With her unique mix of hilarious mimicry and sharp satire, Jan Ravens is one of the UK’s most successful impressionists. She is a long running star of BBC’s Dead Ringers and was recently a panellist on ITV’s The Imitation Game, appearing on the 2018 Royal Variety Show.
She is a regular contributor across BBC Radio 4, on programmes such as Just A Minute and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, and also current affairs programmes such as Broadcasting House, The Week in Westminster and Today. Jan has acted in countless R4 dramas and comedies, most recently The Charles Paris Mysteries and Alexei Sayle’s The Absence of Normal.
Her Theresa May impression has achieved cult status, going viral on social media and with over 1 million views on YouTube.
Alongside her work on screen and radio, she achieved rave reviews and broke box office records with her solo show Difficult Woman. She has just completed a sellout tour with Rory Bremner and is now working on her 2019 Edinburgh show, Who Do I Think I Am?
Jan was brought up in Hoylake, near Liverpool, and studied Drama at Homerton College Cambridge, where she became the first woman president of the Footlights and went on to direct the revue, The Cellar Tapes, with Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery, which won the first Perrier comedy award at the Edinburgh Festival.
Her career began at the BBC as a comedy producer, but she soon returned to performing. Early TV work includes Carrott’s Lib, where her impressions got her taken on for Spitting Image; and shows with Lenny Henry, Kenny Everett and Alexei Sayle. Jan also appeared on Big Impression with Alistair McGowan and Ronni Ancona, and on several of Rory Bremner’s shows.
TV acting credits include Hebburn, Big Bad World, Skins, Carla Lane’s Luv and Janet Grimley in The Grimleys. And Midsomer Murders. Of course.
Her stage work includes seasons at Chichester Festival Theatre, playing Hoyden opposite Richard Briers as Lord Foppington, Birmingham Rep, (Viola in Twelfth Night), Sophia in Tom Jones at Watford Palace Theatre, The Children's Hour and 5@50 at Manchester Royal Exchange, and Pentecost and After Easter at the RSC. She also stretched her playing age range by playing Phil Nichol’s mother in The Intervention, with the Comedians Theatre Group at Edinburgh.
She can soon be heard revealing secrets in My Teenage Diary with Rufus Hound for BBC Radio 4, and will be seen on Richard Osman’s House Of Games on BBC Two.