Queen Elizabeth II is currently enjoying a host of 90th birthday celebrations, and as part of the birthday honours, Doctor Who actress Penelope Wilton has been made a Dame – that definitely beats MP for Flydale North!
Fans of Doctor Who will know Penelope Wilton as Harriet Jones, a character who debuted in the first series of the 2005 revival and fended off the farting Slitheen from Downing Street in the hit two-part episodes ‘Aliens of London’ and ‘World War Three’. She returned to help usher in the David Tennant era in ‘The Christmas Invasion’, now as Prime Minister of Great Britain, obliterating the Sycorax ruthlessly with the help of Torchwood. Her final appearance came in The Stolen Earth, using the subwave network to unite the Doctors companions and ultimately, sacrificing herself to do so at the cost of her own life.
However, Doctor Who is merely among Wilton’s most famous roles. Starring as Isobel Crawley in globally renowned ‘Downton Abbey’ and as Barbara in cult classic ‘Shaun of the Dead’, Wilton’s acting career is filled with fan favourite roles across a diverse range of genre’s and audiences. The 70-year-old actress shows no signs of slowing down either, set to work in ITV drama Brief Encounters next month and even, in a twist of fate, star as The Queen herself in Steven Spielberg’s much anticipated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.
Dame Penelope Wilton’s acting profile is full of extraordinary success across a long, diverse career, and now honoured by a ‘damehood’, fans old and new will gleefully say: “yes, we know who you are.”