Waterloo Road star Zoe Lucker opens up about her panic attacks and her plans to marry fiancé Jim Herbert this year

by Lynn Connolly

zoe lucker

Actress Zoe Lucker has of course appeared in a number of TV shows, including EastEnders, Footballers’ Wives and Waterloo Road, and almost invariably, she plays the role of a gutsy, feisty woman…

However, in an interview with the Mirror, Zoe has revealed that in real life, she’s a far cry from the bold characters she portrays, and is in fact often crippled by anxiety.

She said, “I get nervous and panicky about absolutely everything. Generally I am a nervous wreck.

“I hate things like busy shopping centres and I love a country pub during the day but the thought of going into a crowded bar fills me with dread.”

Zoe added, “One of the bravest things I ever did was take part in Strictly Come Dancing and I stayed in it for eight weeks…

“I was really lucky to be in for that long because of my nervous disposition, I had terrible palpitations that were quite unbearable before the live shows and I also had panic attacks.

“Me and [fellow contestant] Phil Tufnell used to get the fear really bad and we would go through phases together.

“One minute we would be crying and the next minute we would be hysterical.”

Zoe went on to reveal that she had hoped that becoming a mum to her daughter Lilly would banish some of her anxieties, but instead, Zoe reckons it’s actually made things worse!

But luckily, Zoe has fiancé Jim Herbert to rely on to help her out when things get bad.

She explained, “I thought a child would give me a different focus, but now I stress even more about Lilly.

“I worry I’ll pass my anxieties on to her and I am careful about not letting her witness them.

“I’m always thankful that I have Jim in my life though. He is the first person I call if anything happens and he calms me down.

“He is incredibly calm, gentle and patient.”

Zoe went on to say that she and Jim are planning to wed this year, having found themselves too wrapped up in everything else that was going on previously to have the time to make all the arrangements.

zoe lucker, jim herbert

She explained, “We’ve been engaged forever but we will get married this year.

“There is a big part of me that feels that we should get hitched and organise a big party because at least then I know that we’re married.

“It’s embarrassing as I never know what to call Jim.

“I find saying partner a bit naff and I can’t call him a boyfriend because he is Lilly’s dad and fiancé sounds a bit creepy as well. Usually I just say husband!”

And finally, of where she might marry, Zoe said, “I love the Cotswolds and we have seen a country hotel there that we really like.

“But I also like the idea of a big country house in Surrey.

“The thought of a lovely summer wedding is great as well but if you go abroad, then only a certain amount of people can come.

“I also like the idea of a winter wedding so people can get all wrapped up.

“I haven’t decided on what kind of dress I’ll wear but I love the designer Alice Temperley.

“Knowing me, I’ll probably buy a dress from somewhere near where I live in Surrey.”

Well I’m sure wherever the wedding is, Zoe is going to make a beautiful bride!

Here’s a reminder of her time on EastEnders as Afghan Hound impersonator, Vanessa Gold…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.