Meet Annette Badland - the Birmingham actress in Ted Lasso, the popular American Apple TV+ show

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The uplifting comedy Ted Lasso is about an American football coach who accepts a job to coach what the Americans call Soccer and it features Birmingham actress Annette Badland

Ted Lasso is a massively popular American sports comedy-drama - but it’s more British than American in so many ways. After all, the show is based on a fictional football club in London - which competes against the very real teams that do exist.

In the latest episode released on Apple TV+, Richmond F.C. takes on the Wolverhampton Wanderers and other well known clubs in the English Premier League.

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The uplifting comedy is about an American football coach - Ted Lasso - who accepts a job to coach what the Americans call Soccer but we know of football. In the latest season, the Richmond team has had a shake up with a world-famous celebrity player signing with a football club.

We are yet to see how that goes especially with Richmond F.C. set to face West Ham at some point. And, the coach of West Ham is none other than their former Richmond assistant coach Nate, who was also a ball boy for the team until very recently.

There are no real villains in the show apart from Rupert Mannion played by veteran British actor Anthony Head. But, we do see Nate changing and going over to the dark side.

While the show is focussed on football - it’s about a lot more than that. The local pub and the fans are equally important in what has been called as the “best show about football” by The Times.

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And, the person who runs the local pub is none other than Birmingham actress Annette Badland, who plays Mae. She plays a recurring role in the series and is a voice of reason among excitable and sometimes, silly fans.

(Back row L-R) Kola Bokinni, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Cristo Fernández, (front row L-R) Toheeb Jimoh, Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis take part in SiriusXM’s Town Hall with the Cast of ‘Ted Lasso’ (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)(Back row L-R) Kola Bokinni, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Cristo Fernández, (front row L-R) Toheeb Jimoh, Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis take part in SiriusXM’s Town Hall with the Cast of ‘Ted Lasso’ (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
(Back row L-R) Kola Bokinni, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Cristo Fernández, (front row L-R) Toheeb Jimoh, Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis take part in SiriusXM’s Town Hall with the Cast of ‘Ted Lasso’ (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM) | Getty Images for SiriusXM

Who is Annette Badland?

Badland, 72, was born in Edgbaston in 1950. Her mother was from Scotland but relocated to Birmingham during World War II. Her parents met at a factory here.

Badland was interested in acting from a young age and Badland trained in acting at East 15 Acting School in Essex. After graduating from drama school, she joined Ian McKellen’s Actors’ Company at the Cambridge Arts Theatre.

She has been a long supporter of theatre and has been a patron of The Old Rep in Birmingham since July 2019. She said: "The Old Rep was so important to me when I first fell in love with theatre and acting... When I was younger I used to enjoy Shakespeare at The Old Rep... I just found it a magical place to be so I used to just come whenever I could.”

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Annette Badland (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)Annette Badland (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
Annette Badland (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Her career

She landed her first role on TV in 1975’s feature length biopic The Naked Civil Servant. Since then, she’s taken on many character actor roles.

From BBC’s Doctors to BBC’s BAFTA nominated children’s programJackanory, to playing Babe Smith on BBC soap opera, EastEnders - she’s had a career spanning radio, TV, film, and theatre.

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