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Phillips, Sally (1970-)

Actor, Performer, Writer

Main image of Phillips, Sally (1970-)

Writer and performer Sally Phillips came to prominence as smirking receptionist Sophie in I'm Alan Partridge (BBC, 1997-2002), a role that led GQ magazine to name her the sexiest woman in hotel administration since Polly in Fawlty Towers (BBC, 1975-79).

Born in Hong Kong, she gained a First in Italian at Oxford, spent a year out living in a brothel in Rome, and considered a PhD on spaghetti westerns. Instead, after a brief spell with the Oxford Revue and Theatre de Complicité, she decided she had no desire to be "taken seriously".

The success of I'm Alan Partridge brought her to the attention of producer Victoria Pile, who teamed her with Doon Mackichan and Fiona Allen for sketch series Smack the Pony (Channel 4, 1999-2003). The series allowed Phillips to do "what I do really well: wear wigs, drop things and walk into the wall."

Her performances have enlivened numerous series: as a proto-feminist in Hippies (BBC, 1999), a features writer in Rescue Me (BBC, 2002) - a role she prepared for by having a facial - and hippy Tash Vine in Jam and Jerusalem (BBC, 2006-09). Her forays into film include the role of Shazzer in Bridget Jones's Diary (d. Sharon Maguire, 2001) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (d. Beeban Kidron, 2004).

Since 2004, she has played the misanthropic social worker Clare in the award-winning Radio 4 comedy Clare in the Community. As a writer, she won a 2009 UK Film Council screenwriting competition for Fag Mountain, and recently wrote her first feature film, The Decoy Bride (d. Sheree Folkson, 2011).

Graham Rinaldi

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of I'm Alan Partridge (1997)I'm Alan Partridge (1997)

The erstwhile chat show host slums it in a Norwich travelodge

Thumbnail image of Smack the Pony (1999-2002)Smack the Pony (1999-2002)

Female sketch trio/quartet with a distinctive take on sexual politics

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Related people and organisations

Thumbnail image of Mackichan, Doon (1962-)Mackichan, Doon (1962-)

Actor, Performer, Writer