Catherine Tate - Early Life and Education

Early Life and Education

Tate was born in Bloomsbury and brought up in the Brunswick Centre. Her mother, Josephine, was a florist, and Tate has said that the character of Margaret in The Catherine Tate Show, who shrieks at the slightest of disturbances, is based largely on Josephine.

Tate never knew her father, as he left very early on in her life, and consequently, she was brought up in a female-dominated environment, being cared for by her mother, grandmother and her godparents. As a child, Tate suffered from an obsessive-compulsive disorder which centred on word association. For example, Tate was not able to leave a jumper on the floor or it might have brought misfortune to her mother whose name began with the letter "J" like jumper.

She attended St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School, Macklin Street, Holborn and Notre Dame High School, Southwark, a south London convent secondary school for girls. By the time Tate was a teenager, she knew she wanted to follow a professional acting career and was subsequently sent to a boys' Roman Catholic school, Salesian College in Battersea at the age of 16. The school had the necessary facilities for drama. Tate left school without sitting her A-Levels. She then tried for four years to get a place in the Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London), succeeding on her fourth attempt. She studied there for three years, and until the age of 26, lived in Holborn and Bloomsbury. Prior to getting a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama, Tate went to the Sylvia Young Theatre School, but left after a week; "Even at that age, I realised I wasn't Bonnie Langford. It was very competitive", she stated.

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