(1973-06-25) 25 June 1973
|Spouse(s)||Nick Corfield (2003–2009)|
|Partner(s)||Scott Carey (2012—)|
Sarker was born in Liverpool into a Hindu family. Her father is a retired doctor, and her mother Bisakha taught Indian classical dance for which she was awarded an MBE in December 2013. Sarker has a degree in Information Systems for Business in Europe from Brunel University London. Her great-grandfather was the lawyer, novelist and political activist Nares Sen-Gupta.
Sarker has played a wide variety of roles in her career. Her initial success came when she was cast as Nisha Batra in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside from 1988 to 1990 and then returned in 2000 until 2003.
Sarker’s next large role was playing the part of Clare Burns in the BBC drama The Chase until the show was pulled after its second series. Sarker played the role of Dr Zoe Hanna in Casualty from 2007 until May 2016 after she decided to leave after over 8 years. During her time on the show, Sarker was involved in numerous popular storylines, including a relationship with porter Max Walker (Jamie Davis) which viewers dubbed “Zax”. After her departure was announced, Sarker made a promise to Davis that she would return for one episode when he decided to leave the show, a promise she honoured in 2018, appearing in an episode broadcast on 13 January.
Sarker currently appears in Channel 4‘s Ackley Bridge as Kaneez Paracha, mother of main character Nasreen. In 2017, she played DCI Jane Burr in the second series of ITV‘s Safe House.
Strictly Come Dancing
In autumn 2014, Sarker competed in the twelfth series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, partnered with New Zealand professional dancer Brendan Cole. In the first week the couple danced a Tango to “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)” by Robert Palmer and scored 24. In the second week they danced a Cha-cha-cha to “Million Dollar Bill” by Whitney Houston and scored 26. In the third week the couple danced the American Smooth to “The Way You Look Tonight” from the film Swing Time and scored 40, including a 9 from head judge Len Goodman. Because of Sunetra’s filming schedule, the routine had to be learned in a single day.
In the fourth week the couple danced the Salsa to “Turn the Beat Around” by Vicki Sue Robinson and scored 27. In the fifth week the couple danced the Viennese Waltz to “Anyone Who Had a Heart” by Cilla Black and scored 30. In week six, opening the show, they danced a Jive to “Tainted Love” by Gloria Jones and scored 27. In week seven they danced a Foxtrot to “All of Me” by John Legend and scored 31. In week eight, at Blackpool, they danced a Samba to “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” by the Scissor Sisters and scored 30. The couple were voted into the dance-off, against Judy Murray and Anton du Beke, but were unanimously saved by the judges.
In week nine they danced a Waltz, to “Last Request” by Paolo Nutini, and again scored 30, placing them in one from last place. The couple was voted into the dance-off with Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan, but were saved by three votes to one from the judges. In week ten they danced a Rumba to “The Girl from Ipanema” by Michael Bolton. The couple was again voted into the dance-off, against Mark Wright and Karen Hauer, but were unanimously voted out by the judges.
On 23 February 2017 Sarker’s ancestors were the subject of TV series Who Do You Think You Are? shown on BBC One in which she traced them to Bengal. She learns about her family’s involvement in the struggle for independence in India and one of her ancestor’s connection to Gandhi. Travelling next to Bangladesh, she visits her great-grandmother’s ancestral village where she discovers the harrowing story of how her family were caught up in Bangladesh’s 1971 war for independence from Pakistan.
|1988–1990, 2000–2003||Brookside||Nisha Batra|
|1995||London Bridge||Jyoti Solanki|
|2000||Playing the Field||Dr Meera|
|Emmerdale||Priti Chowdry||4 episodes|
|Eyes Down||Karen||2 episodes|
|2004||The Smoking Room||Monique|
|Holby City||Nanda Veer||1 episode|
|2004–2006||No Angels||Anji Mittel|
|2006||New Street Law||Nita Shibani|
|2006–2007||The Chase||Clare Burns|
|2007||Mobile||DI Lorraine Conil|
|2007–2016, 2018||Casualty||Dr. Zoe Hanna||Also directed two episodes|
|2012||Doctor Who||Indira||1 episode (“Dinosaurs on a Spaceship“)|
|2014||Puppy Love||Lilli Kusiak||2 episodes|
|Strictly Come Dancing||Contestant||Series 12|
|2017||Death In Paradise||Hetma Patel||2 episodes (“A Man Overboard” Part 1 & 2)|
|Broadchurch||Sahana Harrison||Series 3|
|Safe House||DCI Jane Burr||Series 2|
|2017-present||Ackley Bridge||Kaneez Paracha||School drama|
- Epic Win (3 September 2011)
- Pointless Celebrities (19 April 2014)
- Big Star’s Little Star (7 May 2014)
- Weekend (7 June 2014)
- Celebrity Fifteen to One (23 December 2014)
- Celebrity Antiques Road Tip (24 November 2015)
- The Chase: Celebrity Special (3 April 2016)
- The Saturday Show (7 May 2016)
- Debatable (25 & 29 August, 9 & 15 September 2016, 3 May 2017)
- All Star Mr & Mrs (21 September 2016)
- Harry Hill’s Tea Time (4 December 2016)
- Sunday Brunch (19 February 2017)
- Who Do You Think You Are? (23 February 2017)
- All Round to Mrs. Brown’s (29 April 2017