Sunetra Sarker

Sunetra Sarker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sunetra Sarker
Born Sunetra Sarker
(1973-06-25) 25 June 1973 (age 45)
Liverpool, England
Residence Bristol, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Nick Corfield (2003–2009)
Partner(s) Scott Carey (2012—)
Children 1

Sunetra Sarker (born 25 June 1973)[1] is an English actress, best known for her acting roles in Brookside, No Angels and Casualty.

Sarker took part in the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing, partnered with Brendan Cole.

Early life[edit]

Sarker was born in Liverpool into a Hindu family.[2] Her father is a retired doctor,[3] and her mother Bisakha taught Indian classical dance[4] for which she was awarded an MBE in December 2013.[5] Sarker has a degree in Information Systems for Business in Europe from Brunel University London.[6] Her great-grandfather was the lawyer, novelist and political activist Nares Sen-Gupta.[7][8]


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.[9]

Sarker also starred in the short-lived regional soap London Bridge. This was followed by one of her biggest roles as Anji Mittel in No Angels from 2004 to 2006.[10]

Sarker’s next large role was playing the part of Clare Burns in the BBC drama The Chase[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

In 2007, Sarker was a contestant on the celebrity cooking series Celebrity MasterChef. In 2009 she provided the voiceover for the new Liverpool One shopping centre advertisements.[citation needed]

Sarker currently appears in Channel 4‘s Ackley Bridge as Kaneez Paracha, mother of main character Nasreen.[citation needed] In 2017, she played DCI Jane Burr in the second series of ITV‘s Safe House.[14]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

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.[15] 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.[16]

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.

Personal life[edit]

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.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
1988–1990, 2000–2003 Brookside Nisha Batra
1995 London Bridge Jyoti Solanki
1999 Cold Feet Clare
2000 Playing the Field Dr Meera
2003 Doctors Donna Sykes
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
2005–2008 Ideal Sangita
2006 New Street Law Nita Shibani
2006–2007 The Chase Clare Burns
2007 Mobile DI Lorraine Conil
Celebrity MasterChef Contestant
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

Guest appearances[edit]


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