Everything you need to know about The Stranger’s Dervla Kerwan ahead of her new drama Smother

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Dervla Kerwan is not just any actress. She’s the actress who voiced those Marks and Spencer’s adverts back in the day – and now she’s getting ready to star in a dark new drama called Smother.

But aside from seducing us all with her silky smooth descriptions of M&S produce and landing her latest role, what else is the 49-year-old acclaimed actress known for?

From her days as Assumpta Fitzgerald in BBC’s Irish drama, Ballykissangel to her success as Corinne Price in Netflix’s The Stranger, plus a glimpse at her personal life with Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones – here’s everything you need to know about Dervla Kerwan…

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What has Dervla Kerwan been in?

Dervla – an Irish actress who was born on 24 October 1971 in Churchtown, Dublin – has been on our screens since the 1980s.

Most notably, she starred in Irish drama Ballykissangel between 1996 and 1998 as the landlady of the local pub, The Fitzgerald. At its peak, the show brought in audiences of well over 10 million.

However, after the third series, Dervla left her role as Assumpta Fitzgerald and the show slowly declined. It was eventually cancelled in 2001

Dervla reprised her role as Assumpta in both Father Ted and The Vicar of Dibley. She also appeared in the 2008 Christmas special of Doctor Who as the villainous Miss Mercy Hartigan.

Most recently, Dervla starred as Corinne Price in Netflix’s hit miniseries The Stranger. Her character goes missing in the mystery thriller which becomes a major part of the show’s plot.

Outside the world of drama, she also voiced the famous “This is not just food” television advertising campaign for M&S.

Is Dervla Kerwan married?

Yes. Dervla Kerwan is married to Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones. They tied the knot in 2007 after afour year engagement and have two children together, Florence and Peter.

They met in 2001 while working on a stage production of JB Priestley’s Dangerous Corner.

Before meeting Rupert, Dervla got engaged to her Ballykissangel co-star, Stephen Tompkinson in 1998.

Who does Dervla Kerwan play in Smother?

Dervla will be heading up the female-led drama airing on Alibi at 9pm 7 June 2021.

She plays devoted mother Val Ahern who is desperate to hold her marriage to manipulative husband Denis.

However, things take a turn when Denis is found dead at the bottom of a cliff after a family party. Val does some digging to try and find out who is responsible, but in the process uncovers heaps of secrets and lies related to the family.

On her latest role, Dervla said: “It’s a huge privilege to get something so beautifully written, and these kinds of formidable women don’t come along very often.”

She added: “My agent said that if this was ten years ago, they’d be saying my career was over simply because there was nothing being made for women of my age group. But now that’s changed and we see women in such powerful positions, in business, in politics, in the police… television has started to reflect that.”

The first two episodes of Smother are on 7 and 8 June at 9pm on Alibi.

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