Marinda Hart She's what we call Britain's funniest woman By Alan Shaw Weekly News 22 11 2014

So  what do you do when the sitcom you write and star in is one of the Beep's biggest hits in years.? The awards are flooding in, the show's being sold across the world and it's seen you crowned as Britain's funniest woman. Why, you sit right down and knock out another batch of episodes to cash in on the cliff-hanger ending of the third smash-hit series, don't you?  Not if you're Miranda Hart you don't. To the dismay of millions of viewers   -- and the BBC bean--counters -- Miranda announced in July that she had no plans to make a fourth series but that 'a  couple of specials' would be made.  And sure enough, in September, Sarah Harland  -- who plays Miranda's best friend Stevie -- revealed they'd be filming two Christmas specials, with Miranda herself later confirming they would indeed mark the end of the show.    She went on to admit bringing the curtains down was "going to be really emotional" but she didn't want her sitcom alter ego "to keep falling over  and making a fool of herself. And let's face it, falling down is a staple of the show's comedy  with Ms Hart -- all 6ft 1in of her -- demonstrating mastery of the pratfall.  "When I wrote the first series, I wasn't thinking: 'This character's going to fall over a lot,'" Miranda admits. "It just happened naturally in rehearsal. If people think slapstick's uncool, I defy them if they see someone falling over in the street not to laugh. "I just go for it like a child. I think I'm quite elastic but I'm covered in bruises. I was clumsy but i'm better now. Or I don't care now. But I was as a teenager, my limbs are too long. It was obvious from the start that Miranda the character was close to Miranda the person, perhaps with the dippy factor slightly exaggerated, and she admits it is semi--autobiographical, with many of the incidents in the show having happened in real life. When she had her hair cut short, she did, for example, spent a lot of time being mistaken for a man and has been called sir on many occasions. But she did once go to a disco dressed in true Dynasty style but with bread rolls in place of the more normal shoulder pads.  Well probably never know and Miranda admits "I like the idea of people not knowing where the dividing line is.  That's really annoying, isn't it." "Obviously she's a character I'm playing, she's a clown. I suppose people see the sitcom persona and wonder how much of that is me." Miranda's is an unashamedly old fashioned sitcom, which is no surprise when you realise who her comedy heroes are.    She says: "I always wanted to get into comedies, ever since I can remember. I saw Eric Morecambe and I thought: "I just want to do that."   "I found it truly inspiring every time I went through the BBC Television Centre gates knowing my television heroes once trod the same path. "These were the studios Morecambe and Wise, The Two Ronnies and all the greats filmed. Without their work, my life would be a duller place." And last year she presented a one off interview show with another of her idols Bruce Forsyth, which very clearly demonstrated her genuine love for the veteran entertainer.   Miranda, once handed a trial for QPR ladies' football team in her 20's will be 42 in December and spent years endeavouring to be an overnight success. She tok her one--woman show to the Edinburgh Fringe and appeared in comedy clubs and several sitcoms before getting her own series, Miranda Hart's Joke Shop, on Radio 2, which she developed into the TV series.  And fans needn't worry, she's still going to be on our screens, notably as Camilla "Chummy" Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Brown in the BBC hit drama Call The Midwife.     Her character's might be a bit of a mouthful but Miranda herself is actually Miranda Hart Dyke -- she dropped the second bit of her surname for her showbiz moniker. Though she hates saying she has an aristocratic background  -- and does not consider herself to be upper class -- that's exactly what she is. Her mother is the daughter of Sir William Luce, formerly the British Governor of Aden, while her family tree on her father's side can be traced back to the 12th century, with her aunt and uncle living in the historical family seat of Lullingstone Castle.   Well, Miranda's definitely our queen of comedy.    

Interfering mother is so much fun.

I'll be quite honest, for me the real star of Miranda is Patricia Hodge, writes Alan Shaw. And that's not just because I was utterly smitten by the quintessential English rose when she stared as the murderess Lady Hanbury in a 1989 Morse. No, she's just absolutely sensational -- and wholly unbelievable -- as Penny, Miranda's interfering middle-class mother who alternates between being embarrassed by her daughter and humiliating her herself.   The two are a dream double act and no wonder the pair both received Best Actress nominations a the 2010 Monte Carlo Television Festival. Penny's missions in life were to find Miranda a man and a better job -- all the better to impress her fellow W.I. members -- and she'll stop at nothing, even holding up a placard offering to pay someone to marry Miranda. Such fun!.


Dad's a hero to Miranda.

In Miranda, the titular star's father is played by veteran Scot's actor Tom Conti, writes Alan Shaw. In reality, her father was Captain David Hart Dyke, a highly decorated former Royal Navy Officer who served with distinction during the Falklands War.  Miranda was just 9 when her father sailed for the South Atlantic as commanding officer of HMS Coventry.  The destroyer was on radar picket duty on May 25, 1982, when she was bombed by Argentine jets, capsizing 20 minutes later with the loss of 19 men. Hart Dyke was burned quite badly but recovered, and continued his career in the Senior Service with diplomatic posts in Washington before being appointed a naval aide de camp to the Queen in 1988. This wasn't the first time he'd encountered Her Majesty, having served on the Royal Yacht Britannia for two years in the late 70's, after which  he was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order.  Miranda says: "He was just Dad at home, not Mr Naval Captain. He's not Captain Von Trapp, there were no whistles".


Miranda. I cringed all the way through my £7 m tour. Laura Cox 27 11 2014

     .Her debut  comedy stand-up tour enjoyed see-out success and made at least 7£ million. But while Miranda Hart's fans loved her live show, it may surprise them the comedienne was not having a good time at all -- and was even slightly embarrassed.  The 41 year old said: ""Stand-up, as a genre doesn't really suit my personality. I'm ultimately a bit introvert, and I have found the pressure of just me in such vast arenas a bit overwhelming.  Miss Hart's tour, which took her around the country and also to Australia, included dates at London's O2 and the Manchester Arena, two of the UK's largest indoor venues. She made at least £6.9 m from the My, What I Call, Live Shows, based on figures from 33 shows, six of which were a sell out. There were 49 shows in total, with eight dates added by demand. But she told BBC'S radio 4 Woman's Hour yesterday: "I'm an introvert. So I don't feed of the audience. I find it quite stressful, and slightly embarrassing, weirdly. I was thrilled people loved the show. But I was only really doing it for them not for me."    


Makeover Miranda has her Heart set on Hollywood    Sam Greighton Daily Mail May 9th 2015

Her can't-be-bothered attitude to beauty has always been part of her charm. But these days, with a flattering new hair style, pared down figure and stylish clothes it seems Miranda Hart is taking her looks very seriously indeed. Her glamorous makeover at 42 is part of her attempt to make a name for herself in Hollywood. She showed of her new look on the Graham Morton Show where she also spoke of her ambitions. 'the phone isn't ringing off the hook, but I'm not going to lie. I would love the opportunity to go out there for a few months and potter about on a film set  and do the odd scene' she said.  'That would be lovely and I'm yet to achieve my dream of doing a scene with Mathew Perry. ' She appeared on the chat show to promote her latest film Spy, in which she stars with Jude Law. Her new image - complete complete with a fringed and layered bob - is rather more polished than the chaotic of her TV persona in the UK comedy, Miranda. It's not the first time she's changed her look. In 2012, after Tattler magazine gave her a glamorous makeover, she insisted she was glad not to be a 'stereotypically beautiful' woman.

I have just obtained a copy of Miranda's book Is It Just me ?  Once I read it I'll put some comments here.       


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