Sarah Parish


Sarah Parish (born 7 June 1968) is an English actress. She is known for her work on television series including: The Pillars of the Earth, Peak Practice, Hearts and Bones, Cutting It, Doctor Who, Mistresses, Merlin, Atlantis, Monroe, HBO's Industry, Stay Close, Trollied, W1A and as the titular character in Bancroft.

Sarah Parish
Born (1968-06-07) 7 June 1968 (age 54)
Yeovil, Somerset, England
Years active1993–present
(m. 2007)

Early lifeEdit

Parish was born in Yeovil, Somerset, to Bill and Thelma Parish; she has a sister, Julie, and a brother, musician John Parish. She was educated at the local Preston School and Yeovil College. She began acting at an early age and believes her first stage appearance was aged two in a pantomime in the village of Tintinhull playing the pearl in an oyster. She later attended Yeovil Youth Theatre.[1]


After training at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London, her appearance in a cult advert for Manchester-based Boddingtons bitter in 1994 (as Vera, who likes nothing better than "a good rub down with chip fat"), led to a series of roles as Northern women, including Dawn Rudge in Peak Practice (1993), Allie Henshall in Cutting It (2002), Annie Naylor in Trust and Natalie Holden in Blackpool (2004). She starred alongside Debra Messing in the movie The Wedding Date, had a small role in The Holiday, which starred Jude Law, and appeared as the Empress of the Racnoss in the Christmas 2006 Doctor Who episode "The Runaway Bride".

Parish appeared in the one-off drama Recovery. She also starred in the BBC series ShakespeareRe-Told in which she played Beatrice. She returned as GP Katie Roden in series two and three of Mistresses which was first shown on BBC One in February 2009. She played Lady Catrina in the BBC television series Merlin.[2]

In 2011 Parish co-starred in ITV's medical drama Monroe, alongside James Nesbitt. From 2013 to 2015 she appeared in the BBC TV series Atlantis, playing one of the main cast characters, Pasiphaë.[3] From 2014 to 2017 she played the role of Anna Rampton in three series of the BBC TV comedy W1A. Since November 2015 Parish has portrayed Cheryl Fairweather in Sky One sitcom Trollied.

In December 2017, she played Supt Elizabeth Bancroft in the ITV miniseries Bancroft. The second series was broadcast in January 2020.[4][5]

In December 2019 she appeared in The Cockfields as Melissa, girlfriend of Nigel Havers' character, Larry.[6] She later appeared in the HBO/BBC drama Industry the following year. Parish appeared in Netflix original Stay Close as Lorraine in December 2021.


She has frequently co-starred opposite David Tennant — in the 2004 musical serial Blackpool; the Tony Marchant drama Recovery; the 2006 Doctor Who Christmas special episode, "The Runaway Bride"; in the third series of the ITV crime drama Broadchurch; and in the 2017 film You, Me and Him.[7] She has joked that "We're like George and Mildred – in 20 years' time we'll probably be doing a ropey old sitcom in a terraced house in Preston."[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Parish married James Murray on 15 December 2007 in Hampshire. It was announced in January 2008 that she was pregnant with their first child, due on Parish's 40th birthday. Their daughter Ella-Jayne was born with Rubinstein–Taybi syndrome and died in 2009.[9] In her memory, Parish and Murray raise funds for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Southampton General Hospital.[10] As of December 2019, they had raised £5.2 million towards the PICU.[11] Their second daughter, Nell, was born on 21 November 2009.[12]

When asked about her hobbies and interests Parish cites her vegetable garden.[13]

On 2 March 2018, Parish sustained an accident, breaking her leg when sledging in the snow.[14] She commented: "Note to self: cheap plastic sledges are for sitting in and gently trundling down primary slopes NOT a substitute for a stand up snowboard".[15]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 The Bill Linda Pincham Episode: "Taking Stock"
1997–1999 Peak Practice Dawn Rudge
1998 Babes in the Wood Roxy One episode
2000 Beast Helen
City Central Karen Ridley
Brotherly Love Julia Empthorpe
Kiss Me Kate Liz
2000–2001 Hearts and Bones Amanda Thomas
2001 The Vice Jane Farrell
2002–2005 Cutting It Allie Henshall
2003 Unconditional Love Lydia Gray
Trust Annie Naylor
Reversals Charlotte Woods
2004 Blackpool Natalie Holden
2005 Monkey Trousers Various Characters
ShakespeaRe-Told Beatrice Episode: "Much Ado About Nothing"
2006 Aftersun[16] Sue
Agatha Christie's Marple Evie Ballantine Episode: Sleeping Murder
If I Had You Sharon Myers
Doctor Who Empress of the Racnoss Episode: "The Runaway Bride"
2008–2010 Mistresses Katie Roden
2009 Merlin Lady Catrina Episodes: “Beauty and the Beast“ parts 1 and 2
2010 The Pillars of the Earth Regan Hamleigh
2011–2012 Monroe Jenny Bremner
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Levicy Hatfield
2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot Flossie Monro Episode: "The Big Four"
Breathless Margaret Dalton
2013–2015 Atlantis Pasiphaë
2014–2017 W1A Anna Rampton Three series
2015–2018 Trollied Cheryl Fairweather Main role, 24 episodes
2016 The Collection Marjorie Stutter
2017 Broadchurch Cath Atwood Series three
2017–2018 The Keith & Paddy Picture Show Herself/Dana Barrett (Ghostbusters)/Charlie Blackwood (Top Gun) Episode(s): "Ghostbusters"
"Top Gun"
2017–2020 Bancroft Det Supt Elizabeth Bancroft Main role
2018-2019 Medici: The Magnificent Lucrezia Tornabuoni
2019–present The Cockfields Melissa Supporting role
2020–present Industry Nicole Craig
2021 Inside No. 9 Dawn Episode: "Last Night of the Proms"
2021 Stay Close Lorraine
2022 Heathrow: Britain's Busiest Airport Narrator Series 8
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Middleton's Changeling Asylum inmate
1999 Parting Shots Ad agency receptionist
2005 The Wedding Date TJ
2006 The Holiday Hannah
2018 You, Me and Him Mrs Jones
2018 Bad Apples Nurse


  1. ^ Sarah Parish interview at Western Daily Press 19 April 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2015
  2. ^ "Merlin: Series 2". Merlins Keep. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  3. ^ Power, Vicki (18 January 2014). "Atlantis actress Sarah Parish on dates, parties and being a noisy neighbour". Express. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. ^ "ITV commissions second series of Bancroft, starring Sarah Parish". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  5. ^ "When is Bancroft back on TV for series 2?". Radio Times. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  6. ^ "The Cockfields". British Comedy Guide.
  7. ^ "Who's new". 8 October 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2006..
  8. ^ Dempster, Sarah (21 February 2007). "Scissor sister". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Sarah Parish Mourning Death of Daughter" Celebrity Baby Blog, 20 January 2009
  10. ^ "Read Rosemary's story". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  11. ^ Cripps, Charlotte (29 December 2019). "Sarah Parish: 'I have a look about me that says death... I'm not a fluffy bunny'". The Independent. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  12. ^ "rosie mitchell is fundraising for Friends of PICU".
  13. ^ "Interview with Atlantis star and Alton resident Sarah Parish". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Broadchurch actress breaks leg on sledge". 3 March 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Sarah Parish on Instagram: "Day 2 in Winchester Hospital. Looks like I'll be operated on today. They're putting a bloody great big pin right through my shin!! No sleep…"". Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Aftersun". 8 September 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2018.

External linksEdit

  • Sarah Parish at IMDb
  • Sarah Parish stars in Doctor Who: "The Runaway Bride"