Sarah Parish: ‘What makes me unhappy? Politics’

Born in Somerset, Sarah Parish, 51, studied at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. After landing a part in a Boddingtons ad in 1994, she went on to have roles in the television series Peak Practice and Cutting It. Her more recent work includes Dr Who, Broadchurch and WIA. In 2017, she starred in ITV’s Bancroft, which returns for a second series in the new year. She is married to the actor James Murray and lives in Hampshire.

When were you happiest?
In the first month of my second daughter Nell’s life. My first daughter, Ella-Jayne, was born with a serious heart defect so I didn’t get to just be a mum, I was a carer for the eight months of her life and lived in a hospital. When Nell was born, having a healthy child and being able to be a mum was incredible.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing Nell.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What makes you unhappy?

What do you owe your parents?
My parents were very musical, theatrical people: I owe them everything.

What is your favourite smell?
A log fire.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I sit on the sofa and eat kids’ sweets – shrimps and fizzy cola bottles.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A ballerina.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
A long time ago, I went out with my girlfriends to a famous private members’ club in London. I think our drinks were spiked, but maybe we just got really drunk; I fell down the stairs, rolled into part of the club that was full of other actors and was sick.

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What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
Somebody once called me a bully. I am lots of things, but I am not a bully.

What does love feel like?
It feels like home.

What was the best kiss of your life?
My husband. Who doesn’t say that? But I didn’t like him much when I first met him and I don’t think he liked me, but we shared the same taste in music and literature and got on really well as mates, so it started the right way.

When did you last cry, and why?
I cry all the time, it’s an embarrassment.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
I have a great quality of life, there is nothing that I want for.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My daughter.

How would you like to be remembered?
As kind.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.


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