Diane Morgan – Wikipedia

British actress, comedian, and writer

Diane Morgan

Born (1975-10-05) 5 October 1975 (age 46)
Years active 2001–present
Partner(s) Ben Caudell

Diane Morgan (born 5 October 1975) is an English actress, comedian, and writer. She is best known for playing Philomena Cunk on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe and in other mockumentaries, as Liz in the BBC Two sitcom Motherland, and Kath in the Netflix dark comedy series After Life. She also wrote and starred in the BBC Two comedy series Mandy.

Early life[edit]

Morgan was born in Bolton, Lancashire, one of two children of a physiotherapist,[1] on 5 October 1975.[2][3] She grew up in nearby Farnworth and Kearsley,[4][5] and studied at the East 15 Acting School in Loughton.[6] She said in a 2020 interview, “There were a few actors on [my father]’s side of the family: Julie Goodyear, Frank Finlay and Jack Wild. What a dynasty. We’re like the Redgraves. Julie’s got a touch of the Mandys, actually. Maybe I could cast her as Mandy’s mum.”[7]

Morgan had a small part as Dawn in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights before a spell working various jobs, including as a dental assistant, a telemarketer, a potato peeler at a chip shop, selling Avon, and boxing up worming tablets in a factory.[6] She subsequently made her first attempt at stand-up comedy.[6] She was placed second in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year Award 2006 and as runner-up in the 2006 Funny Women Awards.[8]

Morgan and Joe Wilkinson later formed a sketch comedy duo called Two Episodes of Mash.[9] From 2008, they performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for three consecutive years,[10][11][12] and in 2010 they appeared on Robert Webb’s satirical news show Robert’s Web.[13] In 2012 the act completed its second BBC radio series[14] (co-starring David O’Doherty), and appeared in BBC Three’s Live at the Electric.[15]

Morgan is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Philomena Cunk, an extremely dim-witted and ill-informed interviewer and commentator on current affairs. The character first appeared in a regular segment on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe (2013–2015).[16] Cunk has since reappeared in other mockumentary contexts. In December 2016, she presented BBC Two’s Cunk on Christmas.[17] In April 2018, the five-part historical mockumentary Cunk on Britain began broadcasting on BBC Two.[18][19] Also in 2018, Morgan wrote Cunk on Everything: The Encyclopedia Philomena, published by Two Roads on 1 November.[20][21] In December 2019, Morgan appeared as Cunk for short episodes of Cunk and Other Humans, once again on BBC Two. She returned in a one-off episode of Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe titled Antiviral Wipe, about the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020.[22]

In 2012 she appeared in Him & Her, which features Wilkinson, and in 2013 she played Nicola in the TV series Pat & Cabbage.[23] In 2014 she made an appearance in the TV series Utopia, as Tess,[16] and in 2015 she appeared in two episodes of Drunk History.[citation needed]

Morgan played David Brent’s public relations guru in the film David Brent: Life on the Road (2016). She has appeared in several short films, including The Boot Sale, which was shortlisted in the Virgin Media Shorts film competition 2010.[24][25]

In 2016 Morgan played Mandy in Sky One’s comedy Rovers, appearing in all six episodes of the first series. She also appeared in the pilot for the BBC2 comedy We the Jury as Olivia.[citation needed] She also plays receptionist Talia in Sky’s comedy drama Mount Pleasant and Liz in the BBC2 sitcom Motherland.

Morgan plays Kath in the Netflix black-comedy series After Life, written by Ricky Gervais.[26] She starred in the Gold sitcom The Cockfields, again alongside Wilkinson,[27] and in comedy-drama Frayed in 2019. In 2019 she wrote, directed and starred in the BBC2 comedy short Mandy, described as “a comedy by Diane Morgan about Mandy, a woman who really really wants a sofa, and will stop at absolutely nothing to get it”. Carol Decker appeared as herself in the short. It returned in August 2020 for the full series Mandy, with Shaun Ryder, Maxine Peake and Natalie Cassidy in guest roles. A Christmas special, “We Wish You a Mandy Christmas”, loosely based on A Christmas Carol, was broadcast in December 2021.[28]

Also in 2020, Morgan played Gemma Nerrick in the British mockumentary Death to 2020, created by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.[29] She reprised the role in Death to 2021. She voiced the character 105E in the 2021 animated Cartoon Network series Elliott from Earth.

In April 2022, Morgan starred as Donna in the first episode of the seventh series of Inside No. 9.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Morgan lives in the Bloomsbury district of London with her boyfriend, BBC comedy producer Ben Caudell.[31]


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Phoenix Nights Dawn Episode: “Stars in their Eyes”; uncredited
2003 La jalousie Sally Short film
2010 The Boot Sale Diane
Robert’s Web Various 4 episodes
2011–2012 Mount Pleasant Talia 12 episodes
2012 The Royal Bodyguard Sharon Episode: “Bullets over Broad Street”
Games On Elaine Price Episode: “XXXL”
Get Lucky Claire Trott Short film
The Work Experience Susan Butler 6 episodes
Him & Her Gina 3 episodes
Complaints Video short
2013 Cheese by Mouth Val Short film
Pat & Cabbage Nicola 6 episodes
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Girl in crowd
2013–2020 Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe Philomena Cunk 17 episodes
2014 Utopia Tess 2 episodes
The Mimic Psychoanalyst Series 2: Episode 3
Paradise Males Pam Short film
What’s Wrong? Woman
2015 Baguettes Woman on bench
Uncle Suzan Series 2: Episode 5
Three Kinds of Stupid Mittens
2016 Me Before You Sharon
Rovers Mandy 6 episodes
David Brent: Life on the Road Briony Jones
We the Jury Olivia Pilot episode
Damned Phoebe Ravenscroft Series 1: Episode 4
2016–2018 Cunk on Britain Philomena Cunk 7 episodes
2016–2021 Motherland Liz All 19 episodes
2017 Funny Cow Margaret
2018 Chris P. Duck Tracey 6 episodes
Thawed Diane Short film; also writer
2018–2019 The Archiveologists Voice only; 6 episodes; also writer
2019 The Cockfields Donna 3 episodes
Cunk & Other Humans on 2019 Philomena Cunk 6 episodes
2019–2021 Frayed Fiona 12 episodes
2019–2022 After Life Kath All 18 episodes
2019–present Mandy Mandy Carter 14 episodes; also writer, director and creator
2020 Death to 2020 Gemma Nerrick
2021 Elliott from Earth 105E Voice only; 2 episodes
Intelligence Charlotte 3 episodes
Death to 2021 Gemma Nerrick
2022 Inside No. 9 Donna Series 7 episode 1 [32]
TBC Cunk on Earth Philomena Cunk [33]


  1. ^ “Comedy Club: Two Episodes of Mash”. BBC. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  2. ^ @missdianemorgan (1 October 2020). “@sisofnight451 @macmillancancer Happy birthday!! (mines actually 5th October)” (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ “TV star Diane Morgan on her rescue dog Bobby and what she misses about Lancashire”. Great British Life. 21 June 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  4. ^ “2013 looks to be a busy year for funny girl Diane”. The Bolton News. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  5. ^ “Diane Morgan – Writer & Performer”. unitedagents.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Jeffries, Stuart (10 May 2016). “Meet Diane Morgan, the genius behind TV dimwit Philomena Cunk”. The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  7. ^ Hogan, Michael (2 August 2020). “Diane Morgan: ‘It sounds mad that I wrote, directed and star in Mandy. Like I’m Orson Welles’. The Observer. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  8. ^ “Funny Women Final 2006”. chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  9. ^ “Two Episodes of Mash”, Radio 2’s Comedy Showcase, BBC Radio 2, 2010.
  10. ^ Donaldson, Brian (10 August 2010). “Two Episodes of Mash – Review”. Edinburgh Festival List. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  11. ^ Donaldson, Brian (21 August 2008). “Potentially great sketches simmer to nothing”. Edinburgh Festival List. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  12. ^ Meek, Thomas (19 August 2009). “Two Episodes of Mash”. Edinburgh Festival List. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  13. ^ “Robert’s Web”, Channel 4.
  14. ^ Series 2: Two Episodes of Mash, BBC Radio 4.
  15. ^ https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/live_at_the_electric/videos/3873/two_episodes_of_mash_perform_the_genie/
  16. ^ a b Harrison, Andrew (4 March 2014). “In Praise of TV Philosophress Philomena Cunk”. Esquire. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  17. ^ “Cunk on Christmas – BBC Two”. BBC. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  18. ^ ‘She’s bulletproof’ – Diane Morgan talks ‘Cunk On Britain’. NME. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  19. ^ “Cunk on Britain – BBC Two”. BBC. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  20. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (18 May 2018). “Cunk on Everything to Two Roads”. The Bookseller. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  21. ^ House of Tomorrow Ltd claims the right to be identified as the author; ISBN 9781473690363; audiobook (performed by Diane Morgan) ISBN 9781473690370; eBook ISBN 9781473690394
  22. ^ Moses, Toby (22 April 2020). “Charlie Brooker to return to BBC with lockdown special Antiviral Wipe”. The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  23. ^ “Pat & Cabbage – Cast & Crew”. comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  24. ^ Everett, Lucinda (8 October 2010). “Virgin Media Shorts: director Jonathan van Tulleken on his short film The Boot Sale”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  25. ^ “Secrets of Success: The Boot Sale”. virginmediashorts.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  26. ^ Sanusi, Victoria (8 March 2019). “After Life cast: who stars with Ricky Gervais in new Netflix series – and where else you’ve seen them”. iNews. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  27. ^ Guide, British Comedy. “The Cockfields – Gold Sitcom”. British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  28. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (20 December 2021). “We Wish You Mandy Christmas review – Diane Morgan does proper belly laughs”. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  29. ^ “Death to 2020”. British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  30. ^ “TV tonight: Diane Morgan crashes The League of Gentlemen cast reunion”. The Guardian. 20 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  31. ^ Aitkenhead, Decca (28 October 2017). “Diane Morgan: ‘I want to play weirdos’. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  32. ^ “TV tonight: Diane Morgan crashes The League of Gentlemen cast reunion”. The Guardian. 20 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  33. ^ Skinner, Tom (4 January 2022). “Philomena Cunk to return to the BBC with new series ‘Cunk On Earth’. NME. Retrieved 5 January 2022.

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