Sally Elizabeth Phillips (born 10 May 1970) is an English actress. She is best known for her main role in Miranda as Tilly, Parents as Jenny Pope and Set the Thames on Fire as Colette in 2015. Phillips also co-starred in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as Mrs Bennet, and will appear as Sharon in the 2016 Bridget Jones's Baby.
Phillips has also worked on films such as Burn Burn Burn as Ingrid alongside Laura Carmichael. Since 2004, she has played the title role in the BBC Radio 4 comedy show Clare in the Community.
Phillips was the only woman in the 1990 Oxford Revue THRASH which also starred Ed Smith. She did nine consecutive Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, appearing in shows including: Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Arthur Smith's version of Hamlet (as Ophelia) and Cluub Zarathustra with Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee, Richard Thomas, Julian Barratt and Lori Lixenburg. Her first television role was in Lee and Herring's Fist of Fun in 1994, shortly after followed by a cameo in Alas Smith and Jones, in which Mel Smith vomited over her. In 1995, Phillips played the role of a reporter in the unbroadcast pilot of Chris Morris's spoof series Brass Eye which at that point was called Torque TV; however, she did not appear in the series itself.
Her role as a "Travel Tavern" receptionist in I'm Alan Partridge proved to be her big break. She had a starring role in the short-lived 1999 British comedy series Hippies (with Simon Pegg and Julian Rhind-Tutt), and also co-created and wrote Smack the Pony, an all-female, double Emmy Award-winning comedy show, for which she was nominated for best female newcomer at the 1999 British Comedy Awards. Phillips also featured in the Eddie Izzard-written sitcom Cows.
In 2001, she took the starring role in the David Nicholl's series Rescue Me for BBC 1. She also played cameo roles in Mean Machine, Birthday Girl and Born Romantic and wrote episodes for the animation Bob and Margaret.
In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. She appeared in Bridget Jones's Diary as "Shazza", previously auditioning for Bridget; the character was based upon the film's director, Sharon Maguire
In 2004, she took the title role in the still-running BBC radio sitcom Clare in the Community. In August 2005, she returned to the stage after a long absence, in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest at the Oxford Playhouse. In 2006, she appeared in the Australian comedy feature BoyTown; whilst on television, she appeared as Clare Winchester in the BBC2 science fiction comedy Hyperdrive.
Between 2006 and 2009, she had recurring roles in the BBC's comedies Jam & Jerusalem as a scatterbrained New Ager and in 2009 and 2012 she appeared in Miranda as Miranda Hart's character's irritating upper class friend, Tilly. She also had a guest star part in E4's Skins, series 3 playing Pandora's mother.
In 2009, Phillips won a British Film Council screenwriting competition for her film Fag Mountain. Her first feature film script, The Decoy Bride, started production in spring 2010. Phillips appeared in a supporting role in the film, playing Emma, a Hollywood assistant. The film was released in February 2012, premièring first on cable television and as a digital download, and then had a limited theatrical release.
In December 2010, she appeared in the BBC1 drama Accidental Farmer.
In 2012, she played the lead role in the Sky1 comedy Parents and also appeared in the CBeebies television series Justin's house. She made two episodes of series 3 of the Dave produced intellectual maths/comedy series, Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums in 2014 in which she was set various maths-based physical challenges such as working out from what height crockery would smash or the percentage of darts that would hit the outer rim of a moving dartboard. Phillips has made three guest appearances in the HBO comedy series Veep as the fictional Finnish prime minister Minna Häkkinen.
In 2014, she narrated the first series of The Supervet on Channel 4.
During 2015 Phillips starred in several TV shows as a guest star most notably House of Fools and Death in Paradise. Phillips has also starred in comedy Burn Burn Burn as Ingrid a main character and also TV movie Distingushed Ladies in which she plays the lead role of Bianca.
Phillips appeared in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) as Mrs. Bennet, and will also resprise her role in Bridget Jones's Baby as Shazza.
Phillips was born in Hong Kong, the daughter of Tim Phillips, the chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which hosts the Wimbledon Championships. She was educated at the private Wycombe Abbey School, in Campbell House and then graduated from New College, Oxford with a first class degree in Italian. She is married with three sons and is a born again Christian.