Shadow and Bone

Zoë plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series for Netflix, based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels. Release date: 23 April.

Constellations

Zoë stars as physicist Marianne, opposite Peter Capaldi, in the Donmar Warehouse's revival of Constellations at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. The play explores a relationship through a cosmological lens. Performances: 23 June to 24 July. Tickets from Nimax Theatres.

Britannia

Filming for the third series of Sky Atlantic's epic drama about the Romans invading ancient Britain, starring Zoë as vengeful Queen Antedia, took place in 2020-21. Release date TBA.

Social

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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Rare chance to hear Such Rotten Luck series two

15 April 2020 22:19

The first series of Such Rotten Luck made a welcome return to the airwaves earlier this year, and I’m pleased to say BBC Radio 4 Extra is now broadcasting the comedy-drama’s equally witty second series. As far as I know, this is the first time in five years that series two has been aired.

The opening episode finds Zoë’s Gila and her husband, struggling writer Woodhouse (played by Tim Pigott-Smith), about to become parents, but the latter's head is still in the clouds. When he gets a call out of the blue, will Gila be able to persuade him not to look a gift horse in the mouth?

You can catch up with the series two opener on BBC Sounds or listen to the repeat on Radio 4 Extra this Saturday, 18 April, at 12:30 pm. The other episodes in this six-part series are set to air on Tuesdays at 9:30 am, with each one being repeated a couple of times (see the schedule for details).

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TV shows starring Zoë to watch while staying home

1 April 2020 18:01

Now that most of us are spending most of our time at home, TV features more prominently in our lives than ever.

Here’s a selection of brilliant TV shows starring Zoë to give you some much-needed escapism.

Stay home, stay safe and stay well, everyone.

Worzel Gummidge (2019)

What could be more joyous than long summer days, acres of peaceful countryside and the adventures of a talking scarecrow and his pals?

Zoë’s star turn in episode two of Worzel Gummidge, ‘The Green Man’, is sure to put a smile on your face. She plays the eccentric Lady Bloomsbury Barton – think bold colours, Doc Martens and Iris Apfel-style glasses!

Both episodes of this family favourite are available on the BBC iPlayer, plus you can preorder the DVD and Blu-ray (they’re due to be released next week).

Agatha Christie’s Poirot (2005-13)

We all love a good whodunnit, and arguably the best are by the Queen of Crime, also known as Agatha Christie.

It’s thought that Christie created the character of Ariadne Oliver, a fellow crime writer, in the spirit of self-parody. The wonderfully scatterbrained Ariadne is memorably brought to life by Zoë in several TV adaptations of Christie’s Poirot novels: ‘Cards on the Table’, ‘Mrs McGinty’s Dead’, ‘Third Girl’, ‘Hallowe’en Party’, ‘Elephants Can Remember’ and ‘Dead Man’s Folly’ (which was filmed at Christie’s own holiday home in Devon).

Ariadne is the antithesis of the meticulous, moustachioed private detective Hercule Poirot (portrayed by David Suchet), and yet the pair’s unlikely friendship endures.

Episodes are available to stream via Amazon Prime Video (look for series ten onwards to find those featuring Zoë). The DVDs aren’t readily available anymore – but you may have luck on eBay, for example.

My Family (2000-11)

Can it really be 20 years since the Harpers burst onto our TV screens?

With well over 100 episodes of this incredibly popular sitcom available for you to watch, being stuck on the sofa has never been more enjoyable.

Grumpy dentist Ben (Robert Lindsay) finds that life with his sparky wife Susan (Zoë) and their three demanding kids (as well as an inquisitive grandchild and a couple of pretty peculiar lodgers) is rather too much like pulling teeth...

If you fancy a My Family marathon, you’ll be pleased to know that you can order the complete DVD boxset. In addition, many episodes can be streamed via services such as Google Play, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.

Love Hurts (1992-4)

This engaging, emotive series made Zoë a household name and is certain to bring back fond memories for plenty of her fans.

While the mobile phones and shoulder pads have (thankfully!) gotten smaller since the 90s, the relationship between Zoë’s charity director Tessa Piggott and flash entrepreneur Frank Carver (Adam Faith) still rings true.

The show is immeasurably enhanced by the fantastic chemistry between the two leads. As Faith wrote in his autobiography, ‘Guy Slater, the producer of Love Hurts, put Zoë and me together for a lunch and after about two and a half seconds we were firm friends.’

Tessa and Frank’s witty repartee is a delight to watch over the course of three series, while the storylines – encompassing family drama, money troubles, marriage and parenthood – tug at the heartstrings.

Every episode is included on the DVD boxset. What’s more, the show is available to stream via Amazon Prime Video.

Updated 15 April: Good to see the Love Hurts DVD boxset is part of Network's 2 for 1 boxset sale :-)

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Filming wraps on Netflix's Shadow and Bone

1 March 2020 20:44

Zoë recently finished filming Shadow and Bone, the epic Netflix series based on Leigh Bardugo’s hugely successful fantasy novels.

The series now has official Twitter and Instagram accounts to help us stay up to date.

No photos have been released yet of Zoë's Baghra or the other characters, but this lovely pic caught my eye. It shows Zoe with two of her co-stars, Sujaya Dasgupta (who plays Zoya Nazyalensky) and Jessie Mei Li (Alina Starkov).

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Head back to the Galapagos with Zoë and the Halls family

1 March 2020 20:02

After a hugely popular first series in 2018, wonderful wildlife programme My Family and the Galapagos is back for four more episodes, again with Zoë lending her vocal talents to the narration.

Two years on since biologist Monty Halls and his family originally explored the Galapagos Islands, they head back to discover how this paradise-like part of the world is faring now in the fight against plastic pollution and other environmental issues.

The final episode airs in the UK on Channel 4 tonight at 8 pm. In addition, you can watch series one and two via the All 4 catch-up service.

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