Jessica Hynes

Jessica Hynes
Jessica Hynes

Hynes at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con
Born Jessica Stevenson
15 November 1972 (1972-11-15) (age 39)
London, England, UK
Occupation Actress/Writer
Years active 1993—present
Spouse Adam Hynes (2002-present)

Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson; born 30 October 1972) is an English actress and writer. She was known professionally as Jessica Stevenson until 2007.[1]

She is possibly best known as one of the creators, writers and stars of the British sitcom Spaced.

She lives in London with her husband Adam Hynes, whom she met when she was 18, and married in 2002. They have three children.


Life and career

Hynes was born in Lewisham, London, on 15th November 1972, but grew up in Brighton, where she attended Dorothy Stringer High School. As a teenager Hynes was part of the National Youth Theatre company, and she made her stage début with the company in Lionel Bart's Blitz in 1990.[2] In 1992–3 she played a season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In the same year she appeared in Peter Greenaway's 1993 film The Baby of Mâcon, playing the first midwife. For the first fourteen years of her career, she used her maiden name as a stage name. Early in her career she teamed up with future Spaced co-star Katy Carmichael in a comedy double-act called The Liz Hurleys, appeared in two productions at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, and played parts on television in the nursing drama Staying Alive (1995–1997) and short-lived sketch shows Six Pairs of Pants, (Un)natural Acts and Asylum - where the Spaced team (Stevenson, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) first assembled. She also guest starred in the first ever episode of Midsomer Murders in 1997.

From 1998-2000 she played the supporting role of Cheryl in the hit sitcom The Royle Family and reprised the role for special episodes in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Also in 1999, she co-wrote and starred in Spaced. Her London theatre début was in April 2002, playing the tough ex-prisoner "Bolla" in Jez Butterworth's The Night Heron at the Royal Court.[3] In 2004 she played a minor part as Yvonne in horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, again working with Pegg and Wright. In the same year she was also cast as Magda, friend of the titular character, in the Hollywood sequel Bridget Jones' Diary 2 also called Bridget Jones' Diary: The Edge of Reason. In 2005 Hynes took the lead role in the BBC One sitcom According to Bex (which she thought was so bad that she sacked her agent for putting her up for it),[1] and had a starring role in British comedy Confetti alongside Jimmy Carr, Martin Freeman, and Mark Heap.

In early 2007 she took the lead female role in the film Magicians, starring alongside comic duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Later that year she starred in Learners, a comedy drama television movie which she also wrote, on BBC One in November 2007.[4] She also provided the voice of Mafalda Hopkirk in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

She played as Joan Redfern in the 2007 Doctor Who episodes "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood". She then appeared in part two of the story The End of Time, playing a character named Verity Newman, who is descended from Joan.[5] Hynes has appeared in Big Finish's Eighth Doctor audio adventure "Invaders from Mars", with her Spaced colleague Simon Pegg.

In 2007 she starred in Son of Rambow (credited as Jessica Stevenson), playing Mary Proudfoot opposite the star of the film, Bill Milner.

Hynes co-wrote the pilot Phoo Action, based on the cartoons of Jamie Hewlett, which was transmitted on BBC Three in early 2008.[6]

In the same year Hynes appeared in the film Faintheart and in a revival of Alan Ayckbourne's The Norman Conquests at the Old Vic. In 2009 she made her Broadway début in the play's transfer[7] and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.

In 2009 she returned to the Royal Court in The Priory, a new play by Michael Wynne.[8]

She plans to pursue a solo career as a standup comedian[9] as well as publishing a children's book Ants in the Marmalade.[10]


Hynes has won two British Comedy Awards, both for her performances in Spaced: Best Female Comedy Newcomer in 1999 and Best TV Comedy Actress in 2001.[11] She was nominated for a TV BAFTA for her performance in the largely improvised TV feature Tomorrow La Scala (2000), and for an Olivier Award for her role in the play The Night Heron in 2003.[11] In 2009 she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play,[12] but lost out to Angela Lansbury.



Year Title Role Format Notes
1994 The House of Eliott Charlotte Parker TV series Episode: Series 3, Episode 1
1995 Six Pairs of Pants Various characters TV series
Tears Before Bedtime Maggie TV series
Crown Prosecutor Jackie South TV series
1996 Mash and Peas Various Roles TV series
Asylum Martha & Nurse McFadden TV series
Staying Alive Alice Timpson TV series
1997 Midsomer Murders Judith Lessiter TV series Episode: "The Killings at Badger's Drift"
Armstrong and Miller Various Roles TV series Series 1-2
Harry Enfield and Chums TV series Episode: "Harry Enfield and His Yule Log Chums"
1998 Unnatural Acts Various Roles TV series Episodes: Episode 1, 2, 4 and 5
Merry-Go-Round Alice, the Ayatollah's Assistant TV series Episode: Episode 1
The Royle Family Cheryl Carroll TV series Episodes: "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Sunday Afternoon", "Dad's Birthday", "Wedding Day", "Pregnancy", "Antony's Birthday", "Decorating", "Funeral", "The Christening", "The Queen of Sheba", "The Golden Egg Cup" and "Joe's Crackers"
1999 People Like Us Sarah TV series Episode: "The Estate Agent"
Spaced Daisy Steiner TV series
2001 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) Felia Siderova TV series Episodes: "Mental Apparition Disorder" and "Drop Dead"
Bob & Rose Holly Vance TV series
Comedy Lab Wife TV series Episode: "Knife & Wife"
2002 Dick Whittington The Good Fairy TV film
Black Books Eva TV series Episode: "Hello Sun"
2005 According to Bex Rebecca 'Bex' Atwell TV series
2006 Pinochet in Suburbia Police Guard TV film
The Secret Policeman's Ball Mrs. Peacock Staged show
QI Herself TV series Episode: "Domesticity"
Marple Amy Griffith TV series Episode: "The Moving Finger"
2007 Doctor Who Joan Redfern TV series Episodes: "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood"
Learners Bev TV film
Never Mind the Buzzcocks Herself TV series Episode: Series 21, Episode 1
2009 Doctor Who Verity Newman TV series Episode: "The End of Time, Part Two"
2010 Lizzie and Sarah Various Roles TV pilot
2011 Twenty Twelve Siobhan Sharpe TV series
Skins Crystal TV Series Episode: "Everyone"
The Hour Jane Kish TV Series Episode 4


Year Title Role
1993 Swing Kids Helga
The Baby of Mâcon The First Midwife
2000 Born Romantic Libby
2002 Tomorrow La Scala! Victoria
Pure Paramedic
2004 Shaun of the Dead Yvonne
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Magda
2006 Confetti Sam
2007 Four Last Songs Miranda
Son of Rambow Mary
Magicians Linda
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Mafalda Hopkirk (voice)
2008 Faintheart Cathy
2010 Burke and Hare Lucky


  1. ^ a b McLean, Gareth (25 May 2007). "Gareth McLean talks to screen star Jessica Stevenson about feminist history". The Guardian website (London).,,2088056,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  2. ^ Kilcoyne, Emma (13 February 2008). "Charismatic artistic director of the National Youth Theatre". The Independent: p. 34. 
  3. ^ "The Night Heron at The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Press Releases: David Tennant and Jessica Hynes in the driving seat for new BBC One comedy drama Learners.". BBC website. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  5. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (23 March 2009). "Discover Both Ends Of The "Spectrum Of Spock." Plus The Doctor's Worst Nightmare.". io9. Retrieved 18 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Press Releases: Jessica Hynes in Phoo Action". BBC website. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "The Priory". Royal Court Theatre. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Hall, Julian (20 June 2008). "Stand Up Get Down Featuring Jessica Hynes & Friends, Madame Jojo's, London". The Independent (London). Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  10. ^ McLean, Gareth (25 May 2007). "I went mainstream. It really wasn't me". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Comedy profiles — Jessica Stevenson". BBC. 2005. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "Tony Award Winner". Old Vic Theatre. May 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 

External links

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