Adjoa Andoh

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Plays Colette Griffiths

BORN : 14th January 1963

LIVES : Brixton, South London

HEIGHT : 5ft 4

FAMILY : Lives with husband, Howard Cunnell, and her three children, Jesse, Liam and Daisy. ‘My partner isn’t an actor, but he’s very understanding about the whole thing. I think if you’re in a relationship and the other person is doing something that may not be ideal but that they love, then you support them.’ Adjoa married her long term partner in March 2001.

One of her children, Liam, is transgender. She spoke publicly on British radio in 2014 about her experiences having a transgender child. ‘I would just encourage other parents to be brave and support their children. You have them, you love them, you raise them and then send them out into the world.’

STUDIED : Did one year of a degree in law, ‘In my family it wasn’t proper to do acting as a career, so I ended up doing a law degree, but left after the second year. I think my Dad is still waiting for me to go back and get a real job!’

ON SIMILARITIES WITH COLETTE : ‘She is very efficient and organised and, although friends may say that I’m chaotic, they’re wrong. A room may look like a bomb’s hit it, but I usually still know where things are. There is also a spunkiness about her, which I hope is like me.’

ON COLETTE’S BEST & WORST TRAITS : ‘She can be incredibly generous and patient, but she doesn’t suffer fools gladly and so can be irritable. I think what she does very well is size up people very quickly – and act accordingly.’

DESCRIBE COLETTE IN FIVE WORDS : ‘Efficient, dry, warm, fiercely loyal’

ON BEING CAST ROLES : ‘Basically it’s because I’m bossy, so I keep getting cast as nurses or doctors or lawyers.’

ON CASUALTY CAST : ‘Everybody on CASUALTY is down to earth. You know it’s a good cast when you can be generally abusive to people, and that started pretty early on!’

ON ROMANCE FOR COLETTE : ‘Romance has been talked about for Colette and Josh, which would be really nice because they’ve both been more than unlucky with relationships in the past.’

FAVE CASUALTY EPISODES : ‘I always loved Brenda Fricker and all the early episodes, when it was being talked about in Parliament and people were saying. ‘They can’t portray the NHS like that’. More recently I really liked the three hander with Doctor Holly, Dan the administrator and Tom the stalker.’

ON CASUALTY’S POPULARITY : ‘It deals with people’s lives at moments of extreme stress. We like to see ourselves reflected and the whole range of issues that we go through. It’s very dramatic and it’s always changing. I think this series is particularly good, because we’re are looking how the personal lives of the staff reflects their work life.’

ON FINAL SCENES : ‘The final scene was brilliant but gruesome – having children of my own made filming the scenes where I had to give birth to a dead horrendous. I shed many tears.’

ON DEPARTURE : ‘I leave on a juicy high and am very happy about that although I’m sad to leave the cast and crew. But I won’t miss driving up and down the M4 between London and Bristol.’

REAL LIFE CASUALTY EXPERIENCES : ‘Recently I had to call the paramedics when my child nearly sliced the top off my finger with a pair of scissors. I was bleeding so much I had to get them to dress the children for me and I felt like such a wimp, being taken by ambulance with just a cut finger. I had a fun four hours in A&E with balletic blood jets splashing all over the room!’

COULD SHE BE A NURSE IN REAL LIFE? : ‘I don’t know if I would be a good nurse. I do admire them enormously, I have huge amounts of respect for the hours that they do and the whole range of people they have to deal with. I think I’m too much of a show off.’

FAVE FOOD & MUSIC : ‘My current favourite is Thai food, with it’s interesting, fresh flavours. Music ? Punk, with clashing, crashing guitar music, to Marvin Gaye and jazz.’

HOW SHE KEEPS IN SHAPE : ‘Running around after the children! But I also like running at home, on the spot, listening to Radio 4.’

HOW SHE RELAXES : ‘I love going to live gigs and my local pub in South London has great jazz nights. But the favourite thing would be to just lie in bed all day with a book and not get up for anybody!’

PREVIOUS CASUALTY APPEARANCE : Adjoa has appeared in CASUALTY before her role as Colette, in S8 E2, she plays Maggie, a mum who dies after being involved in an RTA. [More Info]

FILM CREDITS : What My Mother Told Me; I Is A Long Memoried Woman; A Rather English Marriage; Every Time I Look at You; Adulthood; Invictus; Julius Caesar; Remainder

TELEVISION CREDITS : A Prayer Before Birth; The South Bank Show; I Is A Long Memoried Woman; Eastenders; The Missing Finger; One in Four – A Short Film About Melons; Birthrights – West Indian Women at War; Casualty; Brittas Empire; Health and Efficiency; What My Mother Told Me; Circle of Deceit; Tomorrow People; An Independent Woman; Twelve Angry Men; Brass Eye; Thief Takers; Peak Practice; The Bill; Close Relations; A Rather English Marriage; Jonathan Creek; Macbeth; Are You Looking at Me; Dalziel and Pascoe; Everytime I Look at You; Dalziel and Pascoe; The Bill; Chopratown; Dr Who; Silent Witness; Wire in the Blood; The Shadow in the North; Inbetweeny; Missing; MI High; Scott & Bailey; Law and Order UK; Grandpa in my Pocket; Chasing Shadows; The Interceptor; Wizards vs Aliens; Broadchurch 2; Brian Pern : Death of Rock; Cucumber; River; New Tricks

THEATRE CREDITS : Lear’s Daughters; Twice Over; Getting Through; Crowned With Fame; Pinchdice & Co; Our Day Out; Glory!; The Snow Queen; Cloud Nine; Love at a Loss; Death Catches the Hunter; The Odyssey; Tamburlane; Starstruck; The Dispute; Breath Boom; The Vagina Monologues; Pericles; Stuff Happens; His Dark Materials; Blood Wedding; Nights at the Circus; Sugar Mummies; The Revengers Tragedies; Purgatorio; In the Red and the Brown Water; Or You Could Kiss Me; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; Julius Caesar; Great Expectations

AGENT : Curtis Brown Group, Haymarket House, 5th Floor, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4SP.

DID YOU KNOW?

* Musical-minded Adjoa was a dedicated rocker in her youth – with turquoise blue hair! ‘I also used to play the cello in a jazz trio, we played at hotels around Bristol and on a river boat. If I could have been anything then, I would have been a bass player in a band and I never went out with anyone who wasn’t a musician.’

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