Miranda Katharine Hart Dyke (born 14 December 1972), known professionally as Miranda Hart, is an English actress, comedian, and writer.
Following drama training at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, Hart struggled to make her foray into comedy. After writing material for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and making small appearances in various British sitcoms, she reached a wider audience with her self-written semi-autobiographical radio series Miranda Hart's Joke Shop, which started airing on BBC Radio 2 in 2008.
Hart came to prominence in 2009 with the release of her self-penned BBC sitcom Miranda, which is based on her radio series. The sitcom has been running for three series and has been a massive success for Hart, who has earned four BAFTA nominations, three Royal Television Society awards and four British Comedy Awards for her work on Miranda. In 2012, she began appearing in the BBC drama Call the Midwife as Camilla "Chummy" Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne. She has also written a book, Is It Just Me?, which was released in October 2012.
Miranda Hart was born on 14 December 1972 in Torquay, Devon, to Royal Navy officer Captain David Hart Dyke CBE LVO RN and Diana Margaret Luce. Her father was commanding officer of HMS Coventry when it was sunk by the Argentinians in the 1982 Falklands conflict, as a result of which he was badly burned trying to escape the stricken warship. Her mother, Diana Margaret, is the daughter of Sir William Luce GBEKCMG (1907–1977), who was the British Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Aden, 1956-60.
On her mother's side, her great-grandfather was Vice Admiral Sir Trevylyan Napier KCB MVO, who was the Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station (1919–1920), while her great-great-grandfather was Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, 3rd Baronet, who was the Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom (1901–1920). Miranda's uncle is The Rt Hon The Lord Luce KG GCVO DL, a former Conservative MP and Minister, later HM Governor and Commander in Chief of Gibraltar (1997–2000) and Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household, 2000-2006. Her great-uncle and the brother of her maternal grandfather was Admiral Sir David Luce GCB DSO (with Bar) OBE, who served as First Sea Lord. Her great-great-uncle was Major-General Sir Richard Harman Luce KCMG CB, who served as Member of Parliament for Derby from 1924-1929. Hart's patrilineal great-great-great-great-grandfather was Sir Percival Hart Dyke, 5th Baronet (1767-1846) whilst her distant cousin, the 10th and present baronet, Sir David Hart Dyke lives in Canada. Hart's 1st cousin is modern-day plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke. She has a sister, Alice Louisa Hart Dyke (born 1975).
Whilst from an aristocratic background, Hart has stated that she hates saying that, and does not consider herself upper class. Hart added that her family tree can be traced back to the 12th century and that her aunt and uncle live in a castle (Lullingstone Castle) which they cannot afford to run.
Though born in Torquay, Hart grew up in Petersfield, Hampshire, and was educated at Downe House, Berkshire, an independent girls' boarding school, where she was a contemporary and friend of the sports presenter Clare Balding, who was head girl.
She went to the University of the West of England in Bristol and graduated with a 2:1 degree in political science, but followed this by a postgraduate course in Acting at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. In 2002, she did a solo show in Edinburgh and in 2004 she pitched a comedy show to the BBC. At her read-through for BBC executives, Jennifer Saunders was present.
Avoiding the normal stand-up circuit for more character-based comedy, including an appearance in the Edinburgh and touring show The Sitcom Trials, Hart has written her own theatre material for the Edinburgh Fringe. Her one-woman shows include Miranda Hart – Throbs, It's All About Me and Miranda Hart's House Party. She also performed in Alecky Blythe's 2006 play Cruising at the Bush Theatre.
In 2010, she and six other TV celebrities raised over £1 million for the charity Sport Relief by cycling from John O'Groats to Land's End. Miranda also presented part of Sport Relief 2012 which ended in David Walliams dancing semi-naked with her to Abba's Dancing Queen.
She was among the performers at the Diamond Jubilee concert held outside Buckingham Palace on 4 June 2012.
Hart will embark on her first tour, My, What I Call, Live Show in 2014, visiting arenas in the UK and Ireland. Tickets went on sale on 17 December 2012.