Catherine Tate growing up: Why she changed her name, OCD habit and the character she based her mother on

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
3 Min Read

Revelations from the heart of Bloomsbury have left fans gobsmacked! Our beloved Catherine Tate, the unrivalled queen of British comedy, wasn’t always the name everyone chanted. Originally christened Catherine Jane Ford in 1969, it’s a little-known fact that the comedic genius decided to adopt the name ‘Tate’ in homage to the iconic character Jessica Tate from the American sitcom ‘Soap’.

Raised in the heart of the Brunswick Centre, Catherine’s younger days weren’t all about laughter and giggles. Despite her mum, Josephine, being the floral expert of the town, Catherine admits the shrieking character ‘Margaret’ from ‘The Catherine Tate Show’ was heavily inspired by her. Ah, the things we do for a chuckle, Catherine!

A young Catherine Tate at the start of her acting career

Now, brace yourselves for a jaw-dropping revelation: Catherine’s innocent days in Bloomsbury were marred by an intriguing battle. A fight not with people but with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The star had a curious obsession with word associations.

The simple act of leaving a jumper on the floor? Impossible! She believed it might spell doom for her mother, considering her name started with ‘J’. Bit of a stretch, you might think, but that’s OCD for you.

Talking about stretches, Catherine’s journey to stardom wasn’t a stroll in the park. Dreaming of the spotlight from her school days at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary and Notre Dame High School, she chased her aspirations to the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

Catherine is now one of the most popular female British comedy stars in the UK

However, she exited just a week later! Her reason? She felt it was “too competitive” and she wasn’t cut out to be the next Bonnie Langford. Fortunately, her talent didn’t go unnoticed for long. After four tenacious attempts, the Central School of Speech and Drama became her academic stage.

To wrap it all up, for someone who’s graced our screens with her unparalleled wit and has had us in fits of laughter, Catherine’s journey to fame is a testament to her resilience, talent, and sheer determination. Whether it’s Catherine Ford or Catherine Tate, her legacy in British comedy remains exceptionally high.

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