You’ll best know Sally Phillips on film for her role as best mate Shazza in the Bridget Jones trilogy. (She originally auditioned for the lead role before stealing the show anyway.) And on telly as giggling Linton Travel Tavern receptionist Sophie in I’m Alan Partridge, struggling to contain herself while reporting back messages from Mr P Nesshead.
Also a familiar face on panel shows such as QI (where Phillips revealed she was sent to Mexico as an Oxfam ambassador as a “test” for a later visit by Coldplay, but ended up getting hospitalised with salmonella after eating chicken that was cooked in a bin); Would I Lie to You? (does Sally really play a game at her local swimming pool called I’ve Just Been in the Water With Trevor McDonald?) and Taskmaster.
Phillips grew up in Hong Kong, joined the Oxford Revue alongside Stewart Lee and Richard Herring (who she dated for two years), studied at Théâtre de Complicité (after scrapping plans for a PhD on the spaghetti western), and performed at nine consecutive Edinburghs (including in a one-woman show about lesbian nun Benedetta, subject of Paul Verhoeven’s latest), before co-forming all-women sketch show Smack the Pony, which ran from 1999-2003. In 2011, she co-wrote and starred in romcom The Decoy Bride with David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald; other film credits include Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, You, Me and Him and last year’s Off the Rails.
Phillips also took the lead in BBC Radio 4 sitcom Clare in the Community, which ran for 15 years until 2019; she was Miranda’s posh, scatty pal Tilly for six years on BBC One. She’s also featured on two Justin Fletcher shows: Justin’s House and Something Special, won the Great British Sewing Bee, played a Finnish prime minister in Veep, and presented a one-off documentary, A World Without Down’s Syndrome? (one of her three sons has the condition).
Next up is a new film, How to Please a Woman, in which she plays a woman who runs an all-male, all-stripping house-cleaning business that “gets into every crevice” (on Sky Movies from 8 July).
So far, so Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Getting the Limescale off that Tap. Anyway, Sally can’t wait, so post your questions for the brilliant comic actor – and daughter of the former head of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club – by noon BST on Thursday.