Tamzin Outhwaite

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Tamzin Outhwaite
Tamzin Outhwaite 2015.jpg
Outhwaite at the 2015 Oliver Awards
Tamzin Maria Outhwaite

(1970-11-05) 5 November 1970 (age 49)
Ilford, London, England
ResidenceLondon, England
  • Actress
  • narrator
Years active1989–present
Tom Ellis
(m. 2006;div. 2014)
Awards British Soap Award - Sexiest Female
2000 EastEnders - Mel
1999 EastEnders - Mel
National Television Award - Most Popular Newcomer
1999 EastEnders - Mel

Tamzin Maria Outhwaite ( /ˈθwt/ ; born 5 November 1970) is an English actress and narrator. Since coming to national notice for portraying the role of Mel Owen in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 1998 until 2002 and then from 2018 to 2019 when the character was killed off, she has starred in a number of theatre and television productions, including army series Red Cap and crime drama New Tricks . [1]


Early life

The only daughter of Anna (née Santi) and Colin Frank Outhwaite, born in Ilford, East London, Tamzin has two younger brothers, Kes and Jake. She was educated at Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green.

Outhwaite attended the Stagestruck Theatre Company as a teenager, taking part in several productions during the mid-1980s. While at school, she studied part-time at Sylvia Young Theatre School and on leaving school in 1987, she joined the London Studio Centre to study drama and dance.


Early career and EastEnders

On graduation from the London Studio Centre she started her career in the theatre, taking roles in productions including Grease and Oliver! , and work at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, before landing bit parts in television series The Bill and Men Behaving Badly .

She found national fame in 1998 when she was cast as Mel Healy in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders. Her first appearance was aired in October 1998 and her final one was in April 2002. During nearly four years in Walford, Outhwaite's feisty character was central to many explosive storylines. Outhwaite left EastEnders in 2002, shortly after the departure from the soap of co-star Martin Kemp, who had played her on-screen husband Steve Owen.

She stated in 2006 that she wouldn't rule out returning to EastEnders [2] and her return was confirmed on 24 October 2017. [3] Outhwaite departed the soap for a second and final time in November 2019, when Mel was killed off.

Other ventures

She appeared in a revival of Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, the film Cassandra's Dream , [4] and the ITV drama series, The Fixer , which was shown in March and April 2008. [5] In 2009, she played the lead in the sci-fi crime series for the BBC entitled Paradox , [6] which first aired on BBC1 on 24 November 2009. In 2010, she appeared in Over the Rainbow , a talent show casting for Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage production of The Wizard of Oz . In the same year, she was a member of the judging panel on the UK television programme Don't Stop Believing broadcast on Channel 5.

She joined the cast of the popular BBC comedy-drama series New Tricks as DCI Sasha Miller, replacing Amanda Redman as head of the team in the show. Outhwaite had earlier appeared in series 9, episode 6 of the show, guest-starring as a different character who is brought to justice at the end of the episode. In March 2016, Outhwaite was cast to play Teresa Phillips in a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. [7] Outhwaite has done introductory segments of true crime episodes of NBC's Dateline for British television audiences. [8]

Personal life

Outhwaite lives in London. From 2006 to 2014, she was married to actor Tom Ellis. They have two daughters together. It was announced in 2013 that the couple had separated and the following month Outhwaite had filed for divorce. [9] [10] [11]

Outhwaite was the subject of an episode of BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? shown on 21 August 2014. [12] Her mother is of Italian heritage. [13] Her maternal great grandfather Adelmo Santi and his eldest son Pietro Santi were born in Barga, Italy, and became naturalised British citizens in 1957, living first in Glasgow, Scotland, and then settling in Fishburn, England, with a thriving ice cream business. [14]


2005 7 Seconds Sgt. Kelly AndersVideo
2006BackwatersLili Taylor
2008 Radio Cape Cod Jill Waters
2012 Great Expectations Molly
2014MOTH (Man of the House)MumShort film
1993The Mystery of Dr MartinuGirlfriendTelevision film
1995 Men Behaving Badly Girl in Pub1 episode
1996 The Bill Liz Crane"Hers"
1998–2002, 2018–2019 EastEnders Mel Owen Series regular
2000 Da Ali G Show Melanie"Gail Porter"
2002 Out of Control Shelley RichardsTelevision film
2003Final DemandNatalie TaylorTelevision film
2003–2004 Red Cap Sgt. Jo McDonaghMain role
2004 Hustle Katherine Winterborn"A Touch of Class"
2004 When I'm 64 CazTelevision film
2004Frances TuesdayFrances WestTelevision film
2005Walk Away and I StumbleClaire HolmesTelevision film
2006 Vital Signs Rhoda BradleyMain role
2006–2007 Hotel Babylon Rebecca Mitchell Main role (series 1–2)
2008–2009 The Fixer Rose ChamberlainMain role
2009 Crimewatch Narrator
2009 Paradox D.I. Rebecca FlintMiniseries
2011 Law & Order: UK Miriam Pescatore"Immune"
2011 Fast Freddie, The Widow and Me Patsy MorganTelevision film
2012 Silent Witness Beth Gilston"Fear: Parts 1 & 2"
2012 New Tricks Victoria Kemp"Love Means Nothing in Tennis"
2013 Foyle's War Brenda Stevens"Sunflower"
2013 Doctor Who Captain Series 7, Episode 12: "Nightmare in Silver"
2013 Agatha Christie's Marple Mrs. Rogers"Endless Night"
2013–2015 New Tricks DCI Sasha MillerMain role (series 10–12)
2016 Josh Valerie"Bed & Breakfast"
2017 Inside No. 9 Connie"Empty Orchestra"
2017 Murdoch Mysteries Penelope Marsh"Up from Ashes"
2018 Midsomer Murders Samantha Adler"The Lions of Causton"
2019Naked BeachNarrator
2019Meghan Markle: Movies, Marriage & MotherhoodNarratorTelevision special
2020 Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators TBA

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  1. "BBC One: New Tricks". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  2. "Outhwaite won't rule out 'Enders return". 22 April 2006.
  3. "Tamzin Outhwaite returns to EastEnders". BBC News . 24 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  4. "Allen role for Tamzin Outhwaite". BBC News. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  5. "Bees to buzz off". The Mirror. 5 October 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  6. "Outhwaite to star in sci-fi drama". BBC News. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  7. "Casting announced for How the Other Half Loves" . Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  8. "Dateline with Tamzin Outhwaite TV Guide from RadioTimes". Radio Times .
  9. Kelby McNally. "Tamzin Outhwaite 'files for divorce from Tom Ellis, citing adultery'", Express, 10 September 2013.
  10. (No author.) "Tamzin Outhwaite 'Divorcing' Tom Ellis After He Reportedly Admits Cheating With One-Night Stand", Huffington Post UK, 9 October 2013.
  11. Kelby McNally. "'We're all moving forward' Tom Ellis speaks out about Tamzin Outhwaite split", Express, 19 September 2013.
  12. Watts, Halina (15 August 2014). "Tamzin Outhwaite left distraught after discovering great granddad was sent to WW2 prison camp".
  13. "Tamzin Outhwaite". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  14. "Tamzin Outhwaite - Who Do You Think You Are - Former Eastenders actress with true East End roots discovers more about her Italian ancestry". www.thegenealogist.co.uk.