Shadow and Bone

Zoë plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels. Series one and two are streaming now on Netflix.

The Cleaner

Zoë guest stars in an episode in the second series of BBC One's black comedy about a crime scene cleaner, called 'The Statue', which is available on the BBC iPlayer.

Black Ops

Zoë guest stars in BBC One's six-part comedy thriller about two Police Community Support Officers working undercover. Begins 5 May, BBC One, 9:30pm.

Criminal Record

Zoë plays the mother of a young detective reinvestigating an old murder case in this crime drama series for Apple TV+. Filming began in summer 2022.

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Zoë's 'lovely' portrayal of Joan Littlewood is among Babs' highlights

8 May 2017 20:25

Zoë's portrayal of visionary director Joan Littlewood in Babs, which was broadcast last night on BBC One, is being praised in the press and by TV viewers. She gave 'a lovely chain-smoking performance,' writes the Guardian enthusiastically in a review describing the Barbara Windsor biopic as a 'heartwarming' 90-minute drama.

Despite mistaking Littlewood for a cleaner when arriving at a theatre in late 1950s London, the young Windsor dazzles the director with her raw talent. 'Where have you been all my life?' Littlewood wonders during the particularly memorable audition scene. Babs made clear that although Windsor didn't always see eye to eye with her mentor, who favoured an unusual, experimental approach to rehearsing and staging plays, the director's mixture of encouragement and tough love helped the starlet to shine.

'No line in [Tony] Jordan's beautifully constructed script had more resonance than Littlewood's harsh advice [to Windsor] concerning the Carry On films: ''If you do it, all you'll ever be is the sexy little blonde,''' the Telegraph points out in its favourable review.

Littlewood is described by Windsor's agent in Babs as 'the most innovative theatre director this country's ever seen'. Appropriately enough, the programme itself is also highly original. It plays with our sense of time and place, as if an elaborate dream is unfolding. While that theatrical style wasn't to everyone's taste, I thought it worked wonderfully well. Babs' originality, as well as Zoë's delightful, nuanced performance, impressed many other viewers too, perhaps most notably the actor Larry Lamb (Windsor's former EastEnders co-star) and charity Tree Aid, of which Zoë has long been a patron.

Entertaining and moving, Babs is currently available to pre-order on Region 2 DVD before being released on 15 May. For roughly the next four weeks, you can also watch the programme online via the BBC iPlayer.

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