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Tracy-Ann Oberman: ‘My dad dropped dead in my arms at home. It was like an episode of Casualty’


Born in London, Tracy-Ann Oberman, 55, spent her early career with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her television work includes EastEnders, Friday Night Dinner, It’s A Sin and the forthcoming Ridley Road. She writes BBC Radio 4 plays, including That Dinner Of 67 starring Kenneth Branagh. She is currently playing Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in the West End comedy The Windsors: Endgame. She is married with a daughter and lives in London.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Impatience – now get on with it!

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Cowardice.

Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
A beautiful, sequined dress for a showbiz function. It was pushing £1,850.

What would your superpower be?
Sniffing out bullshit.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Having a daughter makes you realise it’s very important to self-accept.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
My dad. When I was in my 20s he dropped dead in my arms on the stairs at home. It was like an episode of Casualty: I had to drag his body down the stairs and give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He was the wisest, cleverest, kindest person I ever knew.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An actress. My family thought it was ridiculous, it was like saying you wanted to be an astronaut.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty about anything.

What is your favourite smell?
The back of my daughter’s neck – and a perfume called Portrait Of A Lady, which is hugely expensive. Amanda Holden was wearing it during a show we did together, and the smell used to make me happy. On my opening night of Fiddler On The Roof in Chichester, she sent me a big bottle.

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Who would play you in the film of your life?
Out of sheer revenge, Camilla Parker Bowles probably should.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Darting from one subject to another.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Having been trolled on Twitter by fans of Jeremy Corbyn, I’ve faced some of the worst things that people could say, none of which touched the sides.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
To my grandma Faye, because I didn’t realise, when I was growing up, what an icon she was. She fought at Cable Street, and worked her arse off to get the family out of the tenements. She had a lot of wisdom to impart.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?
While I am sure Jeremy Corbyn is not a hateful man, what was done in his name was hateful.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I am a living self-help book – I’ve managed to train myself to never regret anything.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Our family song – Three Is A Magic Number, which my husband played me on the way back from the maternity hospital.



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