Girlfriends

Zo stars as Gail, part of a trio of childhood friends rocked by tragedy, in ITV's six-part drama series shown in early 2018. You can watch it on Region 2 DVD, Amazon Prime Video (UK) or Acorn TV on Amazon (US).

Britannia

Zo stars as vengeful Queen Antedia in Sky's epic nine-part drama series, shown in early 2018, about the Romans invading ancient Britain. You can watch it on Sky Atlantic (UK), NOW TV (UK), Region B/2 Blu-ray, Region 2 DVD or Amazon Prime Video in the UK and US.

Inside No. 9

Zo guest stars as waspish acting awards judge Paula in 'And the Winner Is...', an episode from the BBC's cult comedy-drama's fourth series shown on 30 January 2018. You can watch it on Region B/2 Blu-ray, Region 2/4 DVDAmazon Prime Video (UK), YouTube or via iTunes or Google Play.

Social

Zo pictured with Birthday Party castmates ahead of 2018 revival

24 December 2017 21:05

Heres our first peek inside the rehearsal room as Zo and her castmates prepare for the 60th anniversary revival of Pinters The Birthday Party, which begins on 9 January.

Zo, looking great in a leopard print coat, and co-star Stephen Mangan have also been photographed for Getty Images at hit musical Hamiltons British opening night.

The Birthday Party is one of Londons most eagerly awaited shows, with both the Independent and Telegraph (which praises the crack cast) featuring it in their round-up of 2018 theatrical highlights.

Tickets to the show at the Harold Pinter Theatre are available now - and would make an ideal Christmas present for the Zo Wanamaker fan in your life!

With thanks to Karoline and Janet for their help.

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Ground-breaking Girlfriends featured on ITV News at Ten

19 December 2017 02:55

Wow, Girlfriends status as a ground-breaking TV drama was cemented yesterday when it was featured on ITV News at Ten. The report by arts editor Nina Nannar emphasises that by focusing on women in late middle age, the series sheds light on challenges faced by a group of people who often feel overlooked by British TV.

As Girlfriends creator Kay Mellor explains, I wanted to say something about real women that are of a certain age and say this is their lives. Women who are looking after their grandchildren and elderly relatives, for example, while juggling all sorts of other responsibilities are likely to identify closely with Zos Gail and her best friends.

Mellor hints at the power of Zos performance, as well as those of her co-stars Phyllis Logan and Miranda Richardson, in The Suns TV guide: Ive got three fabulous actresses, they're like dynamite together.

Catch Girlfriends, which promises to be emotive and authentic, on 3 January (ITV1, 9pm) in the UK and 29 January in the US (Acorn TV).

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Zo chats about ITV's Girlfriends: 'it's not glossy, it's not chic, it's very real'

15 December 2017 22:11

With Girlfriends set to be a New Year TV treat, theres plenty of press coverage to enjoy, some of which reveals intriguing details about Zos character Gail Stanley and the challenges she faces with her best pals Linda Hutchinson (played by Phyllis Logan) and Sue Thackery (Miranda Richardson). The friends will need each other more than ever in the six-part drama. Everybodys in a crisis when you meet them, Zo points out in the Total TV Guide, but it all develops much more as the series goes on.

[Gail is] going through a divorce [from] a man she realises she still loves and her son Tom has just been released from prison, Zo tells the magazine. On top of this, shes juggling her job as a lollipop lady with looking after Toms young son [Ben] and visiting her elderly mother [Edna], whos developing dementia. Gail is her familys linchpin; her relatives, young and old, rely on her. Shes also supporting recently bereaved housewife Linda and Sue, who encounters age discrimination at work.

Gail is busy looking after everyone except herself...

Gail is so caught up in her nearest and dearests problems, and is trying to cope with so many different responsibilities, that shes in danger of neglecting her own needs and hopes. As Zo remarks in Girlfriends press pack, Gail puts herself furthest down the list, for looking after people. She has very little self-esteem. Although Gail has difficulty believing in herself, she possesses many admirable qualities. Zo views her as a very perceptive human being [who] isnt at all judgmental, while Miranda Richardson says that Gail is the one who shows the initiative in tough situations.

If youve watched dramas such as Prime Suspect, Love Hurts or The English Wife, youll know that Zo excels at playing strong yet vulnerable characters. Girlfriends creator Kay Mellor is evidently impressed by Zos performance in this series, as the acclaimed scriptwriter emphasises in the press pack that she is brilliant as Gail.

In its profile of this resourceful, working-class Yorkshirewoman, the press pack notes that Gail was politically active in her younger days, campaigning for a better world and singing protest songs as part of the band she formed with Linda and Sue. Now she feels like shes lost her fighting spirit somewhere along the way, the profile concludes. Will Gail be able to find it in time to save her marriage and family?

Strong storylines with mature women at the forefront

Girlfriends is a bold, emotive drama and breaks new ground by focusing on ordinary women in late middle age as they tackle contemporary issues. As Zo says in the press pack, its not glossy, its not chic, its very real [and that] was very appealing.

A major source of drama in put-upon Gails life is petty criminal Tom, whos released from prison in episode one (to save face, shes been pretending that he has a job in Thailand). The tension between her wayward son and his step-father Dave is the reason why Gails marriage is on the rocks. Its difficult to envisage her attempts to rekindle her romance with Dave succeeding unless Tom can be persuaded to change his attitude drastically.

Thankfully, there was no drama with Tom off-camera. I last met Matthew [Lewis] when he was in Harry Potter [playing accident-prone wizard Neville Longbottom], so it was a shock to see him now, as a gorgeous hunk! Zo laughs in TV Choice.

Celebrating female friendship on and off-screen

She enjoyed a great working relationship with her co-stars as well, and that close bond enriches the scenes they share. As Kay Mellor points out in the press pack, One of my favourite scenes has to be towards the end of episode one when the three women are in the kitchen and they all come together. It kind of encapsulates whats going on in their lives and the friendship, that theyre there for each other. You can see it, its palpable, you can touch it, the warmth is there, genuinely, you know. I think Zo and Miranda and Phyllis had bonded at that time and there was genuine affection there for one another and they end up all hugging each other.

Id never met Phyllis before but it has been lovely. Miranda and I worked together a long time ago [in 1989s quirky Ball-Trap on the Cte Sauvage] and weve often bobbed into each others lives, so this is terrific, Zo tells the TV Times.

Female friendship is celebrated in the Radio Times Girlfriends feature, for which Zo and her co-stars took part in a glamorous, festive photoshoot. Reflecting on what having friends of the same gender means to her, Zo highlights the importance of female solidarity: When I went out into the world and started working, I was young and vulnerable, so I formed immediate strong bonds with women along the way.

Zoe Wanamaker totally nailed it wearing the Stardust dress in antique gold in the latest issue of the Radio Times #gold #golddress #eveningwear #eveningdress #designerdress #fashion #stylist #fashionista #instafashion #designer #designerdress #cool #cooldress #moderndress #cool #cooldress #fashionshoot #photoshoot #style #glamour #luxury #happy #instadress #actress #zoewanamaker

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Gail and her friends will always be there for each other

Gail, Linda and Sue got to know each other at a youth club, enjoying exactly the kind of immediate strong bonds Zo experienced early in her career. (The fact that the first letter of each character's name appears in the drama's title is a nice touch and underscores the trio's closeness.) As she remarks in the Total TV Guide, if you have that kind of connection [with your friends], it never goes away. Time passes and lives change, but true friendship endures.

The drama's producer Josh Dynevor sums up what's in store brilliantly in the press pack when he says that [the trio have been] knocked back and this is them fighting back. Its no wonder that Girlfriends, with its compelling plot and characters, is one of Metros top festive TV shows and among the Radio Times Christmas and New Year highlights! This big boiling pot of a drama, as the latter magazine describes it, begins on 3 January (ITV1, 9pm) in the UK and 29 January in the US (Acorn TV).

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Check out ITV's extended trailer for Girlfriends

11 December 2017 21:43

ITV has today released this extended version of the first trailer for drama series Girlfriends, which is due to begin on 3 January.

Zo's character, Gail, surely speaks for many women trying to cope with the pressures of modern life when she says, 'I just want to feel like I used to feel, like I'm alive.' Gail's words suggest that there'll be plenty the audience can relate to in her experiences.

With thanks to Karoline for bringing the trailer to my attention.

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First Girlfriends trailer airs on ITV - expect laughter, tears and drama!

8 December 2017 23:56

The brand new trailer for Zo's drama series Girlfriends made its debut on ITV1 tonight. 'Three best friends trying their best to get through life' was its clear, compelling message about the eagerly awaited six-part show, which sees a trio of childhood friends, including Zo's Gail, reunited by tragedy.

Fellow cast member Rhea Bailey spoke warmly about Zo when sharing the trailer on Twitter. As you can see, there'll be plenty of highs and lows, laughter and tears, for Gail and her family and friends.

Fans in the UK can catch Girlfriends' first episode on 3 January (ITV1, 9pm). There's great news for those of you in the US, too: the series will be streamed on Acorn TV from 29 January. Not long to wait now for what promises to be a first-class drama!

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