was born at her Lewisham home in 1972 and brought up in Brighton.
Her first moment of hilarity was walking into her parents'
bedroom aged two with a pair of knickers on her head, a joke
she has used ever since. Her interest in writing began at
school, writing obscure, unintelligible sci-fi stories.
spent four years with the National Youth Theatre from 1987-1991.
She then appeared in the 1992 Disney film Swing Kids with
Frank Whaley and Robert Sean-Leonard, spent two months on
an ice-rink filming Peter Greenaway's The Baby of Macon
with Julia Ormond and Ralph Fiennes in 1993.
a brief flirtation with retail, Jessica started writing comedy
with Katy Carmichael and began a short stint on the open mike
circuit as The Liz Hurleys, with both actresses dressed as
Liz Hurley. This led to Jessica co-writing her first film
with Katy, a short called Ruby's Room which unfortunately
was never made, as Jessica won the role of Alice in the TV
nursing drama Staying Alive (1995-1997).
between the first and second series, Jessica made Six Pairs
of Pants with Katy Carmichael and Sally Phillips and became
mates with Simon Pegg, also in the show. Then in 1997, Jessica
appeared in Paramount's cult show, Asylum, along with Simon
Pegg, Julian Barratt, Adam Bloom and Norman Lovett, directed
by Edgar Wright.
was here that Simon and Jessica cemented their comedy alliance
and plotted their sitcom revolution. Inspired by Edgar's cinematic
style and their diverse creative pasts, they wrote the first
episode of Spaced in two weeks. It would be two years before
it finally got made as Jessica was busy appearing as next
door neighbour Cheryl in the award-winning The Royle Family
in 1998, and having her first child.
completing the first series of Spaced, Jessica has participated
in two more series of the Royle Family, the film Born Romantic,
ITV comedy drama Bob and Rose, worked on several projects
on Radio 4, as well as co-writing and performing in the new
series of Spaced. Jessica continues to work on her own writing
projects, developing ideas for film and television. She received
the award for 'Best Female Newcomer' at the 1999 ITV Comedy
Awards for her performance in Spaced and The Royle Family.
recently, Jessica has appeared in Ian Rickson's widely-acclaimed
version of Jez Butterworth's The Night Heron at the
Royal Court Theatre. "Bolla [is] superbly played by Jessica
Stevenson..." wrote one reviewer; said another "a
soaring performance by Jessica Stevenson gives wings to The
Since then, she has also been signed by New Line Cinema to
write, and to star in, a UK/US Family Spy Comedy, Double
was nominated in 2003 for an Olivier Award for her work in
The Night Heron.