Open main menu

Sunetra Sarker (born 25 June 1973)[1] is an English actress, known for her roles as Nisha Batra in Brookside, Anji Mittel in No Angels, Zoe Hanna in Casualty and Kaneez Paracha in Ackley Bridge. In 2014, she took part in the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing, partnered with Brendan Cole.

Sunetra Sarker
Sunetra Sarker

(1973-06-25) 25 June 1973 (age 46)
ResidenceWestbury-on-Trym, Bristol, England
EducationBrunel University London
Years active1988–present
Spouse(s)Nick Corfield (m. 2003; div. 2009)
Scott Carey (m. 2018)

Early lifeEdit

Sarker was born in Liverpool into a Indian 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] She is of Bengali origin.


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 her portrayal of 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. Subsequently, 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 2017, she played DCI Jane Burr in the second series of ITV's Safe House.[14] Sarker currently appears in Channel 4's Ackley Bridge as Kaneez Paracha, as well as BBC One‘s Informer as Sadia Shar.[15]

Strictly Come DancingEdit

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.[16] 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.[17]

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 lifeEdit

On 23 February 2017, Sarker and her ancestors were the subject of an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? shown on BBC One in which she traced them to Bengal. She learned 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.[18]

Sarker married Nick Corfield in 2003, and together they have a son, Noah Kishore Sarker-Corfield, born 9 June 2005. Sarker and Corfield divorced in 2009, after six years of marriage.

In 2018, Sarker married Scott Carey, although they had been together for multiple years prior to that. Sarker lives in the Westbury-on-Trym area of north Bristol, while Carey lives in Kent.


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
2003 Emmerdale Priti Chowdry 4 episodes
2003 Eyes Down Karen 2 episodes
2004 The Smoking Room Monique
2004 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
2007 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
2014 Strictly Come Dancing Contestant Series 12
2017 Death In Paradise Hetma Patel 2 episodes ("A Man Overboard" Part 1 & 2)
2017 Broadchurch Sahana Harrison Series 3
2017 Safe House DCI Jane Burr Series 2
2017–present Ackley Bridge Kaneez Paracha Main role
2018 Informer Sadia Shar Main role; 6 episodes
2019 Celebrity Gogglebox Herself

Guest appearancesEdit


  1. ^ Tina Miles (15 November 2014). "Strictly Come Dancing star Sunetra Sarker dedicated 'Sambanetra' to Liverpool mums". liverpoolecho.
  2. ^ "Series 12, Strictly Come Dancing - Sunetra Sarker - BBC One". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  3. ^ "I'm happy to be a Casualty of success". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  4. ^ "BBC One - Strictly Come Dancing". BBC. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  5. ^ Catherine Jones (31 December 2013). "New Year's honours list recognition for Merseysiders - Liverpool Echo". liverpoolecho.
  6. ^ "Sunetra Sarker". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Sunetra Sarker: It was 'astonishing' finding my family's links to Gandhi". Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  8. ^ "BBC iPlayer - Who Do You Think You Are? - Series 13: 9. Sunetra Sarker". 22 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  9. ^ "'Mobile' star Sunetra Sarker". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  10. ^ "My little angel; Dawn Collinson talks to actress Sunetra Sarker about the joys of motherhood". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  11. ^ "BBC - Drama - The Chase - Other characters". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  12. ^ "Sunetra Sarker (Zoe Hanna, 'Casualty')". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Sunetra Sarker on Zoe and Max's happy ending: Jamie Davis asked me to come back!". 13 January 2018.
  14. ^ "ITV announces brand new season of original event drama Safe House". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Get to know Sunetra Sarker who's back in BBC One drama Informer". The Sun. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  16. ^ "BBC One - Strictly Come Dancing, Series 12 - Sunetra Sarker". BBC.
  17. ^ Cathy Owen. "How Strictly Come Dancing's Sunetra Sarker splits her time between Cardiff and the dancefloor - Wales Online". walesonline.
  18. ^ "Sunetra Sarker featured article on TheGenealogist". TheGenealogist. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Pointless Celebrities tonight on BBC1 with Sunetra Sarker and Paul Bradley from Casualty and Holby City and Surgical Spirit's Duncan Preston and Nichola McAuliffe". Scunthorpe Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. ^ "Big Star's Little Star on ITV tonight with Jake Wood with son Buster, Sunetra Sarker with son Noah & former England rugby star Austin Healey with twins Betsey & Bibi Dee". Scunthorpe Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ "A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OF FIFTEEN TO ONE - Remedy Productions". 4 March 2016.
  22. ^ "Sunetra Sarker and Jo Joyner, Series 5, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip - BBC Two". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  23. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Harry Hill's Tea Time Series 1, Episode 8 - Sunetra Sarker - British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  24. ^ "BBC - Who Do You Think You Are returns to BBC One for a 13th series - Media Centre". Retrieved 13 November 2016.

External linksEdit