Bea on stage during the Wikimania 2014
16 March 1984
County Kildare, Ireland
|Occupation||Actress, writer, comedian|
Aisling Bea (; born Aisling Cliodhnadh O'Sullivan, 16 March 1984) is an Irish actress, comedian and writer.
Bea was born and raised in rural County Kildare. Her father, Brian, was an equine vet who died suddenly when she was three years old. Bea and her younger sister, Sinéad, were raised by their mother, Helen (née Moloney), a secondary school teacher, jockey trainer and former professional jockey. Her family were "obsessed" with horses and race meetings and, during her teenage years, Bea worked as a tour guide at the Irish National Stud. However, she knew from a young age that she was not interested in the racing industry "as a career" and instead enjoyed performing. Her grandfather was the Irish language novelist and poet Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin; her great-aunt was the playwright Siobhán Ní Shúilleabháin. Musician Liam O'Flynn was a family friend.
When Bea was thirteen, her mother revealed that her father had died by suicide. She adopted the stage name 'Bea' as a tribute to her father and wrote an article for The Guardian in 2017 about her family's experience of suicide.
Bea was educated at a Catholic convent school and then studied French and philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. She was part of a student sketch comedy group and moved to London after graduation to study acting. In 2008, she completed a two-year course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
After drama school, Bea spent two years trying to get work in theatre as a dramatic actress. Instead, she found she was cast mainly in comedic television series including Cardinal Burns and Dead Boss (both 2012). While filming Dead Boss in 2011, Bea decided to try stand-up comedy. In 2012, she won the Gilded Balloon So You Think You're Funny award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and, in 2013, was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for her show C'est La Bea.
The exposure brought by these awards marked a "turning point" in Bea's career and she began to appear as a regular guest on panel shows including QI, Insert Name Here and The Big Fat Quiz of the Year. Bea and Yasmine Akram co-wrote and co-hosted the BBC Radio 4 comedy folkflore series Micks and Legends (2012, 2015); it was nominated for a Chortle Award in 2013. Bea won the 2014 British Comedy Award for Best Female TV Comic and returned to Edinburgh in 2015 with the live show Plan Bea. In 2016, she became a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats and was a cast member on Taskmaster in 2017.
Bea has continued to act in television sitcoms including Trollied (2014-2015) and The Delivery Man (2015), and the crime dramas The Fall (2016) and Hard Sun (2018). In 2018, she and Sara Pascoe began to co-host the BBC Radio 2 comedy chat show What's Normal?. She has recorded a 15 minute stand-up special to be aired on Netflix in late 2018.
Bea is a vocal supporter of the Repeal the 8th campaign to introduce legal abortion in Ireland, and contributed an essay to Una Mullally's Repeal the 8th in 2018. She previously campaigned for same-sex marriage legislation in the successful 2015 Irish referendum.
|2009||Fair City||Cliodhna Norris||3 episodes|
|2009||We Are Klang||Inspector||1 episode|
|2009||Roy||Ticket girl||1 episode
|2009||Belonging to Laura||Leanne Thompson||TV3 television movie|
|2009-2014||The Savage Eye||Various||4 episodes|
|2010||Come Fly with Me||Mary O'Mara||1 episode|
|2011||Lewis||Hotel receptionist||1 episode|
|2011||Holby City||Amelia Warner||1 episode|
|2012||Cardinal Burns||Sally||5 episodes|
|2012||Dead Boss||Laura Stephens||6 episodes|
|2012||In with the Flynns||Naimah||1 episode|
|2012||The Town||Carly||3 episodes|
|2012||Assassin's Creed III||Emily Burke||Voice only
|2013||Soul Sacrifice||Similia||Voice only
|2013||Quick Cuts||Customer||1 episode|
|2013||Very Few Fish||Gráinne||Short|
|2014||Playhouse Presents||Toddler Woman||1 episode|
|2014||The Architects||Hayley||BBC Radio 4 sitcom
|2014||The Assets||Kara Jensen||1 episode|
|2015||The Delivery Man||Lisa||13 episodes|
|2015||The Trap||Marie||Feature film|
|2015||Nish Kumar's Christmas||Agent||Short|
|2016||Bullet to the Heart||Jane||Short
|2016||The Fall||Kiera Sheridan||4 episodes|
|2017||Drunk History||Guinevere||1 episode|
|2017||Gap Year||Kendra||2 episodes|
|2018||Hard Sun||Mari Butler||5 episodes|
|2009||Sabotage||BBC Radio 4 Extra||Live at Hoxton Hall|
|2009||Fresh From The Fringe||BBC Radio 4||Edinburgh Festival Fringe|
|2013||Seann Walsh's Late Night Comedy Spectacular||BBC Three||Edinburgh Festival Fringe|
|2013||Russell Howard's Good News||BBC Three|
|2013||Set List||Nerdist Channel|
|2014||Live At The Apollo||BBC One||Hammersmith Apollo|
|2014-2016||Channel 4's Comedy Gala||Channel 4||O2 Arena|
Since 2016, Bea is a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats. She has made guest appearances on many other panel shows: