January 05, 2021

Sally Phillips' Eldest Son Olly Has down Syndrome — Inside Their Mother-Son Relationship

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Actress and TV personality Sally Phillips, best known for portraying the title character in “Claire in the Community,” has a son with Down syndrome. He recently got his first job.

Although Sally Phillips was born in Hong Kong in May 1970, she moved to England when she was 13 years old. After graduating from a boarding school, she studied modern languages at Oxford University.

The actress has been involved in the entertainment industry since 1994 when she landed a part in “First of Fun.” Phillips’ career skyrocketed in 1999 after she co-wrote and starred in the sketch show “Smack the Pony” next to fellow actors Fiona Allen and Doon Mackichan.


Sally Phillips on March 18, 2019 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images


In recent times, Sally Phillips is best known for portraying Shazza in the “Bridget Jones” film franchise, and Tilly in the comedy show “Miranda.” As per her love life, she married Andrew Bermejo in 2003 but divorced in 2017.


[Oliver] got his first job as part of the inclusive tournament Cadbury’s Hero League.


The ex-couple share three children, Oliver, Tom, and Luke. Out of the three, Oliver makes the most headlines as Phillips has been very open about his Down syndrome.

While Phillips was pregnant with Oliver, she had some prenatal tests done, but none identified his Down syndrome. So, she and her ex-husband only learned about it when he was born.



Talking to Telegraph in 2016, the actress confessed that although it is a life-changing condition, “it’s really not as bad as everyone makes out.”

The truth is that Sally Phillips and Andrew Bermejo were quite stressed and in denial during their first five years with Oliver. Fortunately, they got help from live-in nannies and some members of their family.


Later that year, Phillips made headlines again after pointing out that pregnant women are often pressured into aborting their babies if they have Down syndrome. The actress wrote:

“I have heard many stories of women being pressurized by medical professionals to screen, and even to terminate.”


Phillips even mentioned that one woman expecting a baby with Down syndrome told her that she had been scheduled for an abortion without her consent.

In August 2020, the actress was interviewed by Giovanna Fletcher on her podcast “Happy Mum, Happy Baby,” where she revealed that her life has been “more meaningful and happy” [sic] ever since Oliver was born.


Phillips described being pregnant with Oliver, her first son, as “pretty miserable,” but she eventually realized that her body was trying to get the right nutrients for him. At about five months, a nutritionist naturopath put her on strong vitamins that made “a huge difference.” 

[Oliver] was set to play “Street Fighter” on the PS4 in the tournament.



Sally Phillips explained that Oliver was diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was ten days old. Before that, he was not feeding, so he went from eight pounds to only three. The actress said:

“You do feel devastated for a bit, but everybody not only adjusts but [...] their lives are more meaningful and happier for having the person with Down's syndrome in it.”


In late-October 2020, Phillips and Oliver made headlines after she revealed that he got his first job as part of the inclusive tournament Cadbury’s Hero League.

The actress announced the big news on Twitter by sharing a photo of her and her son holding up a couple of PlayStation 4 controllers. After that, she uploaded a few videos in which the mother-and-son duo explained what it was all about.


Oliver confessed that he was set to play “Street Fighter” on the PS4 in the tournament. After that, she asked him to teach her how to play the game, and he delightfully told her he would.

Sally Phillips then asked him who he thought would win, and the teenager cleverly said that if he won, she’d have to give him £200. They both laughed about it and ended the clip. The “Bridget Jones” star is nothing short of a supermom.


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