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Monday 14th October 2019

Olivia Colman ‘humbled’ to get CBE in Oscar-winning year

Rewarded for her services to drama

Olivia Colman said she was "totally thrilled" and "humbled" to be made a CBE for services to drama.

The Oscar-winner first found fame as Sophie, the girlfriend of David Mitchell’s neurotic Mark, in the British comedy Peep Show.

She said in a statement to the Press Association: "I’m totally thrilled, delighted and humbled to be in the company of these incredible people, most of whom have been nowhere near as visible as I have, but should be – and hopefully now will be. It’s such an honour."

She has been made a CBE for services to drama in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman with her Oscar for The Favourite (Credit: Alberto Rodriguez/PA)

Before landing the best actress Academy Award for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite earlier this year, she had a successful career on the small screen in Green Wing, That Mitchell And Webb Look and Twenty Twelve, and in British films including Hot Fuzz and Tyrannosaur.

Her first brush with Hollywood success came when she played the role of Carol Thatcher in The Iron Lady, for which Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.

I am loving the job, I am loving trying to play the Queen, but I find her harder.

It was her part as the hotel manager in 2015’s The Lobster that paired her up with Greek film-maker Yorgos Lanthimos, who would go on to direct her Oscar win.

The Lobster, which also starred Colin Farrell, and Colman’s The Favourite co-star Rachel Weisz, was set in a surreal dystopian future, where single people are obliged to find a romantic partner within 45 days or are turned into animals.

It was a critical hit and collected a best original screenplay nomination at the Oscars.

Colman, 45, followed up the film’s success with a star turn in the BBC drama The Night Manager, opposite Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, for which she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy, and in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s black comedy Fleabag, playing the title character’s loathsome artist stepmother.

The ITV crime series Broadchurch, which started in 2013, made her a household name in the UK, playing Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, but it was The Favourite that has made her a Hollywood star.

Olivia with David Tennant in Broadchurch (Credit: ITV)

Colman’s portrayal of the petulant, greedy and grieving queen won her rave reviews and scored a clutch of gongs.

Her most anticipated role is yet to come, when she steps into the shoes of Queen Elizabeth II in the third series of The Crown as the lavish Netflix drama moves into the 1970s.

She will take over the part from Claire Foy and has said how difficult she has found it.

Comparing the two queens she plays, she told the Press Association: "It could not be more different.

"I find the harder is Queen Elizabeth because everyone knows what she looks like, everyone knows what she sounds like, everyone has an opinion on whether the casting is right.

"And I am loving the job, I am loving trying to play her, but I find her harder."

Born in Norwich in 1974, she studied at Cambridge and at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

She has been married to the actor and writer Ed Sinclair since 2001 and the couple have three children.