It’s scarcely been two weeks since Olivia Colman scooped up the Best Actress statuette at the Oscars 2019, but, last night, The Favourite star was back on the podium giving another acceptance speech – to receive her British Film Institute fellowship.
“There isn’t an actor who can infuse each moment on screen with such great humanity, drama and humour,” director Yorgos Lanthimos said upon presenting the accolade to Colman, which has previously been awarded to Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett. “No one can appear so fragile, magnetic, fierce, funny and real from one second to the next, or all at the same time.”
Naturally, Colman stole the audience’s hearts with another speech that was resolutely her and not showy at all – no raspberry-blowing as per the Oscars, however. “I didn’t know what to expect this evening,” she said. “[It] turns out it’s a bit like a surprise birthday party… on the back of a lovely year.”
For the landmark career moment, Colman chose to shine a spotlight on sustainable fashion. Her black gown with a draped neck feature and a high slit, which revealed a tailored satin crepe trouser, was created especially for Colman by Deborah Milner, a designer whose missive is to make “haute couture using the challenges of sustainability as a catalyst for creativity”.
Milner established her brand’s green codes in 2005 with a collection of “Ecoture” and has been an active participant in Eco-Age’s #GreenCarpetChallenge, which was founded by Livia Firth to show that beautiful red-carpet wear does not have to exploit the environment. The material for Colman’s gown was supplied by Taroni, an Italian mill which was awarded the “Most Sustainable Producer” at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2017, and has been committed to making materials that are ecologically and ethically sustainable at every stage of the textile supply chain. For silk, in particular, this involves the breeding of silkworms in areas of organic cultivation, reeling, spinning, dyeing and weaving, before the fabric is ready to be transported to the studio of a designer such as Milner.
Continuing the conscious dressing theme, Colman and her stylist Mary Fellowes chose the Lola rings and Luna earrings from the Atelier Swarovski by Penélope Cruz fine jewellery collection. The line is created from Swarovski Genuine Topaz set in responsibly sourced gold and Swarovski Created Diamonds gems which are lab-grown and show the possibilities of creating problematic materials, such as leather, in a forward-thinking environment.
“We’ve always been interested in how to be as ethical as possible on the red carpet,” Fellowes told Vogue of the principles that underline her working relationship with Colman. “In addition to Swarovski’s sustainable design process, the brand, which is helmed by a working mother [Nadja Swarovski] is taking active steps to support women and film. Olivia has been wearing pieces from very famous houses, so we thought it would be great to support a brand which is doing great things for the planet.”
A legendary Norfolk mud artist with fans all over the world has paid tribute to the ‘best of Norfolk’ as he looks to take his ‘graffilthy art’ to the next level.
Ruddy Muddy, AKA Rick Minns from Wymondham, began producing intricate mud portraits on vans around 10 years ago, garnering support from celebrities such as Oasis front man Liam Gallagher and footballer Wes Hoolahan, and raising thousands for local charities.
The works take hours to produce the works, with Ruddy using a combination of fingers, tissues and cotton buds to shape the poster style portraits.
As a decade of his reign as the region’s favourite van artist approaches, Mr Minns said he was ready to take the project to the next level by purchasing a Ruddy Muddy van.
He said: “So far I have been reliant on other people’s vans or hires but having a designated Ruddy Muddy van would allow me to work more freely, produce more mud art and help and involve more people.”
To fund the van Ruddy is asking for sponsorship from local businesses, launching the campaign by producing a spectacular trio of famous Norfolk faces alongside Norwich based artist Damsel Dragonfly.
The piece includes Oscar winning Norfolk actress Olivia Colman, Norwich’s favourite fictional broadcaster Alan Partridge and the cast of Hollywood blockbuster Fighting With my Family, based on the life of Norwich WWE star Paige.
Ruddy Muddy is offering three tiers of sponsorship, all of which include the chance to be featured on the new van.
The artist said: “My biggest hope, when I first launched on social media, was to support charities and make people smile. Now I am hoping to work on a more meaningful scale.
“Sponsorship would be great exposure for businesses because the Ruddy Muddy van will be a touring vehicle on Norfolk day and present at events all over the country.”
Last year Ruddy Muddy joined Norfolk chef Charlie Hodson as a Norfolk Day ambassador, touring the county to meet various groups and local people.
The Wymondham artist also created an original piece to commemorate the day, which was auctioned in aid of local charity Home-Start Norfolk.
To sponsor Ruddy Muddy, contact the artist on email@example.com
The actress, who won Best Actress for her role of Queen Anne in The Favourite, reportedly took a group of friends on a trip around Los Angeles in a midnight party bus.
She partied with five of her friends out after the ceremony in a minibus with neon lights “for an all night bender,” according to tabloid reports.
A source explained, “Olivia didn’t want anything uber posh like a fancy executive car so the party bus was the perfect idea to carry on the celebrations.”
“She invited her glam squad and a couple of her mates and they drove around Los Angeles with the music pumping, finishing off at a private bash where they stayed until the early hours. Olivia was on cloud nine and couldn’t be taken down.”
This is the first Oscar win for Colman, who carried on the celebrations at the Vanity Fair after-party, after stopping at her suite at the Chateau Marmont.
Colman went viral after her heart-warming acceptance speech, where she talked about loving her first job as a cleaner, hilariously blew a raspberry into the microphone when asked to wrap up, and thanked her The Favourite co-stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.
Colman won the only award for The Favourite at the 91st Academy Awards, out of all its nominations and became the 11th British actress to take home the prize.
It’s fair to say that those who had never heard of British actress Olivia Colman have been well and truly suckered in by the disarming and charmingly awkward acceptance speech she made at this year’s Academy Awards.
The 44-year-old actress scooped the Best Actress gong for her highly praised interpretation of Queen Anne, even though highly acclaimed The Favourite failed to win any of the nine other nominations it was in the running for.
But as she revealed in her hilariously personal and kooky speech even though she appears to finally have the world in her grasp, Olivia’s career was certainly no overnight success and that in the early days of her career she had to make ends meet by working as a cleaner.
Growing up in Norwich, Colman says she halfheartedly dreamed of being an actor from a young age, describing it as “a secret dream, like talking to animals”. While she would appear in school plays, she never actually considered acting as a possible career path, which left her in a dilemma about what she actually could do in the real world, especially as academically, school was a tough place for her.
“I had to go back to school for an extra year as I did so badly in my final exams,” the kooky actress told The Hollywood Reporter. “No uni would have me. So I went to Homerton in Cambridge [to become a teacher] but didn’t last there for very long [because] I wasn’t very good at studying.”
After she left Homerton, she decided to stay in Cambridge, snuck into lectures, took part in plays and realized that acting was what she wanted to do. It was there where she auditioned for Footlights and met Robert Webb and David Mitchell for the first time, the comedy duo who would become an integral part of her success.
However, after two years studying at Bristol Old Vic drama school, she discovered life as a working actor was not going to be easy.
“I worked as a temp and cleaner for quite a long time but then Lindy King from what was called PFD took me on from the show at the end of drama school so had her on my side,” Colman recalls. “She was putting me up for all sorts but I wasn’t getting any auditions.”
In spite of all the knockbacks, she was determined to battle on. “I was never crushed [by disappointment] because I knew I couldn’t do anything else.”
Sticking to her guns, roles began to trickle in for Colman and she began to land parts in the kind of dramas that fledgling actors tend to cut their teeth on, like Holby.
But Colman has her Footlights mates Mitchell and Webb to thank for her eventual success after they suggested her to the BBC for a role in their show Bruiser that this started to take shape.
From then on, she appeared in a series of comedic vehicles like Peep Show, Green Wing and Hot Fuzz, before dabbling in her fair share of dramatic roles, including Tyrannosaur, for which she won acclaim for playing an abused wife and The Iron Lady, for which she played Margaret Thatcher’s daughter Carol.
Her profile was significantly raised when she landed the role of DS Ellie Miller on Broadchurch for which she scooped a Best Actress BAFTA. She would go on to appear in the BBC miniseries The Night Manageras a British intelligence operative for which she won a best-supporting actress Golden Globe.
Now she is in the process of shooting the third and fourth seasons of The Crown, having taken over as Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy. Although the fee she has received for the role has not be revealed, she is expected to earn a lot more than the reported $40, 000 that Claire Foy was paid for the title role.
You may remember that last year, controversy raged when it was revealed that Foy’s payment was revealed to be way below that of her co-star Matt Smith’s, who played the supporting role of the Duke Of Edinburgh.
After a petition was raised to encourage producers of The Crownto persuade Smith and Netflix to donate part of his salary from the show to Time’s Up legal fund, showrunners Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries confirmed the shocking pay gap and assured the incoming sovereign would be paid handsomely and fairly as “nobody earns more than the Queen.”
But with her role in The Crown and her Golden Globe and Oscar wins for The Favourite, Olivia can expect to enjoy a very fruitful career indeed, that will substantially increase her value and net worth of £2.8 million, made during her 20-year career.
“Olivia Colman has got it made now,” former OK! Associate Editor Phil Gould tells me. “She has really grafted hard over the years and made a fair amount of money from the British shows that she has appeared on.
“But now, after having scooped a Golden Globe and an Oscar, she is a much more bankable star and will attract more job offers and looks set to earn more money in the next year or so than she has over the past twenty!”
However, Gould thinks that it may take some time for Colman to land the kind of multi-million pound movie deals that the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone are offered. Last year, the Avengers star was named the top female earner in Hollywood with $40.5 million in pretax earnings between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, thanks mainly to her lucrative role in the Marvel series.
“It’s unlikely she’ll be earning the same kind of fees just yet as Hollywood big hitters like Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone, but it all depends on the roles she is offered and accepts,” Gould explains.
“She’s a character actress like Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham-Carter so is unlikely to land a role in a big glossy big budget vehicle straightaway. But then again, who’d have thought that Meryl famed for her dramatic roles in Sophie’s Choice and Kramer Vs Kramer would have ended up doing Mamma Mia, or Helena joining the cast of Oceans 8.”
He concluded: “The great thing about Olivia is she can turn her hand to anything – comedy, drama, you name it – so hopefully we can look forward to her really making a deserved mark in the US!”
But Olivia is adamant that fame is something that has never interested her. “I hate the loss of anonymity,” she told The Independent recently. “No one teaches you how to deal with that. I now just tend to stay home because it’s so weird not to be on an equal footing with people. They know your face, and you don’t know them. It’s not that people aren’t lovely, but it’s harder to deal with than you imagine.”
But whether Colman likes it or not, her recent spate of awards has also given her an even more important status – that of ‘national treasure’ alongside acting legends like Dames Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren.
Although Colman is a lot younger than those acting heavyweights, the great British public and her peers have taken her to their hearts and hold her in very high regard. It’s hard to define exactly what makes someone a national treasure but in most cases they are folks who possess wit and warmth, who are down to earth, humble, real and who capture the nation’s imagination
Actor Charles Dance – who will appear with Colman in The Crown – recently said he thought she was the Dame Judi of her generation. “I first met her when she was playing a maid in Long Day’s Journey Into Night in the West End. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this is a smart girl’,” he told The Evening Standard. “She has rocketed away. I don’t think it’s too much to say that she is her generation’s Judi Dench. And like Judi, she has a wonderful sense of humour but also works incredibly hard and takes the job very seriously.”
So Olivia Colman is at a very pivotal point in her career when the world is at her feet. The future certainly looks bright and whether she likes it or not, post Oscars, Olivia’s life will never quite be the same again.
1 She performed the voiceover for the Andrex “be kind to your behind” adverts in 2013. “I did ask if I could get paid in puppies,” she revealed. “They said no.”
2 Her first career plan was to go into teaching. Before turning her sights to acting she trained as a primary-school teacher at Homerton College, Cambridge. “I wasn’t terribly committed, and I would have been a terrible teacher.”
3 As a job-hunting graduate she was told by careers-advice software that she would make an ideal HGV driver – “because I’ve got 100% spatial awareness. I’d be able to back them into tight parking spots.”
4 During her university years she auditioned successfully for the Cambridge Footlights troupe, where she met David Mitchell and Robert Webb – in whose sitcom Peep Show she went on to star as Sophie Chapman.
5 After graduating she worked as a cleaner and secretary (“not a very good one”).
6 Her preparation for the role of Carol Thatcher (Margaret’s daughter) in The Iron Lady involved close scrutiny of her appearances on I’m a Celebrity… “to get her voice right”.
7 In her sixth-form years, Colman attended the same school, Gresham’s, as Stephen Frears (and Benjamin Britten, WH Auden and James Dyson).
8 She gained 16kg (2st 7lb or 35lb) in weight to play the cake-guzzling Queen Anne for her Oscar-winning turn in The Favourite. (“It was liberating and brilliant.”)
10 In 2006, she played one half of a naturist couple trying to organise a naked wedding in the mockumentary Confetti – which she has described as the worst experience of her life. “I would have felt better about it had I been aware how much was actually going to be on display.”
11 In a high-profile stage production of Hay Fever in 2012, alongside Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jeremy Northam, she got the giggles after forgetting her lines. “West End audiences haven’t paid to see that. I felt really bad.”
12 Another onstage mishap was wetting herself when acting opposite David Mitchell. “We were doing The Miser and there were a lot of quick changes and David never quite managed to get his bow tie in the right place. It became too much to bear.”
13 Toilet paper clearly plays a big role in her life: she got her husband to steal some from Buckingham Palace when they were there for a formal dinner. “He got two squares of loo roll, just to say, ‘We got it from Buckingham Palace.’”
14 She deployed an under-skirt sponge as a receptacle for Emma Stone’s fingers when filming a sex scene in The Favourite. “It was a big, wet sponge. So Emma went up my leg and she went, ‘Ugh!’”.
15 Her first name is Sarah [Caroline Olivia Colman].
16 She had to argue with Wikipedia to get her listed age changed after she spotted it was wrong by eight years. “I said, ‘It’s really upsetting me that you’ve made me eight years older than I actually am.’ They said, ‘We’d have to see a birth certificate to prove it,’ and I went, ‘Whose fucking birth certificate have you looked at in the first place to make me eight years older!?”’
17 The character she played in The Night Manager was not originally meant to be pregnant. But she was pregnant while filming, so the writers incorporated it into the script. They also incorporated lots of chairs, so she didn’t have to stand up all day.
18 She once (and possibly still does) have a clown klaxon as her mobile phone ringtone.
19 She met her husband, Ed, when they were both cast in a student theatre production (of Alan Ayckbourn’s Table Manners). He gave up acting early on, and is now a writer.
20 Her dog is called Alfred, Lord Waggyson.
I suspect Olivia Colman is secretly quite relieved that awards season is over. Not because she doesn’t want to keep adding prizes to her mantlepiece, of course she wants to do that. But more because it will mean that, for a few months at least, she might not have to do another publicity appearance.
Colman has never been a star who pretends that she loves red carpets. She has until now, with all this global attention for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, been a rooted British television star, a national, not international, treasure. She had never partaken in the glossy, pompous American red carpet circuit before, and if ever she did pick up a gong at, say, the BAFTAs for Broadchurch, she usually wore black. The first time she won a Golden Globe, back in 2017 for The Night Manager, she famously skipped the ceremony, and only found out that she had won the next day, when she switched on her phone after going to bed at a sensible 10pm.
It is perhaps self-deprecation, rather than irreverence, that has prevented Colman from finding her inner ‘red carpet star’ in the past. Following that Golden Globes miss, she told the BBC, “I looked at the list and thought ‘I won’t win in that group’”, and later regretted missing out.
Before promotional duties for The Favourite began, she hired the former Vogue stylist Mary Fellowes- and a visible confidence has appeared. Fellowes has dressed Colman in well-cut, subtly glamorous pieces by Stella McCartney, Emilia Wickstead and Roksanda on the tour so far, yet Colman keeps her feet on the ground, having the fittings at home in her lounge with her tea and her dogs, rather than in some fancy atelier.
She’s taught her to make subliminal points about her personal values via her clothing. All of those brands are helmed by working mothers or are family-owned. Sometimes the duo choose to highlight labels with strong sustainability principles, other times it’s about giving a platform to a new affordable brand, like London start-up The Fold. If her dress is classic, she’s wearing an eye-catching accessory.
“Olivia is a strong woman, a working mother and an independent thinker,” Fellowes said recently. “All I’ve ever sought to do with her clothing is to make her feel empowered and like herself.”
A publicist recently told me that her client, a male designer helming a British label, wasn’t interested in dressing Colman because he couldn’t be bothered to make a custom dress for her that wasn’t sample size. His loss. Colman, I think, is one of the most relatable-looking women on the red carpet this year, and in a world where fashion ‘influencers’ (real women blogging about how they dress their real bodies on Instagram) have become one of the most powerful advertisers for clothing, I’d say that Colman’s look is more relevant and desirable than any other celebrity in attendance at the Oscars.
Getting dressed up, in most circumstances, is a bit of fun, but when you’re a nominee navigating a promotional tour it becomes a chess game. Looking good is currency in Hollywood and the parade becomes an exercise in personal brand positioning.
Are you considered ‘stylish’? If the answer to that question is yes, then all sorts of lucrative opportunities, namely big fashion and beauty contracts, can come your way. After a successful run of glamorous appearances in dresses by Calvin Klein, Givenchy and Gucci during last year’s awards season, Margot Robbie was awarded a Chanel ambassadorship, meaning that she will star in advertising campaigns for the Parisian house. The trajectory for the former Neighboursactress was entirely strategised by her stylist, Kate Young, and announcing the ambassadorship whilst wearing Chanel to the 2018 Oscars was almost as big of a prize as if she’d actually won the gold statue.
Colman, I suspect, doesn’t care about all of that. But now she is in a position where she could pursue these deals if she fancies it. Her sleek, considered style has been honed by her stylist, sure, but the personality and relatability that she brings is all her own and it’s what rare. She is, by all accounts, the new Fashion Favourite. Whether she actually wanted to be, or not.
Lady Gaga and Olivia Colman have been given the Oscars treatment, as the Hollywood stars were turned into their own versions of the gold statuettes ahead of the Academy Awards later this month. It comes after a surge of support and celebration for women in film emerged ahead of this year’s ceremony. The applause for the likes of Gaga, who is a hot contender for the best actress award for her role in A Star Is Born, as well as Olivia for the same category for her turn in The Favourite, prompted ODEON Cinemas to produce a range of ‘Osc-her’ statues.
Oh, Osc-her? We see what you did there, you saucy cinema. Gaga and Liv are both up for best actress, but in this glass case of emotion world they’re both winners.
The two actresses have also joined Janet Gaynor – who was the first ever woman to win an Oscar – in all their golden glory, unveiled at the Luxe Leicester Square on Monday morning. Apparently the whole thing came about after the cinema chain found 3/4 Brits are keen to see more women represented in the film awards show. Well, we could have told you that! And this year is special in its own right, as Lady Gaga, who found fame as a singer, is straddling both the best song and best actress categories. That’s fresh from a Baftas, Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Awards win. While we’d love to see what Olivia’s acceptance speech may be, judging by the past times we’ve seen her on stage this year. ‘It’s been fantastic to see such a strong line up of talented women up for award nominations this year,’ Carol Welch, Managing Director, ODEON UK and Ireland said as they unveiled the timely awards. ‘We’ve been treated to a fabulous set of films with The Favourite and A Star is Born as stand out highlights, so it’s no surprise to see the high hopes for Olivia Colman and Lady Gaga.’ Guess this is where we tell you the gold likenesses are not going to be used on the night, with the traditional Oscars statuette – you know, the dude – being rolled out for the hardworking winners.
The Favourite actress revealed how a transplant gave classmate Pip “hope in the darkness”.
Colman urges the public to sign up to the charity’s stem cell register, which she and husband Ed Sinclair joined in 2008, so that others have a chance of living. In the film, she says: “Sadly my friend Pip didn’t make it, but together we can make sure more people like Pip do make it. We want more people on the register. It’s just a little swab of the mouth … Without you there is no cure.”
Pip’s only chance of survival had been a donor who could provide a perfect match, according to Colman. Soon a donor was found in Australia. “Anthony Nolan did an amazing thing,” Colman said. She became patron of Anthony Nolan in July last year.
About 2,000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant every year. Donations from young men and people with black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are needed in particular.
Anthony Nolan’s chief executive Henny Braund said: “It is wonderful to have Olivia’s support and I am grateful to her for sharing this heartfelt story. This will help us continue to give hope to thousands of people every year.”
There was the meeting of two different kinds of royalty at the BAFTAs last night, as treasured star of stage and screen came face-to-face with The Duchess of Cambridge.
Olivia Colman had triumphed at the awards, scooping Best Actress for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, when she met actual royalty in the shape of Kate Middleton, who couldn’t be happier to meet the actress.
The 37-year-old Duchess was once again the picture of elegance, wearing an Alexander McQueen white dress that was an one-shoulder affair, topped off by Princess Diana’s earrings.
Olivia Colman proved to be a popular winner at the 72nd annual British Academy of Film and Television awards and there was a look of mutual admiration as she spoke to Kate after winning her award.
There was a lot of pleasure taken by royal watchers in Kate wearing her late mother-in-law’s pearl and silver drop earrings, which Princess Diana had famously worn while accepting the United Celebral Palsy Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1995.
She sat in the front row at the awards ceremony, alongside her husband Prince William with many eyes on the £525 Jimmy Choo shoes that glistened as much as the BAFTA awards that were being dished out.
Rarely has the title of a film described its star so well as The Favourite and Olivia Colman.
Her stellar performance as the frail and unpredictable Queen Anne has won the hugely versatile actress even more fans.
And the pitch-perfect portrayal of the 18th century monarch has already netted Olivia her second Golden Globe.
Tonight the lavish, comical period drama may land the star her fourth Bafta.
But the icing on the cake could come in a fortnight if she wins the best actress Oscar for the regal role.
And next month the star joins the ranks of Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench when she is presented with a fellowship of the BFI.
With national treasure status beckoning and all those awards, many actors would be full of themselves.
But Olivia, 45, is not many actors.
She wears her well-earned fame with the same kind, warm humility that has characterised her amazing career.
Friends of the star, who first pinged the nation’s radar in the 2003 cult sitcom Peep Show, say she is unchanged by fame.
Actor and writer Jonathan Dryden Taylor, who met her in 1994, said: “She’s the same person now as she was back then, the warmest, most delightful human being.
“I don’t think you can find anyone in the industry with a bad word about her.”
He recalled Olivia, nicknamed Collie, taking him to one side and thanking him for the jokes he penned for her in That Michell and Webb Sound sketch show.
Jonathan said: “It’s a measure of what kind of a person she is.
“She thanked me for writing her jokes even though she was the actual star.”
He also remembered a story she told him about filming Broadchurch, for which she won 2014’s best leading actress Bafta.
The plot pitted her character, cop Ellie Miller, against Jodie Whittaker’s in some really intense and angry scenes.
Taylor said: “Collie told me the moment ‘cut’ was called they fell into each other’s arms and hugged because they couldn’t bear being horrible to one another. That epitomises everything about her.”
Hardworking and modest Olivia wanted to perform from the age of 16. She said: “Being able to put ‘Actor’ on my passport was all I wanted in the world.”
The daughter of a nurse and a chartered surveyor, Norwich-born Olivia – real name Sarah – caught the acting bug after landing the lead part in a school play having auditioned on a whim.
But instead of drama school, she began a teacher training course at Homerton college in Cambridge, where she joined the university’s legendary drama society – Footlights.
There she met her future husband Ed Sinclair, with whom she has three children.
She also met fellow students David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who she would work with for many years, most memorably for 12 years from 2003 on Peep Show.
Her on/off relationship as Sophie with Mark, played by Mitchell, was central to the hilariously dark Channel 4 comedy.
Olivia and David starred in the 1993 Footlights pantomime together, a production of Cinderella.
In the second term she also took part in the Footlights spring revue sketch show.
David wrote in his autobiography Backstory: “Suddenly she was shining with talent – working the audience, timing her lines, drawing out new laughs without ever seeming hammy.
“There were many talented actors at Cambridge while I was there, very few were as good as Collie – certainly no one better.”
From Cambridge she went to Bristol’s Old Vic theatre school but often visited David and his comedy partner Robert Webb at their flat above a Blockbuster shop in Swiss Cottage, North London.
She and David worked on a production of French playwright’s Moliere’s comedy The Miser, which they toured around UK schools.
Mitchell and Webb’s then flatmate Ellis Sareen, now a 44-year-old barrister, said: “It was impossible to go to bed if there was any alcohol in the flat still undrunk. Collie was always around. She was absolutely delightful.”
After graduating from Bristol in 1999, Olivia struggled to find acting work and took a typing course as well as doing a cleaning job. But in 2003 Mitchell and Webb cast her as Sophie.
Her talent led to roles in Channel 4’s offbeat comedy Green Wing and Simon Pegg’s 2007 rural cop comedy Hot Fuzz.
In 2011 she played Carol Thatcher to Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
This marked her move into more serious roles, such as Miller in the smash-hit detective drama Broadchurch.
She was heavily pregnant with her third child when she played Angela Burr opposite Tom Hiddleston and Tom Hollander in the adaptation of John Le Carré’s The Night Manager.
Colman was so good as the heroine determined to bring down an evil arms dealer that she won a Golden Globe.
She was highly acclaimed for her performances on stage in Hay Fever at the Noël Coward Theatre and in Mosquitoes at the National Theatre.
Most recently Olivia has played the deplorable, money-grabbing Madame Thenardier in Andrew Davies’ gripping version of Victor Hugo’s classic, Les Misérables.
This year she is taking over the role of the Queen from Claire Foy in the latest series of The Crown.
But despite her success, Colman’s friends insist she is keeping her feet firmly on the ground.
Jonathan said: “She’s not someone who’d let the fame go to her head. You wouldn’t see her demanding blue M&Ms or room temperature water or any of that. She just turns up and does the job.”
Her down to earth attitude was perfectly illustrated when she was invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace after the announcement of her role in The Crown.
She asked her husband to take home a keepsake from one the palace’s 78 bathrooms – two squares of loo roll.
It is a trophy that would look very strange next to an Oscar.