Yom Rivii, 8 Elul 5774
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Telly Star Tamsin Wows Finchley

More than 100 members of Finchley Progressive Synagogue (FPS) packed out the shul hall this weekend, for a special talk from TV star Tamsin Greig.

Tamsin, famous for hit TV comedies Friday Night Dinner and Episodes, delivered the 2011 Rose Segal Memorial Lecture on Sunday September 11. The talk took the form of a conversation with Russ Kane, Capital Radio’s Flying Eye for 20 years and currently a presenter on BBC London Radio. Russ took Tamsin through her various roles on radio, television and the stage, starting with her part as Debbie Aldridge in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers.

Tamsin’s character, who first appeared in 1991, was brought back to the show after the controversial ‘death’ of Nigel Pargetter caused a downturn in listening figures. Her return to the programme was broadcast just hours before she took the stage at FPS. Tamsin, who is a devout Christian, discussed her strong bonds with the Jewish community and how she went about playing the roles of the mother of Anne Frank and the atypical Jewish mum in Friday Night Dinner.

Describing herself as “the only non-Jewish Jewish mother”, the actress then delighted her audience with tales of the making of Episodes in which she starred alongside Matt Leblanc, famous as Joey from Friends.

She told at her amazement when intelligent and sophisticated people should question her about “making out” with Matt, especially since she is happily married to Rick Leaf with who she has three children. Tamsin also spoke of her critically acclaimed work outside of comedy, including winning an Olivier Award for her performance in Much Ado About Nothing.

The audience for the lecture – dedicated to the memory of former FPS president Rose Segal – included Liberal Judaism’s chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich and Finchley’s Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk. Maureen Lipman, Nicholas Hytner, Henry Goodman, Ronald Harwood and Janet Suzman have all spoken in previous years.

Sheila King Lassman, who organised the event, said: “Tamsin’s warmth and humour, plus the food and wine after the talk, created a party atmosphere and ensured the success of a memorable event.”


To see The Jewish Chronicle's report on this event, click here