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. She won The Gilded Balloon's So You Think You're Funny award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2012.
Bea was born in County Kildare, Ireland, to Brian and Helen O'Sullivan (née Moloney), the latter a retired professional flat race jockey. She has a sister, Sinead. Bea's father died by suicide when she was three years old. Her mother initially told her that he died of an illness and Bea did not know the truth until she was 13 years old. She says this took a long time for her to get over, but she says her father is one of her biggest inspirations.
Bea's grandfather is the Irish language novelist and poet Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin. Bea attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and has a degree in French and philosophy from Trinity College in Dublin.
In 2012, Bea beat eight other comedians to win the Gilded Balloon So You Think You're Funny award at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, making her the second woman to have won it in the award's 25-year history.
In 2013, Bea was nominated for Best Newcomer in the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, latterly the Perrier awards, for her show C'est La Bea.
In March 2017, she appeared in an episode of the British travel documentary Travel Man on Channel 4.
She has appeared as a guest on a number of panel comedy shows, including 8 Out of 10 Cats (latterly as a team captain), Don't Sit in the Front Row, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Celebrity Squares, Would I Lie to You?, QI, A League of Their Own, Duck Quacks Don't Echo, Room 101, Insert Name Here, The Big Fat Quiz of Everything, The Jonathan Ross Show and Taskmaster. She has also appeared performing stand-up on Russell Howard's Good News Extra, Channel 4's Comedy Gala and Live at the Apollo.
In November 2017, she wrote an article for the British newspaper The Guardian. In the article she told how her late father had committed suicide when she was a young child to highlight such social issues as depression and suicide.
Bea's professional name is a homage to her father, Brian, who died when she was young. She chose the name during drama school, as another actress already used her birth name in the industry. She is a frequent user of social media sites including Twitter and Instagram. She is an outspoken feminist. She often voices her support for ethically produced clothing and jewellery both on television and in social media. She is a pescatarian.