Joanna Scanlan
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The Larkins on ITV1: Who plays Ma Larkin? What has Joanna Scanlan been in before?

The actress is perhaps best known for No Offence

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The Larkins on ITV1 stars Joanna Scanlan as Ma Larkin, opposite Bradley Walsh’s Pop – but what has the actress been in before?

How old is she? And is she married in real life?

Here’s everything you need to know about Joanna, and her role in the new adaptation of the classic novel The Darling Buds of May by H.E. Bates.

Joanna Scanlan as Ma Larkin
Joanna Scanlan as Ma Larkin, with Lydia Page as Primrose, and Sabrina Bartlett as Mariette (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: The Larkins: Bradley Walsh reveals he was crushed by a pig during filming

Who plays Ma Larkin in The Larkins? Joanna Scanlan!

Actress Joanna Scanlan takes on the iconic role of Ma Larkin in The Larkins.

Ma Larkin is described as “fun, earth mother, not to be crossed especially when it comes to her children”.

She loves her husband, her community and hates snobbery and bullying – if she witnesses it she’ll definitely call it out.

Joanna Scanlan says about her character: “Ma looks glamorous every day.

“In the contemporary term, she’s modern.

“[…] She wants to be up with the times, she wants to look attractive.

“She wants to make the best of herself without it wasting too much of her time.”

Of course, Bradley Walsh plays Pop Larkin.

What has Ma Larkin actress Joanna Scanlan been in before?

Actress Joanna Scanlan has been on our TV screens ever since 1997 when she played Bessie in the TV movie Jane Eyre.

She went on to play Lady Crawley in Vanity Fair, Stumpy Yates in Doctors and Nurses, and even played a prisoner in EastEnders!

From 2005 to 2012, she played Terri Coverley in The Thick of It, and later Nancy in Stella.

She’s also played Sister Den Flixter in Getting On, Toria in Heading Out, Mrs. Klebb in Big School and Janice Gray in Requiem.

Joanne has also appeared in the films Kinky Boots, Notes on a Scandal, Bridget Jones’ Baby and The Other Boleyn Girl.

Most recently, Joanna has played DI Vivienne Deering in No Offence, and Angela Griffiths in The Accident.

Joanna Scanlan in No Offence
Joanna Scanlan in DI Vivienne Deering in No Offence (Credit: Channel 4)

Read more: Bradley Walsh’s weight gain on the set of The Larkins means he needs new suits for The Chase!

How old is Joanna Scanlon? Where was she born?

Joanna was born on October 27 1961 in West Kirby, Cheshire.

She is currently 59 years of age.

Her parents were hoteliers Michael and Patricia Scanlan, who bought and ran the Castle Hotel in Ruthin.

Is Ma Larkin actress Joanna Larkin married? Who is her husband?

Joanna married her husband, accountant Neil Bicknell, in 2009.

Together they live in South Croydon, London.

Despite having six children in The Larkins, Joanna doesn’t have kids in real life.

She has said: “I’d have loved to become a mother, but I suspect I wouldn’t have been able to be a very good actor or an artist had I been one.

“There was a point in my own life, when I was in my mid-thirties and saying, ‘Oh, I want babies’, and both my parents said to me there is more to life than having children. Which you could take in two ways.

“But I think what they meant, their unfulfilled artistic expression perhaps was curtailed by having a family, and perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to manage both.

“My deep suspicion is that I would have prioritised children above having an artistic life.”

She admits she met her husband too late to consider having children together.

Joanna Scanlan
Joanna Scanlan attends the world premiere of Bridget Jones’ Baby (Credit: Splash)

Who played Ma Larkin in The Darling Buds of May?

Pam Ferris played Ma Larkin in The Darling Buds of May between 1991 and 1993.

Actress Pam, 73, has been an actress for four decades, although she made her name playing Ma.

She went on to play Laura Thyme in the whimsical detective drama Rosemary & Thyme alongside Felicity Kendal.

The Larkins starts on Sunday October 10 2021 at 8pm on ITV1.

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