled show ‘Miranda’ premiered on BBC Two from 9 November 2009. In the show, Hart portrayed an ungainly, socially awkward, single woman in her 30s who frequently finds herself in bizarre situations. It also starred other popular actors like Tom Ellis and Patricia Hodge.
The very first season of the show proved to be a huge hit and the second season, much anticipated for by the audience, opened with 3.19 million viewers! Considered an “old-fashioned” comedy, the series was loved by people of all age groups. Even the critics gave it positive ratings.
Following the launch of her self-titled series, Miranda Hart’s popularity touched greater heights and she was flooded with offers for other TV series as well. From 2012-15, she appeared in the BBC One drama, ‘Call the Midwife,’ playing the character of "Camilla 'Chummy' Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne" in 22 episodes.
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In addition to her TV career, she has appeared in a few films as well. In 2015, she made her Hollywood debut in Paul Feig's film ‘Spy’ playing Melissa McCarthy's sidekick Nancy B. Artingstall.
She is also an author who has written three books so far: ‘Is It Just Me?’ (2012), ‘The Best of Miranda’ (2014), and ‘Peggy and Me’ (2016).
Miranda Hart is best known for writing and starring in the TV sitcom ‘Miranda’ which ran for several successful seasons from 2009 to 2015. The show also featured actors Sarah Hadland, Patricia Hodge, Tom Ellis, Sally Phillips, Bo Poraj, and James Holmes. A resounding hit with both the audience and the critics, it won several prestigious awards including a Royal Television Society award.
Awards & Achievements
In 2010, Miranda Hart won the British Comedy Awards in three categories—Best New TV Comedy, Best TV Comedy Actress, and People's Choice Award—for her series ‘Miranda—Series 1.’
She won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Comedy Performance in 2011 for ‘Miranda—Series 2.’
In 2013, she earned the National Television Award for Outstanding Drama Performance (Female) for her role in the drama series ‘Call the Midwife.’
Personal Life & Legacy
Miranda Hart is a very private person who prefers to keep her personal life under wraps. While there have been rumors of her being lesbian, there had also been reports of her link-up with a “mystery man” in 2015. As of 2017, she claims she is single.
She is a very socially conscious lady who cares about giving back to the society. Along with six other celebrities, Hart managed to raise over £1 million for the charity Sport Relief in 2010 by cycling from John O'Groats to Land's End. She also supports the charity Comic Relief.
She loves dogs and shares her life with her pet Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise cross Peggy. Her dog is her best friend and she is completely in awe of the little creature who has taught the actress important lessons about love, companionship, and trust.