For making British television funny, filthy and poignant
Who: Quite posh British actress, writer, director and comedian whose show Fleabag was the surprise hit of the year for its brutally real – and really f**king funny – depiction of millennial womanhood.
Why: When Fleabag debuted on BBC3 this summer it made thousands of young women across the country gawp in wonder and yell, ‘OMG, that’s me!’ at their laptop screens. Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag – a character based on a one-woman show that had impressed 2013 Edinburgh Festival crowds with its no-holds-barred depiction of female sexuality – was kind of a d**k. A self-centred, w**k-happy woman with limited drive, a failing small business and a family in ruins, her lifestyle tiptoed around the edges of urban hipsterdom, but also deep, dark loss. It might sound depressing, but its caustic humour and downright filthiness made it unmissable.
What she says: “I wanted to create a character who had a front and a confidence about sex that seemed completely impenetrable, and that was how she controlled her emotions and the way she was in the world. And then skewering it by saying, no one can be that confident about it, that relentlessly. There has to be a chink.”
What people say about her: “Fleabag marked the emergence of a new voice in British comedy” – NME
How she made the world a better place: By shining a light on the modern, multifaceted face of the twentysomething woman – flaws and all.