BORN : 1975
PLACE OF BIRTH : Warrington
LIVES : Owns an old Victorian house in Bristol
HEIGHT : 5ft
PARTNER : Director Declan O’Dwyer. They also have a daughter, Lola, together.
FAMILY : Mother, Jill
STUDIED : Rose Bruford Drama School
ON SIMILARITIES WITH ANNA : ‘We share a sense of humour and we’re both chirpy, bright and happy most of the time.’
ON ANNA’S BEST & WORST TRAITS : ‘She’s honest and has the ability to laugh when things don’t always go right. But she does tend to put others first. She would rather let herself down than other people.’
DESCRIBE ANNA IS LESS THAN FIVE WORDS : ‘Bright, fun, a laugh, intelligent.’
TO WHICH COLLEAGUE ANNA WOULD GIVE KISS OF LIFE TO : ‘She fancies lots of people, including Dillon; she’s even decided she likes the look of Tony – she doesn’t yet know he’s gay.’
ON CASUALTY AUDITION : ‘I went for the audition. I didn’t think I’d get the job so I went in really relaxed. I had to meet a panel of about six people, we just had a laugh, it was a really good interview. I found out the next day and I was so surprised. In fact it didn’t sink in for a few weeks.’
REAL LIFE CASUALTY EXPERIENCES : ‘A friend was involved in a car crash right outside my flat and I went with her in the ambulance. I tried to keep her cheerful all the time, but I did feel a bit queasy when I had to hold her head back as they put stitches in her head.’
COULD SHE BE A NURSE IN REAL LIFE? : ‘I wish I could say yes. I do have fantasies about being a paramedic because they’re like knights in shining armour, they really are. But I don’t think I could do it. But I surprised myself one time when a friend of mine had been in an accident and I watched the nurse sewing up her head wound.’
ON BEING SQUEAMISH : ‘I thought I was squeamish but I’m not. When I was researching the character I went to Tooting hospital in South London, I went straight into the operating theatre and this guy had his jaw pinned back and was having screws put in. I had to sit down because I felt a little bit faint, I sat down for 2 hours before I was called back over by the surgeon to have a closer look. It was so weird that when I looked it didn’t make me go funny or squeamish. It somehow seemed right that they were helping his face get better. What did make me go funny was the sound of the screws being screwed into his jaw, that sound still stays with me, and it’s been about a year.’
ON FILMING ANNA’S EXIT : ‘My own reaction surprised me, actually, as I couldn’t learn the script without crying. It’s hard to read what happens to Anna as it’s so unjust and she doesn’t deserve it. I had to repeat the lines again and again and didn’t really like being taken to that dark place. Everytime I went to the loo and saw myself in the mirror, it was just awful!’
HEALTH ADVICE SHE IGNORES : ‘I’m ashamed to say that the week of the first anniversary of giving up smoking I got through three packets of cigarettes. But that was because I was moving house – I’m going to give up again. Honest.’
HOW SHE KEEPS IN SHAPE : ‘I’ve bough an exercise video, but it’s still in it’s polythene wrapper. I will start going to the gym though – when I give up smoking again!’
HOW SHE RELAXES : ‘I love going into the countryside with friends and Bristol is great for that.’
FAVE FOOD & MUSIC : ‘My Dad makes wicked curries and I love listening to Joni Mitchell.’
SKILLS : Drumming, basic acrobatics, red nose clowning, and singing (alto).
TELEVISION CREDITS : Heartburn Hotel; Back Up; Hale & Pace; The Bill; Drop the Dead Donkey; Gimme Gimme Gimme; Casualty; According to Bex; Dalziel & Pascoe; Doctors; The Bill; Prisoners Wives; Love Life; Broken Cove
FILM CREDITS : Final Curtain; Esther Khans; Janice Beard 45wpm; Large; The Final Curtain; Almost Adult; Mad, Sad & Bad; West is West;
THEATRE CREDITS : Top Girls; East is East; Clubbed Out; Lets Go to the Fair; Hansel & Gretel; One Night; D’yer Eat with your Fingers; Romeo & Juliet; Khandan
RADIO CREDITS : Girlies
AGENT : Lou Coulson Associates, 1st Floor, 37 Berwick Street, London W1F 8RS.
DID YOU KNOW?
* Zita was one of the founder members of Birmingham’s Central Television Workshop.