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60-Second Guide to Broadchurch star Olivia Colman

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How much do you know about one of Britain's busiest and most loved actresses Olivia Colman?

Olivia Colman has been a hit with viewers as DS Ellie Miller in ITV's Broadchurch, working tirelessly with DCI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) to discover who attacked farm shop worker Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh). She's one of Britain's most recognisable AND rewarded television stars, but how much do you know about the 43-year-old actress?

Ahead of Monday's unmissable finale, read our quick guide to the life and career of Olivia Colman...

NAME CHANGER Olivia’s real name is Sarah Colman, Olivia is one of her middle names, having been born Sarah Caroline Olivia Colman on January 30, 1974.

 

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COUNTRY GIRL Olivia was born in Norwich, Norfolk. Her mum was a nurse and her dad a chartered surveyor. She went to two independent schools – Norwich High School for Girls and Gresham’s School in Holt.

 

ACTING BUG She was bitten by the acting bug at the age of 16, after appearing in a school production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, playing the lead role of Jean Brodie, a role made famous by Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith in the 1969 film.

 

'One million Peep Show fans can't be wrong'

'One million Peep Show fans can't be wrong' (Image credit: Contract Number (Programme))

DRAMA QUEEN After leaving school Olivia won a place at Cambridge University, and joined the famous Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club where she met comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb, her future Peep Show co-stars, as well as comedian and actor Peter Serafinowicz.

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ODD JOBS After studying drama, Olivia worked as a temp and a cleaner before landing various TV roles, which she believes has kept her grounded. “I can’t forget what it was like to struggle to pay the rent and sometimes to have to borrow money to get on the bus, and it’s important that I don’t.”

 

(Image credit: Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock)

LOVE MATCH When Olivia met her husband Ed Sinclair at the age of 20 it was love at first sight! She said: “There’s the bloke I’m going to marry. For me it was thunderbolts straight away."

They married in 2001 and have three children.

 

The powerful drama, Broadchurch, finally signs off – but goes out on a high

ITV BROADCHURCH SERIES 3 EPISODE 8 Pictured: OLIVIA COLMAN as DS Ellie Miller and DAVID TENNANT as DI Alec Hardy. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com 0207 1573044 (Image credit: Colin Hutton)

ROLE CALL Olivia's one of TV's busiest actors and has appeared in The Night Manager, Twenty Twelve, Rev, Accused, Fleabag, Flowers, The Green Wing. Peep Show and, of course, Broadchurch.

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AWARD WINNER Olivia has won a multitude of awards for her acting, including three BAFTAS (for Twenty Twelve, Accused and Broadchurch) and a Golden Globe for her role in The Night Manager.

 

Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who

OLIVIA WHO? She’s one of the favourites to play the next Doctor Who, following Peter Capaldi's departure, although she has already appeared in the show as Mother in a 2010 episode called The Eleventh Hour.

Watch Olivia in the final episode of Broadchurch on ITV, Easter Monday, at 9pm