Anna Crilly

Anna Crilly

Date of birth: 30-11-1974

Best known for her role as deadpan Eastern-European housekeeper Magda in Jack Dee's sitcom Lead Balloon, Anna Crilly came to comedy after studying performing arts at Middlesex University.

She became a stand-up in the early 2000s, making the finals of the So You Think You're Funny new act competition at the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe.

As well as her role in Lead Balloon - which won her a British Comedy Award nomination for best female newcomer in 2008 – she also stars in the BBC children's comedy series, Sorry I've Got No Head.

Crilly is also in a surreal double-act with Katy Wix, originally called Penny Spubb, but now simply Anna And Katy. They have performed at Edinburgh three times, and made a pilot for Radio 2.

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The Rebel gets a second series

Simon Callow to return

Simon Callow is to make a second series of his sitcom The Rebel for UKTV Gold.

The broadcaster was commissioned another six half-hour episodes of the show, about an irascible hellraising Brighton pensioner called Henry Palmer.

 Also returning are Bill Paterson as former hippie Charles, Anita Dobson as charity shop worker Margaret, Anna Crilly as Henry’s put-upon daughter Cath, and Amit Shah as her husband Jeremy. 

Callow said: ‘I’m so pleased to be getting inside Henry Palmer’s skin again: a man of certain age behaving very badly, casting off the chains of convention, uttering the unutterable and defying decency. Age has only sharpened his refusal to conform.  

The first series of just three episodes, made by production company Retort, aired last summer. A total of 151,000 viewers tuned into the first episode on its first airing, well over the channel's 109,000 average for the same slot at the time.

The Rebel is written by Andrew Birch, and based on his own cartoon strip for The Oldie. He said: ‘The one thing better than having a sitcom commissioned is being asked to write a second series. I hope the continuing adventures of Henry, his friends and long-suffering family in the mean streets of Brighton amuse you all, and provoke acts of rebellion throughout our fair land.’

Pete Thornton, UKTV senior commissioning editor, added: ‘It was such a joy to watch Simon breathe (or should that be bellow?) life into Henry Palmer over three episodes last year - a joy that Gold viewers clearly shared in their numbers. It’s a real pleasure to be working with him and the rest of the cast, Andrew Birch and the talented production team at Retort to create a full six-part series of senior misbehaviour this year.’

The new series will again be directed by Vadim Jean, whose credits include Henry IX, and Leon The Pig Farmer.

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Published: 31 Jul 2017

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2005

Penny Spubb's Party

Edinburgh Fringe 2006

Penny Spubb's Prawn Free

Edinburgh Fringe 2009

Anna And Katy


Edinburgh Fringe 2018


Misc live shows

Funny Women Final 2004


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