Zoe Lucker Reveals Which TV Icon Prompted Her To Reconsider Decision To Leave Footballers’ Wives

Footballers’ Wives icon Zoe Lucker has told of how she was tempted back to the show after the casting of Dame Joan Collins

Zoe – who played the legendary Tanya Turner in the 2000s ITV drama – had left the show midway through the fourth series, but her character subsequently returned in series five. 

The actor has now revealed that she was tempted back to the show after producers told her they’d cast Dame Joan as a new rival for Tanya. 


Zoe Lucker as Tanya Turner in Footballers’ Wives

Speaking to Digital Spy about working with the Dynasty legend, Zoe said: “She’s literally my icon. I was in New Zealand at the time and the exec producer, because I’d left halfway through season four, he rang me.

“I was touring in New Zealand and he said, ‘How do you feel about coming back if Joan Collins was your nemesis?’ And I just thought, ‘well, that’s a no-brainer’.”

Dame Joan played the indomitable Eva de Wolffe, the partner of new Earl’s Parks signing Paulo Bardosa, who Tanya set her sights on. 

“Working with her was a highlight, absolute highlight of my entire career,” Zoe continued.

“She’s outstanding. I respect her and thought she was just brilliant and funny and lovely and just such a talent.”

Franziska Krug via Getty Images

Joan Collins was cast as Eva de Wolffe in series five

It was recently announced that the campy football drama, which originally aired on ITV from 2002 to 2006, would be making its debut on BritBox later this week

This news followed years of calls from fans for it to be available on streaming services. 

Zoe recently addressed what it would be like to reprise her role as Tanya in a possible revival of the show. 

She told Radio Times in 2019: “The thing that would worry me is, what if it wasn’t as good?

“I always panic about that. The fact that people still talk about it the way they do, I would hate for any of us to go back and for any of us to be disappointed and it would be such a shame.”

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