Belfast Telegraph

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: From the fringes of Edinburgh to the toast of Hollywood

The London-born actress, writer and producer has just signed an exclusive deal with Amazon.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is perhaps the most in-demand star in television (Chris Pizzello/AP)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is perhaps the most in-demand star in television (Chris Pizzello/AP)

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is perhaps the most in-demand star in television after a stunning night of success at the Emmy Awards.

Fleabag, the sitcom she created and stars in, won a total of six prizes, including best comedy actress for Waller-Bridge and the overall outstanding comedy.

Amid much fanfare, Amazon has just announced it has signed the actress, writer and producer to a multimillion-pound deal.

Born in London, Waller-Bridge graduated from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before starting her career in 2009 with an appearance in the play Roaring Trade.

She followed it up with TV roles in comedy series The Cafe and crime drama Broadchurch, as well as parts in films including Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady.

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge enjoyed a stunning night of success at the Emmys (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

However, Waller-Bridge is best known for creating and starring in Fleabag.

Fleabag began as a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, featuring Waller-Bridge as an angry and confused young woman struggling to navigate life in London.

In a portent of what was to come, the production won the Fringe First Award.

Festival success caught the attention of the BBC, which commissioned a six-part series for BBC Three.

Fleabag’s TV adaption, also starring future Oscar winner Olivia Colman, Sian Clifford and Brett Gelman, arrived in 2016 to critical acclaim and soon found itself with a wider audience on BBC Two, with Amazon handling distribution in the US.

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge won outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for Fleabag (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Waller-Bridge’s performance earned her the Bafta for best female comedy performance, however the show was snubbed at the Emmys.

After the success of Fleabag’s first season, Waller-Bridge turned her attention to adapting Luke Jennings’s Villanelle novel series for the small screen.

Killing Eve arrived in April 2018, starring Sandra Oh as an MI5 agent on the tail of Jodie Comer’s psychopathic assassin Villanelle.

The show was another massive success, cementing Waller-Bridge’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand talents.

Anticipation ahead of Fleabag’s second season was now sky-high, despite its creator saying she came “very close” to not bringing it back.

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag began as a one-woman show in Edinburgh (Matt Humphrey/The Corner Shop/PA)

Season two arrived in April of this year, to almost unprecedented acclaim.

Viewers again fell in love with the titular character’s fourth wall-breaking comic asides as her voracious sexual appetite continued unabated.

On the review website Rotten Tomatoes, Fleabag’s return holds a rating of 100%.

On Sunday, Waller-Bridge was the toast of Hollywood after enjoying a stunning night at the Emmys, the biggest night in US television.

She won three awards: lead actress in a comedy, outstanding writing in a comedy and outstanding comedy series.

The latter was a shock win over previous winners Veep and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced it had tied down Waller-Bridge to an exclusive deal, with reports in the US suggesting it was worth around 20 million US dollars (£16 million) per year over three years.

Waller-Bridge has also completed her work on the script of the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, after being suggested to producers by Bond actor Daniel Craig.

PA

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