News Column


May 11, 2013


If you were to write a list of everything you wanted in a friend, 'sweet'', 'funny'' and 'modest'' would probably all feature as desirable traits. And they''re all words you could use to describe the actress Olivia Colman -- who''s also one of the most refreshingly honest people you could meet.

Take her thoughts on cosmetic surgery, for example. "I'"I'd love my eye bags to be sucked off, I'd love to have a chin again. I think everybody thinks that, but whether you do it or not, I don''t know. If you see me next time and I look amazing, I''ll have had something done," she says, giggling.

Colman is riding rather high at the moment. She''s just starred in the runaway ITV success Broadchurch and has two Bafta nominations: for Best Leading Actress in The Accused and Best Female Comedy Performance in Olympics sitcom 2012.

Whether she wins them both at the Bafta Television Awards tomorrow remains to be seen, but they show how versatile an actress she is.

Although she''s still most recognised for the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show, in which she made her name alongside David Mitchell and Robert Webb, the 2011 film Tyrannosaur, in which she played a physically abused wife, revealed she was just as strong at drama. The role also brought her numerous awards, including a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and a British Independent Film Award. "If I was allowed to do both [comedy and drama], I''d be so happy," she says. "The more you do one, the more they forget you in the other one, it''s so tricky and you don''t really ever have a choice. But I love both.

"If I was really pushed, if the gun was against my head, I think I might ... oh, I don''t know! At the moment, I''m really revelling in doing drama though, because I wasn''t allowed to do it for so long." It''s drama she''s about to do again, as she teams up with Tyrannosaur director Paddy Considine in ITV''s follow-up to last year''s The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher.

This feature-length one-off picks up the story some time after Jack Whicher has lost his case against Constance Kent, the half- sister of murdered Saville, who eventually confessed her guilt five years after she was acquitted. After the trial, Whicher suffered depression and quit the police force.

In this new fictional case, he rescues respectable country lady Susan Spencer (Colman) from a violent robbery in a dodgy part

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