Imelda Staunton kicks-off the new series of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads tonight (June 23).
The 64-year-old actress takes on the role of painfully lonely pensioner Irene in episode one.
Of course, the British star couldn’t be more different from her character in real life.
Here’s everything you need to know…
Is Imelda Staunton married?
Imelda Staunton married husband Jim Carter 37 years year ago.
Downton Abbey fans will of course recognise Emmy-nominated Jim as Mr Carson from the period drama.
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The couple met while rehearsing for Richard Eyre’s play Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre back in January 1982.
At the time, he was 34 and she was 26.
However, it wasn’t love at first sight.
They were close friends to begin and after working together for a year their relationship blossomed into a romance.
Eleven years after they first met, the couple welcomed their daughter Bessie – who turns 27 this year.
In 2019, Imelda and Jim reunited professionally once more for the Downton Abbey movie.
Julian Fellowes cast her to play Lady Bagshaw – Queen Mary’s companion – in the film, despite not. having appeared in the TV series.
However, as Carson is part of the downstairs community and Lady Bagshaw mingled in higher circles, the pair didn’t share any scenes.
Jim joked he was quietly pleased that he didn’t appear on-screen with his wife.
He told Good House Keeping: “We went in [together] three days, but we never had any dialogue or scenes together.
“I was quite pleased about [that] because I didn’t want her getting the idea that I’d be the butler at home as well.”
What else has Imelda Staunton been in?
Imelda played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies.
She also played the nurse in the Hollywood blockbuster Shakespeare in Love.
More recently, she took on the role of Penny in the TV series Trying, and played Mary in Flesh and Blood.
Before lockdown, she wrapped up filming on The Canterville Ghost, which she worked on alongside Stephen Fry and Miranda Hart.
A release date is yet to be confirmed.
What is Talking Heads about?
Talking Heads was an iconic BBC series that first aired between 1988 and 1999.
Penned by playwright Alan Bennett, each series was made up of 13 standalone episodes.
Each was a monologue featuring just one actor.
For 2020, BBC bosses have decided to bring the hit show back.
Imelda stars int he first episode as Irene – a woman who lives alone and becomes dangerously obsessed with spying on her neighbours.
Sarah Lancashire stars in the second episode which airs straight after the first later this evening.
Upcoming episodes feature Jodie Comer, Martin Freeman and Tamsin Greig.
Talking Heads is on BBC One, Tuesdays at 9pm.
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