Alison Steadman appears in one-off comedy Pandemonium tonight (Wednesday December 30).

The star, 74, joins the likes of Katherine Parkinson and Jim Howick in the show.

But who is Alison and how did she become a household name?

Alison Steadman in Pandemonium
Alison and Jim in Pandemonium (Credit: BBC)

What is Pandemonium star Alison Steadman famous for?

Alison has had a long and illustrious career.

Born in Liverpool in 1946, she burst on to the scene with a scene-stealing performance in the TV play Abigail’s Party in 1977.

Now the stuff of legend, Alison played a neurotic party host and lost the plot during a cosy dinner party.

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Since then, Alison has become one of Britain’s most recognisable actresses.

Recent comedy series Boomers, Hold The Sunset and, of course, Gavin and Stacey have cemented her reputation for being a natural comic actress.

She’s also appeared in Fat Friends, Pride and Prejudice, The Syndicate and, most recently, Life on BBC One.

Alison Steadman first grabbed headlines in Abigail's Party
Alison in the legendary Abigail’s Party (Credit: YouTube)

Who did she play in Gavin and Stacey?

Alison’s most recognisable role from recent times was from hit sitcom Gavin and Stacey.

In the beloved series starring Mathew Horne, Joanna Page and James Corden, Alison played Pamela Shipman.

Alison was married to Mike Leigh
Alison now lives with partner Michael Elwyn (Credit:

Is Alison married?

She used to be.

Alison met Oscar-winning director Mike Leigh during the production of his 1972 film, Hard Labour.

They got married in 1973, and went on to have two sons together – Toby and Leo.

However, the couple split in 1996 and divorced in 2001.

She now lives with partner Michael Elwyn, in north London.

What can you see Alison in next?

The next project fans can see Alison in is the third film in the Kingsman trilogy.

Starring alongside Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton and Rhys Ifans, it will be released in 2021.

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Alison will also be seen in British independent film The Mud Hut.

Due to start filming next year, it stars Roger Allam and Meera Syal.

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