|Birthdate:||December 9, 1957|
Maria McErlane (born 9 December 1957, in Buckinghamshire, England) is a British actress and presenter specialising in comedy. She has been acting since 1984. She has appeared in several TV series, including The Fast Show, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Thin Ice and Happiness, "straight" roles in The Bill and Holby City and as the narrator for Antoine de Caunes and Jean-Paul Gaultier's Eurotrash. She has also guested on shows such as Have I Got News for You, If I Ruled the World and Just a Minute on Radio 4. She started on the stand-up comedy circuit in the 1990s, under the name 'Maria Callous'. In June 1984, she appeared in 'Out of Order' (a revue by Christopher Middleton and Jonathan Kydd) at the Finborough Theatre. McErlane co-presented the ITV quiz show Carnal Knowledge with her friend Graham Norton in the mid 1990s and co-presents the "Grill Graham" agony aunt feature with Norton on his BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning show. She stood in for Norton when he was presenting from Baku for Eurovision 2012 and the link was lost for half an hour. She also stood in when he was ill in 2013 and when he failed to turn up on 28 June 2014. She is a friend of Nigella Lawson and appeared on 16 episodes of Nigella Lawson's ITV chat show Nigella. She has had regular columns on Sunday Times Style and Esquire Magazine. She has also written for the Sunday Telegraph, Evening Standard, Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday. She splits her time between Hastings and a London mews house. In 2014 McErlane gave up smoking.