'I am very happy to make this website, designed by Liz, official.'
Zo Wanamaker CBE
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My name's Liz, and I manage the website. For details of when and why it was created, please see the section about this website.
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Zo has an official Twitter account, @ZoeWanamaker, that she runs with her PA, Vanessa. I tweet at @LizLockhart1985.


Sam Wanamaker Playhouse:
You can donate to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and find out more about this recreation of an indoor Jacobean theatre, on the Shakespeare's Globe website. Zo, who is Honorary President of the Globe, talks about the history and significance of the project in a video by the theatre. 

Current and upcoming projects:
  • Britannia (Sky Atlantic and Amazon Prime Video, 2018): Zo stars as Queen Antedia, a key figure in the Celtic resistance movement, in this epic, nine-part historical drama series about the Roman invasion of ancient Britain.
  • Inside Number 9 (BBC Two, 2018): Zo guest stars in an episode from this cult comedy-drama's fourth series.
  • Girlfriends (ITV, 2018): Zo stars as Gail, part of a trio of childhood friends rocked by tragedy in this six-part drama series.
  • We can also look forward to a challenging piece for the theatre. More details about that as soon as they're available...

Guestbook - To sign the guestbook, please click the picture below. Your comments are much appreciated.
Guestbook

Welcome to the official website for Zoë Wanamaker!


First photos of Zo in Girlfriends!

11 August 2017 20:38

Here's our first look at Zo in costume on the set of ITV's hotly anticipated drama Girlfriends (presumably in her character Gail's cosy kitchen!), which is being filmed in Yorkshire. Zo is pictured with fellow actress and presenter Claire Sweeney, who's recorded an interview with her about the drama for ITV daytime show Lorraine.

Look out for the interview closer to Girlfriends' broadcast in 2018!

Many thanks to Kat and Janet for their help.

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News round-up: great prizes to be won, Poirot photos, Babs and Wilde on TV and Britannia premiere

5 August 2017 23:45

Win great prizes signed by Zo!

Just a reminder that if you'd like to be in with the chance of winning a t-shirt and photo, both autographed by Zo, be sure to enter the free competition celebrating the website's 15th anniversary.

The competition is open to Zo's fans all around the world. It runs until 11:59pm (UK time) on 30 August 2017. You can find details of how to enter here.

Good luck, everyone!

Behind-the-scenes Poirot photos

I recently discovered some wonderful behind-the-scenes photos of Zo filming the Agatha Christie's Poirot episode 'Dead Man's Folly' with David Suchet. They were taken in summer 2013 by a talented photographer, SG Haywood, for ITV and the National Trust.

The filming was particularly special, as 'Dead Man's Folly' is the last episode ever made of the detective series and was shot at Christie's former holiday home, Greenway (now looked after by the National Trust), in Devon.

Brilliant Babs and wonderful Wilde on BBC Four

There's another chance to watch Zo's brilliant portrayal of visionary director Joan Littlewood on 6 August, as Babs, the Barbara Winsdor biopic first shown in May, will be broadcast on BBC Four at 10pm.

Wilde, the wonderful, moving film in which Zo plays genius Oscar Wilde's loyal friend Ada 'Sphinx' Leverson, is also making a welcome return to our TV screens, twenty years after it was originally released. Look out for it on 10 August, also on BBC Four at 10pm.

Britannia to premiere in Cannes this October

Sky and Amazon US's epic drama series Britannia, in which Zo will appear as a Celtic queen, Antedia, will have its world premiere at MIPCOM 2017 in Cannes, France. The screening is scheduled for this major entertainment trade show's opening day, 16 October.

MIPCOM's press release notes that '[Britannia's] creators and key cast are due to be in Cannes to promote the show'. It also indicates that the series now consists of nine episodes rather than ten; it'll air on Sky Atlantic, not Sky 1; and we'll see it in 2018 rather than this year.

I'll let you know the TV broadcast dates as soon as they're available :-)

With thanks to Janet for letting me know about the Babs broadcast.

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Hundreds of fans enjoy meeting Zo at the London Film and Comic Con

1 August 2017 19:32

On 29 July, Zo took time out of filming ITV drama Girlfriends to make her first ever appearance at a convention, Showmasters' famous London Film & Comic Con, held at a packed Olympia. Looking chic and happy, she not only signed hundreds of autographs (she's pictured at the autograph table below) but also posed for photos with numerous fans during a couple of professional photoshoots.

The convention welcomed dozens of special guests, and Zo was a particularly popular choice, with long queues throughout the day for her signing sessions. Many attendees have spoken on Twitter about how much they enjoyed meeting her. Zo autographed everything from a My Family boxset to a Harry Potter Marauder's Map!

I've always loved Zo's bold signature (which is why it's incorporated into the website's banner), and the autograph I was fortunate enough to obtain on Saturday now has pride of place at home.

Let's hope that Zo makes another convention appearance in the near future!

Huge thanks to Deike and Karoline for the convention photos.

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Website's 15th anniversary win a t-shirt and photo signed by Zo!

30 July 2017 21:03

To thank Zo's fans for visiting this website over the past 15 years, I'm running a special competition with prizes kindly donated by Zo herself and her PA, Vanessa. One lucky winner will receive a Dead Funny t-shirt and a photo, both signed by Zo.

Zo starred in Dead Funny, Terry Johnson's darkly comic play, in 1994. She played an exasperated doctor's wife struggling to see the funny side of her husband's fascination with old-fashioned humour and dead comedians. Last year, Zo went to see Dead Funny staged with a different cast, including Katherine Parkinson as the doctor's wife.

If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning this competition, send your answer to the question below to liz@zoewanamaker.com before 11:59pm (UK time) on 30 August 2017.

What was the name of Zo's character in Dead Funny?
(a) Emma
(b) Elizabeth
(c) Eleanor

The competition is open to Zo's fans all over the world. After 30 August, the winner will be chosen at random by picking a name out of a hat. I'll email the winner to request his/her postal address. Zo's PA will then post the signed t-shirt and signed photo.

Good luck, everyone!

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Website's 15th anniversary 15 favourite moments from Zo's work

30 July 2017 20:26

Today, 30 July 2017, is the 15th anniversary of Zo's official website. It certainly doesn't feel like such a long time since I launched what was originally just a small tribute to my favourite actress, but here we are!

To celebrate 15 years online, here are 15 of my favourite moments from Zo's work on TV and film, showcasing her remarkable talents.

As this article features a lot of gifs, it may take a little while to load on your computer/mobile :-)

1. Johnny and the Bomb (2006) The Explosion

Time-travelling bag lady Mrs Tachyon pushes her squeaky-wheeled supermarket trolley purposefully towards a terraced house on an evacuated wartime street. The house harbours an enormous, unexploded bomb; but she pays no attention to the air-raid wardens' warnings. Is Mrs Tachyon unaware or unafraid of the danger?

Inside the house, she kicks a brick at the bomb. It begins to tick ominously. Mrs Tachyon imitates the sound, eyes filled with sadness, and makes no attempt to escape. Perhaps she knows that no-one in this small, war-torn community would've been able to diffuse the bomb. Perhaps she knows that no-one else could hope to survive the blast. While the eccentric bag lady often provides comic relief, here she's a deeply poignant figure.

The bomb falls silent, as does Mrs Tachyon. The tension builds. The wardens run away in terror. 'Tock,' the bag lady whispers. As if on cue, the bomb explodes, throwing a ball of fire into the air. Mrs Tachyon doesn't flinch. Her mysterious 'bags of time' will save her.

2. Love Hurts: 'Crawling from the Wreckage' (1992) The Look

High-flying Tessa's first encounter with plumber and successful entrepreneur Frank, the man she eventually falls in love with, can hardly be described as romantic. She's at her wit's end, trying to stop her bathroom flooding. He's in his overalls tut-tutting (while taking a good look at her legs) because she fibbed about which plumbing company installed the bath.

'Look, I was desperate,' poor Tessa admits, the pan she's been emptying the overflowing bath with still in her hands. 'You were the only plumber who answered the phone. I've got a reception in Mayfair in an hour. Please, please, please, please...'

She looks so pleadingly at Frank that he'd need a heart of stone not to help her now!

3. Edge of Darkness: 'Breakthrough' (1985) The Gun

'I've been asked to look after you, night and day,' self-assured, sophisticated intelligence agent Clemmy tells Craven, a traumatised police detective investigating the murky circumstances surrounding his daughter's violent death. What choice does Craven have but to let his mysterious new companion share his hotel room?

In the dead of night, unable to sleep, he gets out of bed. Padding across the room, Craven accidentally disturbs the agent almost getting his head blown off in the process. You see, Clemmy sleeps with a gun under her pillow, and her reflexes are lightning-fast!

4. Prime Suspect (1991) The Teardrop

Hard-bitten Moira's partner, the ostensibly charismatic George, is under suspicion of murder and vehemently protesting his innocence. The couple's claustrophobic council flat is under round-the-clock police surveillance. The strain they're both under, especially now George has been compelled to leave his job, is rapidly becoming unbearable.

When George's beloved mother rings, Moira urges him to talk to her. He duly puts on a false, cheerful front, protecting her by pretending that everything is fine. His and Moira's lives are completely falling apart, but why should a frail old lady be dragged into the mess?

The camera is trained on Moira as she watches George on the phone. We study her face as she studies his. Moira rarely shows her softer side life has taught her to hide her vulnerability but here she's visibly moved. As the call ends, a tear falls down her cheek. Moiras situation is about to get much worse, but this will be the only time she cries.

5. Gormenghast (2000) The Match

The match is struck, the flame is lit. Soon Castle Gormenghast's precious library will burn to the ground. Soon Lord Groan will descend into madness. In a land that has shunned change and clung to ritual since time immemorial, nothing can ever be the same again.

Shockingly, the culprits are Groan's own sisters, identical twins Clarice and Cora. Their lust for power and childish fascination with thrones and coaches drives the resentful, mercurial pair to unleash destruction and chaos on their own family.

Clarice and Cora are convinced that they'll soon be rulers of Gormenghast; but Steerpike, the devious servant who's exploited their weaknesses and orchestrated their terrible act, knows better. As the light from the flame flickers, it reveals the satisfaction on his face.

6. Mr Selfridge (2015) The Jewellery

Princess Marie's imperious manner disguises her fears and anxieties. Having been forced to flee her home in Russia, she is royal in name only. For years, Marie and her much-adored son, Serge, have relied heavily on her ability to charm wealthy friends and acquaintances.

She'd hardly dared to hope that one day she might be reunited with her most precious possessions, and yet here they are. The jewellery Marie feared was lost forever has miraculously found its way back to her, hidden in the bottom of a tatty trunk.

Her sense of amazement and relief is almost palpable. The jewellery has more than just sentimental value: it represents financial security for the princess and her son. Smiling and blinking back tears, Marie tells Serge, 'Now we are in charge of our own destiny.'

7. Love Hurts: 'Your Money or Your Life' (1993) The Proposal

Having been unexpectedly released by their terrifying underworld kidnappers, Tessa and Frank cautiously remove their blindfolds and gaze in awe at their beautiful surroundings. Not so long ago, the couple were locked in a tiny room, fearing for their lives; now they're drinking in the splendour and tranquillity of a Russian cathedral.

Tessa and Frank's on-off relationship has never been plain sailing, but their terrifying ordeal has made them realise just how much they mean to each other. They're alive, they're free and they're in love. Frank doesn't waste a second: he asks Tessa to marry him.

Tessa's first reaction is to laugh, but then Frank assures her that he's serious. She falls silent, her hand over her mouth, and slowly meets his gaze. You can imagine the thoughts that are running through her mind as the woman who once renounced relationships prepares to accept Frank's proposal.

It's a touching moment and brilliantly, beautifully acted.

8. Agatha Christie's Marple: 'A Murder is Announced' (2005) The Necklace

When the police, accompanied by incisive amateur sleuth Miss Marple, arrive at wealthy Letitia's home, it's clear that the truth about a series of local murders will soon be revealed.

Letitia is confronted by the fact that no-one in her circle is quite what they seem; so-called friends view her as a source of ready money. Everyone has something to hide, including Letitia herself. Miss Marple must expose the web of lies, no matter how painful the process.

Suddenly, the strings of pearls that Letitia always wears are ripped from her neck by an enraged neighbour. She desperately scrabbles about on the floor for the gems, but it's too late. Letitia can't hide from her past any longer. Her terrible secret is out.

9. David Copperfield (1999) The Boy

Dressed head to toe in black, Miss Murdstone bursts into young David's home like an icy gust of wind. As if to prove that she's every bit as cruel and cold-hearted as her vile brother, David's new stepfather, the spinster glares at the child and tells his mother, 'Generally speaking, I don't like boys.' She'll do all she can to help Mr Murdstone break poor David's spirit.

10. Agatha Christie's Poirot: 'Third Girl' (2008) The Heiress

Eccentric crime writer Ariadne Oliver is determined to uncover the truth about disturbed heiress Norma, who's tortured by the belief that she's a murderer. Against the advice of her great friend, the famous detective Poirot, Ariadne decides to undertake an investigation of her own.

Cue her not-so-subtle attempt to follow Norma around London. Hiding her face behind a copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (written, appropriately enough, in support of women writers) is all Ariadne needs, she thinks, to conceal her identity...

11. The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999) The Interrogation

After leprechaun Mary Muldoon's son, Mickey, falls in love with beautiful fairy princess Jessica, a centuries-old feud between Ireland's most magical kinds of inhabitants escalates into all-out war. Each side blames the other for the star-crossed lovers' disappearance.

Mary is captured by the fairies but refuses to co-operate with them. 'You're going to interrogate me? About what?!' she demands to know, characteristically feisty. As the fairy king and his cronies bumble around, it's clear that they haven't thought this through...

12. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) The Snitch

At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, an enormous, excited crowd has gathered to watch the first Quidditch match of the season. The Gryffindor and Slytherin teams fierce rivals are just moments away from going head-to-head on their broomsticks.

Formidable flying instructor Madam Hooch kicks open the chest containing the Quidditch balls. She trains her bird of prey eyes on the Golden Snitch as it soars high above the pitch. As quickly as it emerged, the ball disappears from view.

Will young wizard Harry Potter, playing his first Quidditch match, capture the Snitch and secure victory for Gryffindor?

13. Doctor Who: 'New Earth' (2006) The Psychograft

In the dark recesses of a cutting-edge hospital near New New York, the time-travelling Doctor's fair-haired companion, Rose, encounters an old enemy. The last surviving human and plastic surgery addict, Lady Cassandra, wants a new body. Now that a suitable, if unwilling, donor has been found, she can't wait to put her cruel plan into action.

Fed up with being a dry piece of skin, Cassandra transfers her consciousness into Rose's body, using a 'psychograft' machine. The young woman is powerless to stop her. 'It's goodbye trampoline and hello blondie!' quips Cassandra as the transfer begins, proving that this villainess is every bit as witty as she is wicked.

The Doctor won't know what's hit him!

14. Babs (2017) The Nod

Bubbly, gutsy actress Barbara Windsor dazzled Joan Littlewood with her raw talent when they first met, despite mistaking the visionary director for the theatre's cleaner! Since then, Joan has nurtured that talent, even though her experimental approach to rehearsing and staging shows means that the strong-willed pair don't always see eye to eye.

Their friendship has its ups and downs, but Joan's mixture of encouragement and tough love is undoubtedly working wonders for Barbara. After singing her heart out on stage, the starlet spots the director watching from the wings. Has she done enough to impress her demanding mentor? Joan's smile and nod tell Barbara that she certainly has.

15. My Family: '2039: A Christmas Oddity' (2009) The Wink

It's Christmas 2039, and the years haven't been kind to the Harper clan, except for twinkly matriarch Susan. Incredibly, she doesn't appear to have aged at all. Daughter Janey is convinced that her glamorous mother actually looks younger every time they meet!

'Oh, I moisturise,' Susan says coyly, smiling and winking at the camera, when asked for her anti-ageing secrets. The remark is, of course, a witty allusion to Lady Cassandra's catchphrase, 'Moisturise me!' It also marks the only time a character in the sitcom breaks the fourth wall.

Choosing your favourite moments

I hope you've enjoyed reliving these special moments as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

What are your favourites from Zo's fantastic career? Feel free to send me an email or tweet with your choices.

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Most images used on this site are the copyright of their photographer, Ms. Wanamaker, and/or the production company of the show. Use of these images is covered under the fair use limitation in the USA, and the fair dealing limitaton in the UK.
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