Soundtrack Of My Life: ‘Sex Education’ star Tanya Reynolds

Rising actress, Netflix stalwart and Dolly Parton stan

The first song I remember hearing

Dolly Parton – ‘Jolene’

“I was obsessed with this song as a kid. In the summers when we were little, we’d drive to my grandma’s house near Brighton and my mum would put on this cassette of country and western songs. I’d drive her mad by playing ‘Jolene’ over and over again. I had no idea what it was about. But obviously when I listen to ‘Jolene’ now, I’m like, ‘Fucking hell, this is some heavy shit, Dolly.'”

The first album I owned


Shania Twain – ‘Come On Over’

“I was obsessed with Shania Twain when I was a kid. Fun fact: aged eight, I auditioned for Stars in Their Eyes: Kids as Shania Twain. I did a medley of ‘You’re Still the One’ and ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’ but sadly I didn’t get on the show.”

The first gig I went to

Will Young at Wembley Arena, 2004

“He was spectacular and I had a great time. But annoyingly, there was a very uptight middle-aged couple standing behind me who kept telling me to sit down. They wouldn’t even let me get up and dance when he played an absolute banger, so we just had to sit and bop in our seats.”

The song I do at karaoke


Kate Bush – ‘Wuthering Heights’

“To do karaoke I’d have to have a gun to my head, but I think I’d do ‘Wuthering Heights’ because I can do Kate’s dance from the video. I can’t sing, and I definitely can’t hit those high notes, but I feel like I can do a good bad impression of Kate Bush. It would definitely have some comic relief value anyway.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Cher – ‘Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves’

“At the very beginning of lockdown, my dad sent me a video of my mum lip-syncing to this song – she just put on some false eyelashes and decided to lip-sync to Cher, don’t ask me why. It’s one of those songs that was always in my periphery as a kid because my mum listened to it a lot, but I forgot about it for decades until my dad sent me that video. But now I can’t stop singing it and I’m like, ‘Fucking hell, this is an amazing song.'”

The song that makes me want to dance

Justin Bieber – ‘Sorry’

“It’s just so fucking catchy and I love the music video – I watched it over and over again when the song came out. I have tried to copy the girls in the video but watching me try is probably the most horrendous thing you’ll ever see. Even now, when this song comes on my Spotify playlist, I end up trying to dance like them and it’s all just very limb-y and sad.”

The song I wish I’d written

Bloodhound Gang – ‘The Bad Touch’

“I’ve thought about this long and hard – seriously. I just rediscovered this song a couple of months ago and can’t stop playing it. I think it’s pretty much a near-perfect song. I would love to have written a really funny, clever song like this and the video has them dressed up as gerbils. What more can you ask for from music?”

The album I won’t get bored with during lockdown

Patti Smith – ‘Horses’

“I’ve been listening to this album a lot and I’m not at all sick of it – how could you be? I think I look to Patti Smith because there’s something about her that I find very comforting. When I think about her being penniless, jobless and living in hovels in New York and still managing to write poetry and be creative, I find that very inspiring. It makes me think: ‘No matter how shit things get, I can always put pen to paper.’”

The song I can no longer listen to

Dido – ‘White Flag’

“Just before lockdown I was in an amazing play called Scenes with Girls at the Royal Court theatre in London. At the end of the play, ‘White Flag’ would come on, and because I still have the post-show blues and miss the theatre so much, it’s just too hard to listen to this song. I was watching TV and the opening notes of ‘White Flag’ started playing and I had to switch it off. It was like, ‘No, it’s too soon!’ It just reminds me of what a really scary time this is for the theatre.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral

Dolly Parton – ‘Jolene’

“I feel like this song welcomed me into the world, so it can take me out too!”

‘Fanny Lye Deliver’d’ is available to stream now online