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'After Catastrophe, I knew I'd have a period where I was like, 'I don't know what the f**k I'm doing' - Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan's eviscerating self-awareness underpins some of the biggest cult comedy hits of recent years. But now she's going after bigger fish, with mainstream movies and a directorial debut. It's a long way from the turkey farm in Co Meath, writes Tim Lewis

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Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan

Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Comedy gold ... Sharon wrote Catastrophe with co star Rob Delaney

Comedy gold ... Sharon wrote Catastrophe with co star Rob Delaney

On song ... Sharon Horgan stars in the musical drama Military Wives with  Kristin Scott Thomas

On song ... Sharon Horgan stars in the musical drama Military Wives with Kristin Scott Thomas

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Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan doesn't especially enjoy watching herself on screen any more. She feels an awkwardness that she thinks comes from years of sitting in edit suites scrutinising take after take of television programmes she has created, co-written and starred in.

Shows such as her 2006 breakthrough, Pulling, a black comedy about three female flatmates, and Catastrophe, the Channel 4 series (rejected by the BBC) about a one-night stand with long-term effects that ran for four seasons and has been broadcast in 133 countries and now means she has to have clocks in her London offices showing the time in New York and Los Angeles. But Horgan, who is 49 and has eviscerating self-awareness, also accepts that "vanity" might be a factor.

"I just don't love seeing myself as an older person on screen," she says, with a snorty half-laugh that seems to punctuate her most radically honest statements. "There's always a weird transitional period where you go from being able to play a girl who doesn't know where her life is going to playing the mother of an 18-year-old. The adjustment for that just takes a little bit of time."