Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and raised in Whitley Bay by her car salesman dad and secretary/beautician mum Andrea found her way onto the stage quickly after membership of a local theatre group led to a tour with the National Youth Theatre. Graduating from RADA in 2005, she landed a series of small parts on TV including an episode of Doc Martin and The Secret Life Of Mrs Beeton. From there she featured as Robert Webb's love interest in Peep Show's and appeared in Magicians. Political drama Party Animals followed, and in 2008 she joined the cast of Mike Leigh film Happy Go Lucky alongside Vera Drake actress Sally Hawkins. But it was her leading role in TV film The Long Walk To Finchely, portraying a young Margaret Thatcher which really boosted her profile. It was further cemented by four-part historical drama The Devil's Whore, in which she worked alongside John Simm. Andrea, who starred with Kenneth Brannagh in a West End revival of Chekov's Ivanov, has also picked up awards for her theatre work in Miss Julie and Measure For Measure.