Footballers’ Wives cast then and now – where are the Earls Park players and WAGs 15 years after show ended? – The Sun

Footballers’ Wives cast then and now – where are the Earls Park players and WAGs 15 years after show ended? – The Sun

08/26/2021

ITV drama Footballers' Wives was a massive hit when it aired between 2002 and 2006 and forever buried the claim that WAGs were wallflowers and not gold-diggers.

The racy, twist-filled show featured a crop of brilliant characters, all involved in a web of jealousy, lies, deceit and murder. As the whole series comes to BritBox, here's our post-match analysis on where the cast are now…

Zoe Lucker (Tanya Turner)

Demonic queen bee Tanya Turner, who cheated on her husband Jason with his teammate Conrad, was played with aplomb by then-newcomer Zoe Lucker.

So popular was Zoe's twisted character that she reprised the role in ITV show Bad Girls and faced off with Dynasty legend Joan Collins.

After that, the Yorkshire lass bagged a role as Max Branning's lover Vanessa Gold in EastEnders, which lasted from 2010 to 2011.

That led to further outrageous performances as a crime family boss in Waterloo Road and as Reenie McQueen in Hollyoaks from 2015, though she left in June 2016.

In 2009 Zoe, now 47, also took part in Strictly Come Dancing, finishing in tenth place with James Jordan.

Gary Lucy (Kyle Pascoe)

When he joined Footballers' Wives, Gary Lucy was already well-known for Hollyoaks after playing a footie player called Luke Morgan who was raped by a rival.

The 39-year-old had also had a role in football-based drama Dream Team during his teens so he was perfect for the role of Earls Park's Kyle Pascoe.

Gary has also enjoyed roles on The Bill and Casualty, as well as putting on some strong performances on 2014's Dancing On Ice series.

He returned to Hollyoaks in 2017 after a 15 year absence.

Gillian Taylforth (Jackie Pascoe-Webb)

Gillian Taylforth was soap royalty well before joining Footballers' Wives thanks to her 15-year-long role as Ian Beale's mum Kathy on EastEnders.

She played Kyle's mother Jackie who secretly got pregnant by Tanya's husband Jason, the Earls Park champion striker, before marrying the club's manager.

After Jackie and Kyle headed off to Australia together, Gillian moved on to parts in crime drama New Tricks, The Bill, Casualty and Hollyoaks.

She's also fitted in Strictly in 2008, dancing with Anton du Beke, and Celebrity Big Brother in 2013, before returning to EastEnders in 2015.

Cristian Solimeno (Jason Turner)

Cheating husband and Earls Park Captain Jason was played by Cristian Solimeno, who's had a varied acting career since the show ended.

He's played Juan the Barista in Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd, and The Guardian in movie sequel Highlander: The Source.

He's even turned in a performance as an executioner in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

While playing Ray McCormick in 2013, Cristian even got the pleasure of being killed off by Hollyoaks psycho Grace Black.

In recent years he has starred in TV miniseries Thanks for the Memories and most recently Glow & Darkness alongside Joan Collins and Denise Richards.

Ben Price (Conrad Gates)

Another equally duplicitous ladies' man — Earls Park star Conrad — was played by Ben Price, now best known as Nick Tilsley in Corrie from 2009.

Following his ridiculous sex scenes with Zoe Lucker, and a memorable Old El Paso advert, he managed to nab a major role in Casualty too, playing Nathan from 2005 to 2007.

The actor has also made several acclaimed short films with his production company Bolo, which he set up in 2015.

Alison Newman (Hazel Bailey)

Power-hungry agent Hazel was played by Alison Newman, now known for parts in Holby City, Casualty and EastEnders.

She's also featured in New Tricks, Call The Midwife and Whitechapel as well as the movie Butterfly Collectors and the crime drama Touching Evil III.

One of her most recent appearances was in Endeavour in 2019.

Susie Amy (Chardonnay Lane-Pascoe)

You may have seen TV pin-up Susie in Casualty and Death In Paradise, but Footballers' Wives is her biggest role to date.

Susie played Kyle's troubled wife, who eventually died of anorexia after a long feud with her mother-in-law Jackie.

On the back of playing Chardonnay, she bagged movie roles in La Femme Musketeer, House Of 9 and Modigliani.

She also starred in short-lived TV series Echo Beach in 2008 and has made one-off appearances in Corrie and Hotel Babylon too.

She reunited with her on-screen husband – played by Gary Lucy – when she joined Hollyoaks in 2018.

Ben Richards (Bruno Milligan)

In 2005, Ben Richards joined the Earl’s Park team in the show’s fourth season where he wreaked havoc as Bruno Milligan. 

The footballer’s marriage to wife Lucy came under threat after he became increasingly controlling and after a failed suicide attempt, he accidentally shot Conrad, killing him. 

Two years after the show, he signed up to Holby City and by 2015 was a fixture on Hollyoaks as Ben Bradley. 

Since then, Ben returned to musical theatre – where he initially found fame – and starred in shows including 9 to 5, The Bodyguard and Peter Pan. 

In 2012, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer but within a year after undergoing treatment was in remission.

Earlier this month, Ben told This Morning that he remembered his time on Footballers’ Wives fondly and felt it was “a once in a lifetime opportunity”.

He said: “I wanted to be a footballer, so it was nice to have that life for a bit to drive the Ferraris as such.” 

Jesse Birdsall (Roger Webb)

Club manager Roger Webb had an unfortunate end on-screen after being blinded from a gunshot wound and later being killed off by another character.

But since leaving Earl’s Park in the final season, Jesse’s bagged a number of roles including a lengthy stint on Holby City that spanned 12 years.

He also appeared as serial killer Fraser Black in Hollyoaks for a year until 2014 and made cameos in Midsomer Murders, Casualty, EastEnders and Doctors.  

Away from the cameras, Jesse’s been married to Only Fools And Horses star Gwyneth Strong, who played Rodney’s love interest, Cassandra. 

Sarah Barrand (Shannon Donnelly-Lawson)

Sarah starred in the show from seasons three to five as Shannon, who was married to Harley Lawson before their marriage broke down and she shacked up with new signing Callum.

It’s often claimed that her character was meant to be a parody of Wayne Rooney’s then-girlfriend Coleen. 

Since leaving Earl’s Park, she’s had a small number of roles including Casualty and worked as a voiceover artist for TV shows, radio and video games.

Most notably, she starred alongside Footballers’ Wives alumni Zoe Lucker in a two-part ITV documentary where she met the Dalai Lama in 2006.

Charles Venn (Tremaine Gidigbi)

Tremaine joined the cast in the show’s final season, famously marrying supermodel partner Liberty Baker  in a lavish Egyptian-themed wedding. 

After departing from Footballers’ Wives, the former Dream Team star scored minor roles on The Bourne Ultimatum and The Dark Knight Rises.

He also played Ray Dixon in EastEnders for a year from 2012, who was the father of Bianca Butcher’s son Morgan and two years later joined Casualty as nurse Jacob Masters.

Charles, who used to work under the stage names Chucky Venn and Chucky Venice, came sixth in Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, alongside Karen Clifton.

Daniel Schutzmann (Salvatore Biagi) 

Flamboyant Salvatore Biagi remains the biggest part Daniel Schutzmann has played to date. 

He landed a recurring role in Neighbours from 2007 and appeared in two episodes of Coronation Street a year later.

Daniel went on to star in 50 episodes of Doctors – the majority as Dr. Franc Christophe after a cameo as Carl Kelly in 2000.

Chad Shepherd (Ron Bateman)

Unlike many of his co-stars, Chad had a run in Casualty before landing a slot on Footballers' Wives and had also been in The Bill.

Afterwards, he went onto land small roles including on EastEnders and David Bowie's episode of Extras.

His last known TV appearance was on Blue Murder in 2009.

Laila Rouass (Amber Gates)

In Footballers' Wives, she played Bollywood actress Amber Gates and since then Laila has gone onto make a number of TV appearances.

Laila followed fellow cast members onto Hollyoaks, Casualty and has appeared on Holby City for 10 years as Shameem Shah.

She also had breakout roles in Primeval, Spooks and The Sarah Jane Adventures – a spin-off of Doctor Who.

In the 2009 edition of Strictly Come Dancing, she was partnered with Anton du Beke and came in fourth place.

Laila has been engaged to snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan for eight years. He proposed one year after meeting her in 2012.

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