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Ronni Ancona
Born (1966-07-04) 4 July 1966 (age 54)[1][2]
Louth, Lincolnshire, England[1]
OccupationActress, impressionist, author
Gerard Hall
(m. 2004)

Veronica Jane Ancona (born 4 July 1966) is a Scottish[4] actress, impressionist and author. She first became well known after appearing in The Big Impression.[5]

Early life

Ancona was born in Louth, Lincolnshire.[1] She was brought up in Troon, Scotland, and is of Italian Jewish descent.[6] Her father was a commander in the Royal Navy and her mother was an artist who painted the sets at the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr.[7] She attended Marr College, a secondary school in Troon. In the BBC television programme Comedy Map of Britain she returned to her old school in Troon and talked about her earliest comedy performing experience as part of an improvisation group called Pots People.[8]

She made a one-off appearance on Blue Peter in 1986 while she was still at school.[9] She moved to London when 17 to study design at St Martin's, then became a teacher before embarking on stand-up comedy.[4]


Ancona's comedy career started on the comedy circuit and she won the Time Out Hackney Empire New Act of the Year in 1993. For many years she worked extensively in radio and on television shows, such as Fist of Fun, as well as performing stand-up comedy. She also appeared in the first series of The Sketch Show before The Big Impression.

In 2005 she played Barbara, opposite Bill Nighy, Miranda Richardson and Emily Blunt in Stephen Poliakoff's Gideon's Daughter on BBC One.

She has appeared seven times on the BBC celebrity panel show QI. She won episode four of series four ('Dictionaries') in October 2006, won again in the first episode of series six in November 2008 ('Family'), won on the women's team with Sandi Toksvig in January 2010, came last in November 2011 ('Infantile'), and won again in 2017, Series N Episode 13.

In November 2006 she was a guest presenter of Have I Got News For You. She also appeared on the Channel 4 comedy show TV Heaven, Telly Hell discussing her preferences in television shows.

In December 2006 she revealed herself as a fan of Strictly Come Dancing and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two. In 2007, following a successfully received pilot, the BBC commissioned a new comedy sketch series titled Ronni Ancona & Co consisting of her own material[4] and co-starring Phil Cornwell, Jan Ravens and John Sessions. The show initially aired on 25 May 2007 and had three episodes. In 2008 Ancona appeared in the film Penelope as Wanda.

She appeared as the mother of Katie and Emily Fitch in the third and fourth series of Skins. In 2009 she appeared in Hope Springs on BBC 1.[4] She was one of eight main cast members. On 24 July 2009, Ancona appeared on The One Show, and she appeared on it again, with Alistair McGowan, on 16 October 2009.

In 2009 Ancona's first book A Matter of Life And Death: How To Wean A Man Off Football was published by Faber & Faber.[10] As part of BBC's Big Read she promoted The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[11]

In April 2010, she appeared on A Comedy Roast, celebrating Sharon Osbourne's life. In 2012 she appeared in Last Tango in Halifax as Judith on BBC One. On 2 January 2015 she was a guest on Room 101. In 2016, Ancona played the role of Mrs Fletcher, the manager of a local care home in the seventh series of the Scottish comedy Still Game.

On stage Ancona was Beline in Molière's The Hypochondriac at the Almeida Theatre in 2005. In June 2015, Ancona began playing the role of Paula, in the new West End musical Bend It Like Beckham.[12]

In 2016, Ancona made a guest appearance in an episode of the long running television series Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (Series 6, episode 10) Her partner in the episode was antiques expert James Braxton.

In April 2017 Ancona appeared as a guest on ITV's The Nightly Show presented by Jason Manford in which they both performed impersonations of famous people and each tasked with identifying the impersonation while visually screened from each other. During this, the audience were made more visually aware of the person being impersonated by the use of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).

On 27 December 2020, Ancona appeared as a contestant on the Christmas special of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Celebrity Special.[13]


Ancona won a British Comedy Award[14] for The Big Impression and a Variety Club Award.

Personal life

Ancona had a seven-year relationship with Alistair McGowan which ended shortly before they started working together professionally. Ancona is married to Gerard Hall, a consultant rheumatologist[15] with whom she has two daughters. They live in West London.[16]



Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Celebrity Special (Series 35, Christmas Special) ITV 2020
Last Tango in Halifax BBC One  2012–2020 (15 episodes)
QI (Series N Episode 13 "Naval Navigation") BBC One 2017
Still Game (Series 7 Episode 6 "Down and Out") BBC One 2016
Citizen Khan (Series 4 Episode 4 "Chicken Shop") BBC One 2015
Father Brown (Series 3, Episode 8 "The Lair of the Libertines") BBC One 2015
Room 101 (Series 4, Episode 1) BBC One 2015
QI (Series L, Episode 11) BBC Two 2014
Last Tango in Halifax (Series I) BBC One 2012
QI (Series I, Episode 11) BBC Two 2011
Shooting Stars (Series 8) BBC Two 2011
Loose Women (Series 16) ITV 1 2011
Midsomer Murders (Series 13, Episode 8) ITV 1 2011
QI (Series H, Episode 15) BBC One 2011
QI (Series G, Episode 7) BBC One 2010
Skins Channel 4 / E4 2009/2010
Bremner, Bird & Fortune Channel 4 2009
Hope Springs BBC 2009
QI (Series F, Episode 1) BBC Two 2008
Ronni Ancona & Co BBC 2007
Agatha Christie's Marple ITV 2007
Hotel Babylon BBC One 2007
QI (Series D, Episode 4) BBC Four 2006
The Secret Policeman's Ball Channel 4 2006
Monkey Trousers ITV 2005
Gideon's Daughter BBC One 2005
Sven and Nancy's Big Impression BBC One
Posh and Becks' Big Impression (Christmas Special) BBC
The Big Impression (4 series, 3 specials) BBC One 1999–2005 (BAFTA, British Comedy Award, Royal Variety Club Award)
The Key BBC Two 2003
The Big Impression Christmas Special BBC One
The Sketch Show ITV 2001 (BAFTA)
Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible BBC Two 2001
Holby City BBC One 2000
Mark Lamarr Leaving 20th Century BBC Two 1999
Comedy Nation BBC Two 1998
Space Cadets Channel 4 1997
Pulp Video BBC Two 1995
Rory Bremner, Who Else? Channel 4 1993
Fist of Fun BBC Two 1995–1996
Scratchy and Co. CITV 1995
The Geeks ITV
The Imaginatively Titled Punt and Dennis Show BBC One 1994
Ben Elton: The Man from Auntie BBC One 1994
The Full Monty Granada
Standing Room Only BBC Two 1991
The Comedy Store BBC
Live at Jongleurs ITV
The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand de Bargos BBC Two 1989


Title Year Notes
Penelope 2008 Dir: Mark Polansky
A Cock and Bull Story 2005 Dir: Michael Winterbottom
Stella Street- The Movie 2004 Absolutely Productions
The Calcium Kid 2004 Calcium Films Ltd
The Debt Collector 1999 Channel 4 Films


Title Channel
Life, Death & Sex With Mike & Sue Radio 4
The Alan Davies Show Radio 4
Weekending Radio 4
The Museum of Curiosity Radio 4
Mum's on the Run Radio 4


Year Title Role Company
1996 Miss Conceptions Edinburgh Festival
2004 Singin' in the Rain Lina Lamont Sadler's Wells Theatre, London
2005 The Hypochondriac Belline Almeida Theatre, London [17]
2014 Little Revolution Jane / various Almeida Theatre [18]
2015 The Tale of Mr Tumble Unsmiling Principle Manchester Opera House [19]


  1. ^ a b c England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007
  2. ^ "Veronica Jane ANCONA - Personal Appointments". Companies House. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  3. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916–2005
  4. ^ a b c d "Interview: A fresh wave of success beckons for Ronni Ancona".
  5. ^ "Ronni Ancona: 'I don't think of myself as an impersonator / mimic / impressionist. I'm not sure what I am to be honest!'". Edinburgh Festival. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. ^ Ellen, Barbara (19 December 2004). "'They don't think I'm the thinking man's crumpet'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Interview: A fresh wave of success beckons for Ronni Ancona". The Scotsman. 29 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Episode 6 Belfast to Glasgow". The Comedy Map of Britain.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ BBC 1, 2007, Comedy Map of Britain, episode 1.6
  10. ^ Faber & Faber : Ronni Ancona. Retrieved on 2011-05-07.
  11. ^ "Book Champions". The Big Read. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  12. ^ "West End's Bend It Like Beckham Musical Casts Its Complete Team". Playbill. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Celebrity Special Episode 2". Press Centre. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Past Winners 2003". British Comedy Awards. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008.
  15. ^ Ben Spencer (7 April 2011). "Ronni Ancona: How my heart still aches over stillborn Seth". Daily Record.
  16. ^ "How We Met: Ronni Ancona & Alistair McGowan". The Independent. London. 20 July 2008.
  17. ^ "Don't get the wrong impression about her". Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Cast, Little Revolution, Almeida Theatre". Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  19. ^ "The Tale of Mr Tumble, Manchester Opera House". Retrieved 16 November 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 January 2021, at 16:15
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