Britannia

Sky Atlantic's epic drama about the Romans invading ancient Britain, starring Zoë as vengeful Queen Antedia, returned for a second series on 7 November. Both series are available via Sky and NOW TV.

Worzel Gummidge

Zoë plays eccentric aristocrat Lady Bloomsbury Barton in the second episode of the BBC’s new adaptation of Barbara Euphan Todd’s classic children’s stories, which aired just after Christmas. It's available via the BBC iPlayer.

Shadow and Bone

Zoë recently finished filming this major new fantasy series for Netflix, based on Leigh Bardugo’s novels. She's been cast as Baghra, a ruthless teacher. The release date hasn't yet been announced.

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Zoë talks about lockdown life and The Globe’s future

7 June 2020 22:51

This week has given fans not one but two opportunities to find out how Zoë is getting on during the lockdown – and when she might be able to return to acting.

Sky News interview

On 4 June, Sky News presenter Adam Boulton interviewed her via video link (you can watch most of their chat above).

We heard how Zoë passes the time while her work, such as the third series of Sky’s epic historical drama Britannia, is on hold. ‘I do everything that I do when I’m supposed to be learning my lines!’ she laughed.

Normally she doesn’t watch herself on TV, but Zoë has made an exception for the BBC’s My Family reruns – ‘it’s fascinating to see it’, she said, and realise that the popular sitcom’s jokes are still funny after 20 years.

More My Family outtakes

Incidentally, the makers of My Family have treated us to more highly amusing outtakes following last week’s first batch of bloopers.

Observer interview

Appearing in the show was a novel experience for Zoë, as she explained in a lovely interview with the Observer newspaper, published on 7 June. ‘The reason I did My Family was I’d never been in a sitcom before.’

She praises the show’s ‘clean, sharp and witty’ writing, and adds that ‘the American humour was – is – my kind of humour because I grew up with it’.

Filming on Britannia’s third series had only just begun when the pandemic took hold. Zoë has been informed that ‘we might be able start again, but with single cameras and so on’, when it’s safe to do so.

Zoë looks forward to the day when theatres reopen. ‘I miss sitting in an audience and hearing that silence when something powerful is going on.’

How we can support Shakespeare’s Globe

As reported by BBC News, the pandemic has put Shakespeare’s Globe, the theatre Zoë’s dad founded, under considerable financial pressure. The Globe doesn’t receive annual funding from Arts Council England. The longer it remains closed to the public, the more it’ll struggle to survive – 95% of its revenue comes from ticket sales, tours, workshops, etc.

Zoë is in no doubt that Sam Wanamaker would’ve ‘put up a good fight’ to save the theatre he worked so hard to build if he’d been around today. If you can spare anything, please consider joining me in donating to Shakespeare’s Globe to help it weather this stormy period.

In The Globe’s words, ‘We need your support more than ever before.’

The theatre is a vital part of the arts and culture scene. As Zoë remarked on Sky News, the permanent closure of this ‘very special place’ would be unthinkable – ‘it has to stay’. So please support The Globe if you can.

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Enjoy these never-before-seen My Family outtakes

29 May 2020 17:08

The makers of My Family have a special treat to help us celebrate the hit sitcom’s 20th anniversary. Here's a very enjoyable compilation of never-before-seen outtakes, featuring Zoë, Robert Lindsay (who introduces them) and several of their castmates.

It was revealed during the recent My Family cast reunion on The One Show that fans would soon be able to enjoy laughs from behind the scenes. If you missed the reunion interview with Zoe, Robert Lindsay and Kris Marshall, you can catch up below.

While the outtakes are all from My Family's later series, UK viewers can go right back to the beginning on Friday nights at 8 pm, thanks to BBC One’s series one reruns. In this week’s classic episode, ‘Farewell to Alarms’, the Harpers’ lives are turned upside down by the world’s most temperamental burglar alarm.

For even more laughs (let's face it, we're all in need of light relief right now), you can watch every series of My Family on the BBC iPlayer.

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The One Show brings us a Harper family reunion!

20 May 2020 02:57

There's a real buzz around the BBC's primetime reruns of My Family, and now we're being treated to a Harper clan reunion, thanks to another popular programme.

Zoë will be interviewed by presenters Alex Jones and Alex Scott on The One Show on 20 May (7 pm, BBC One) about the comedy's enduring appeal. Joining her to reminisce will be two of her My Family co-stars, Robert Lindsay and Kris Marshall.

Zoë first appeared on The One Show back in 2011 - the same year My Family bowed out - to talk about the film My Week with Marilyn, in which she plays Marilyn Monroe's formidable acting coach. Here she is photographed with Alex Jones and Matt Baker at the time.

BBC One's next My Family rerun will be on 22 May at 8 pm - it's the episode called 'The Last Resort', which is one of my favourites. Susan has a birthday she certainly won't forget in a hurry at a rather dodgy B&B!

If you don't want to wait 'til then, you'll be pleased to hear that every series of My Family is available to stream on the BBC iPlayer.

With thanks to Janet for her help.

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The Harpers are back on the BBC (and iPlayer)!

26 April 2020 23:56

Twenty years (yes, really!) after the first series was originally shown, hugely popular sitcom My Family is back on BBC One – and in a primetime, Friday night slot to boot!

Series one hasn't been repeated on the BBC's main channel since 2000. The very first episode, ‘The Serpent’s Tooth’ (in which Robert Lindsay’s disgruntled Ben discovers Zoë’s Susan is ‘seeing’ another dentist...), made a welcome return on 24 April at 8 pm. Episode two, ‘Pain in the Class’, sees the Harpers unite against a school bully and will be shown this Friday, 1 May, at the same time.

But perhaps you prefer to stream TV shows instead. If so, you'll be thrilled to hear that every series of My Family is now available to watch whenever you want on the BBC iPlayer. That's eleven series, with 119 episodes in total!

A My Family boxset binge is a fantastic way to chase away the lockdown blues. For more escapism, check out my list of TV shows starring Zoë to watch while staying home.

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