Kerry Godliman

Kerry Godliman profile: Actress is famous for her onscreen relationship with Ricky Gervais

The actress plays data analyst Sonya Reeves in ITV1 series Trigger Point

Kerry Godliman returns to our screens in the second series of Trigger Point, but she’s probably most famous for her onscreen relationship with superstar comedian Ricky Gervais.

The actress plays Sonya Reeves alongside Vicky McClure in the tense bomb-disposal drama on ITV, but what has she been in before and is she friends with Ricky Gervais in real life?

How old is she, and where’s she from? Here’s everything you need to know in our in-depth profile.

Kerry Godliman as Lana's mate Sonya in Trigger Point
After Life star Kerry Godliman plays Lana’s mate Sonya in Trigger Point (Credit: ITV1)

Who plays Sonya Reeves in Trigger Point?

Actress and comedian Kerry Godliman portrays Sonya Reeves in the cast of Trigger Point. She first played the data analyst in series 1 of the London-set series.

She reprises her role as Sonya Reeves for series 2. Sonya is one of the agents at the Bomb Data Centre, and a friend to Lana. And, good grief, she needs all the friends she can get!

What has Kerry Godliman been in before?

Kerry is probably best known for working alongside Ricky Gervais. She played Hannah in Derek, and more recently Tony’s dead wife Lisa – who appeared in flashbacks – in After Life. Before that, she played the floor manager in Extras.

Kerry has actually been on our TV screens since 1998, though, when she first appeared as a WPC in Casualty. Over her 20 year career, she’s popped up in Holby City, The Bill, Spoons, Rush Hour and Doctors.

Viewers may also recognise her from TV shows such as Call the Midwife, Bad Move, Him & Her and Adult Material. She had a leading role as Nicky alongside Jack Dee in the ITV comedy Bad Move.

Our Girl fans will know her as Belinda Dawes, the mother of 18-year-old Molly (Lacey Turner). She starred in the TV movie and the first series of the show.

More recently, Kerry played restaurateur-turned-detective Pearl Nolan in popular cosy drama Whitstable Pearl. Kerry also recently starred in the Channel 4 drama Undeclared War.

Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan, she looks out on a beach from her car with a frown
Kerry Godliman led the cast of Whitstable Pearl as Pearl Nolan (Credit: Acorn TV)

Who plays Pearl Nolan in Whitstable Pearl?

In 2021, Kerry Godliman landed the lead role in Acorn TV’s cosy crime drama series, Whitstable Pearl.

“I just really loved the script and the character,” she told UPI about restaurant-owner-cum-amateur-sleuth Pearl Nolan.

“Pearl is really quite an unusual person. I was flattered to be asked to do it. I haven’t played a part like her before, so it was quite exciting

“She is quite close to me in terms of characterisation. She’s got a bit of humour and she’s strong, but she is vulnerable, as well. Traits I have.”

There were 2 seasons of Whitstable Pearl going out in 2021 and 2022. There are 10 books in the series, so we expect Pearl will be back one day!

Is Trigger Point star Kerry Godliman a comedian?

Talking about her early life in London in the 1970s and 80s, she has said: “I had a nice time. I enjoyed school. My mum and dad were lovely. I had no complaints. No distinguishing hardships or features.”

But when it came to finding work it wasn’t always plain sailing. She studied drama at Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, Kent but soon she received some stark news.

“My agent at the time said there’s not much you can do to shape your acting career, so that was when I started to do stand-up,” she told Beyond The Joke.

Kerry expanded on her stand-up beginnings to Total Entertainment, saying: “I’ve always liked comedy right from being a kid but, back then, I had no idea how to get into stand-up comedy so, instead, I went to drama school as that seemed like a legit career path.

“I loved people like Victoria Wood and Billy Connolly and saw both of them live when I was a kid. I like Victoria Wood because she mixed both stand-up with written comedy which is something I’ve always really enjoyed doing.”

Kerry became a force in the stand-up world, and is still active and touring to this day. She’s appeared on Live At The Apollo and comedy shows like Would I Lie To You?, 8 Out of Ten Cats, and Taskmaster.

Kerry smiles as attends a press night with son Frank in 2015
Kerry with son Frank in 2015 (Credit:

How old is Kerry Godliman? Where is she from?

Kerry Anna Godliman was reportedly born in 1973 or 1974, which makes her around 49/50 at the time of writing.

She was born in Perivale, London, and trained at Rose Bruford College in South London.

Are Kerry Godliman and Ricky Gervais friends?

In 2012, Kerry first teamed up with Ricky Gervais when she appeared briefly in series Extras and Life’s Too Short. She subsequently appeared in his Channel 4 sitcom-with-a-difference, Derek.

Set in a nursing home – and featuring good-natured helper Derek (played by Ricky) and a ragtag group of residents and staff – Kerry played care-home manager, Hannah.

The show was a huge success. When Ricky began writing bittersweet comedy-drama After Life for Netflix, he came calling for Kerry again.

She told The Independent: “I’ve always been very, very flattered that Ricky keeps me in mind. He’s such a big influence in the world of culture that when you’re involved in one of his projects, a lot of people see it. That’s exciting.”

She also described the friendship she has with him, telling OK!: “He’s easygoing. People always want to know what Ricky is like but they already do because what you see is Ricky.

“There isn’t another persona that he’s hiding. I think the fact he is authentic is part of his success. That Ricky you know from stand-up and TV, that’s him.”

Kerry with Ricky Gervais - and dog Brandy - in After Life
Ricky and Kerry in Afterlife (Credit: Netflix)

Is Kerry Godliman married and does she have children?

In 2008, Kerry tied the knot with fellow actor Ben Abell. TV fans will know Ben from his appearances in the likes of Sherlock, Doctors and Luther.

The couple have two children – Elsie and Frank – and live in South London together.

In the BBC Radio 4 comedy series, Kerry’s List, she used material from her home life. In fact, the family ties didn’t end there – Ben played her husband in the show.

She told The Guardian about raising kids and juggling childcare: “They’re not interested in your to-do list and fantasy of a perfect life.”

Is Trigger Point actress Kerry a vegetarian?

Kerry Godliman is a proud vegetarian.

When she appeared as a guest judge on  The Great British Menu, the competing chefs had to provide meat-free versions of their dishes for the panel.

The vegetarian alternatives are judged alongside those containing meat.

Did Kerry Godliman win Taskmaster?

In 2018, Kerry won the seventh series of Dave’s comedy game show Taskmaster.

She won with 176 points, and was awarded the series 7 Taskmaster Trophy. She kept the trophy in her garage where it was stolen by Katy Wix for the prize task of the series 9 episode A Cuddle.

In 2019, in the series 9 episode Another Spoon, Kerry stood in for Katy Wix in the studio segments. She returned in 2022 for Champion of Champions II, finishing joint third with 12 points. She has also guest stared in several episodes of Taskmaster The Podcast.

Read more: Whitstable Pearl season 2: Meet the stellar cast led by Kerry Godliman

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Kerry Godliman stars in Trigger Point series 1 and 2, which are both available to watch on ITVX.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor