The Random 19 with actress Hermione Norris


A familiar face in the nation’s prime time drama shows, Hermione Norris’s extensive television credits include the hugely successful, long running comedy-drama Cold Feet (ITV) for which she was nominated for a British Comedy Award for her role as Karen Marsden. 

Among her many leading roles in television, she has starred in Between Two Worlds, Luther, Innocent, In The Club, The Crimson Field and Spooks (four series), for which she won a Best Actress Award at the ITV Crime Thriller Awards for her role as Ros.

Hermione recently bought a farmhouse near Sturminster Newton, where she lives with her husband, their two children and the two dogs.

Hermione Norris answers the Random 19 questions from the BV magazine

1. What’s your relationship with the Blackmore Vale (the loose North Dorset area, not us!)? 

My husband went to Bryanston School, so we’ve always had a connection to the area. While living in London, one of our favourite escapes was a coastal walk from Eype to Lyme Regis. We bought a cottage in Thorncombe (actually from an advert in the original Blackmore Vale Magazine!), and spent every weekend and holiday there from 2001. Eventually we left London and moved just west of Yeovil – a couple more Dorset moves followed, and we’ve now finally settled just outside Sturminster Newton.

2. What was the last song you sang out loud in your car? 

I have Adele’s new album on repeat! So so good. But for weeks it’s been ‘Easy On Me’. 

3. What was the last movie you watched? Would you recommend it? 

Oh, it was gut-wrenching. Seven Pounds – my son made me watch it with him last weekend. It was heartbreaking, filled with so many fears, just your worst nightmare. Harrowing. I was sobbing – I’d have preferred to watch High School Musical, to be honest! Will Smith was terrific though, he’s such a beautiful soul.

4. It’s Friday night – you have the house to yourself, and no work is allowed. What are you going to do? 

Watch Schitt’s Creek back to back episodes. Or maybe The Family Stone. With cheese and biscuits. And Nuts. Olives. Chocolate. And crisps. Lots of crisps.

5. Who’s your celebrity crush?

Harvey Keitel. Does he count as a celebrity? (yes! – Ed). He’s a celebrity to me! I’ve always really liked him. 

6. What would you like to tell 15yr old Hermione Norris? 

“How others behave is none of your business. Don’t walk out on yourself.”

7. If you were sent to an island for a year and could only bring three things, what would you bring 

(the island is already equipped with a magical power source and a laptop)? 

  • Teabags – I’d not survive without some builder’s tea.
  • Music – I’d need lots of music. Can I just have full access to Spotify?
  • Big notepad and pens.
Harvey Keitel is Hermione Norris’ celebrity crush.
Harvey Keitel is Hermione Norris’ celebrity crush.

8. The best crisps flavour? 

Cheese and onion. Ooh, no. Ready Salted McCoys! Thick, fat, crunchy and satisfying.

(YES! Finally! The right answer! – Ed)

9. And the best biscuit for dunking? 

(swift and unhesitating)

Chocolate digestives. MILK chocolate digestives.

10. What book did you read last year that stayed with you? 

Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. It’s harrowing, but it’s brilliant. So clever, retelling stories we all know but from the female perspective.

11. Cats or dogs? 

I mean, I love both, but… dogs. We have two – a great dane called Ophelia, and a pointer called Bess. 

12. What shop can you not pass without going in? 

When I’m in London – American Vintage, Otterlenghi…
Locally it has to be Holebrooks the butchers and deli in Sturminster Newton, what a great shop.

13. What was the best thing before sliced bread? 

A cup of tea.

(another unhesitatingly swift answer)

14. What’s your most annoying trait? 

Oh I’m VERY annoying. I annoy myself. Self-criticism, I think. But I’m working on it, I’m working on it!

15. Your favourite quote? Movie, book or inspirational – we won’t judge.
“Our humanity is a poor thing, except for the divinity that stirs within us”  – Francis Bacon

I’ve always loved this quote – when we moved here I got myself some wooden letters from Hobbycraft, painted them gold and put it on the wall.

Hermione Norris with Ophelia, her Great Dane © Lucy Sewill
Hermione Norris with Ophelia, her Great Dane © Lucy Sewill

16. Tell us about the best evening you’ve ever had?

Any evening with my husband and children. Probably the simple ones having a barbecue on Burton Bradstock beach at sundown.

17. Your top three most-visited, favourite websites (excluding social media & BBC News!)? 

  • RightMove. I’m obsessed. Not with moving, but with looking at property. Doesn’t matter where really – Scotland, London, Cornwall…
  • Net a Porter
  • Graham & Green

18. What in life is frankly a mystery to you? 

Just life in general really.
What? It’s true!

19. You have the power to pass one law tomorrow, uncontested. What would you do? 

I will ban all violence against humanity. 

Violence in all its forms. Verbal, Physical – let it all be gone.


  1. Nice article but doesn’t really show the real Hermione Norris. Met her in Sherborne a few months ago and I was really polite and she was rude. Sad when people in the public eye are not kind and grateful for the audiences that watch them.


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