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Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel

A versatile British creative force

01October
1987
Early Life
01 October 1987

Early Life

Born on October 1, 1987, in London, to Ghanaian parents, Coel grew up in Hackney and Tower Hamlets with her mother and older sister.


07July
2006
Career Beginnings
07 July 2006

Career Beginnings

Coel's artistic journey began in 2006 with performances at poetry open mic events in Ealing. Encouraged by Ché Walker, she applied to Guildhall, which set her on a path to success. As a poet, Coel showcased her talents on various renowned stages, including Wembley Arena, Bush Theatre, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and De Doelen in Rotterdam. She gained recognition under the name "Michaela The Poet." In 2009, she joined the Talawa Theatre Company summer school program, further honing her skills.

01December
2007
Education
01 December 2007

Education

Despite facing challenges as the only black pupil in her primary school, she excelled in her education and attended Catholic schools in East London. Coel later studied English Literature and Theology at the University of Birmingham from 2007 to 2009. Inspired by Ché Walker, a renowned actor, playwright, and director, she enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2009, becoming the first black woman to be enrolled in five years. Coel's dedication to her craft earned her the Laurence Olivier Bursary Award, supporting her education. She completed her studies at the Guildhall School in 2012.

07July
2015
Breakthrough with "Chewing Gum"
07 July 2015

Breakthrough with "Chewing Gum"

Coel's breakthrough came with the creation and starring role in the E4 sitcom "Chewing Gum" (2015–2017). Inspired by her play "Chewing Gum Dreams," the show garnered critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. Her performance in the series earned her the BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance in 2016. Coel also won a BAFTA for Breakthrough Talent for her exceptional writing on the show.

07September
2015
Expanding Horizons
07 September 2015

Expanding Horizons

Following her success with "Chewing Gum," Coel appeared in notable productions, including the BBC One drama "London Spy" in 2015 and the sci-fi comedy-drama "The Aliens" on E4 in 2016. She also made guest appearances in Charlie Brooker's acclaimed series "Black Mirror" and had a small role in the film "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in 2017.

07July
2018
Diverse Roles and Recognition
07 July 2018

Diverse Roles and Recognition

In 2018, Coel starred in the series "Black Earth Rising" and portrayed the character Kate Ashby. She also showcased her musical and acting abilities in the Netflix film "Been So Long," where she played the role of Simone. Coel's most notable work to date is the creation, writing, producing, co-directing, and starring in the comedy-drama series "I May Destroy You" (2020).

01December
2020
Time magazine
01 December 2020

Time magazine

Coel's immense talent and dedication were recognized as she was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

07July
2023
Influential Works
07 July 2023

Influential Works

Coel's personal life has been influenced by her background and experiences. At the 2016 BAFTA Awards, she wore a dress designed by her mother, showcasing her cultural pride. Coel has been open about her religious journey, embracing celibacy during her time as a Pentecostal. However, she distanced herself from the faith after attending Guildhall. Coel identifies as aromantic, highlighting her commitment to self-discovery and understanding.

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