How EastEnders star Diane Parish made the journey from Lovejoy to Albert Square

It’s been a pretty good career for Diane Parish, who has appeared in The Bill, Clocking Off and Babyfather, following an unforgettable early stint as singer Lola Christie in the BBC drama

Diane Parish has played Denise Fox in EastEnders since 2006.
Diane Parish has played Denise Fox in EastEnders since 2006.

Diane Parish has been a regular in Albert Square since appearing on EastEnders as Denise Fox in 2006.

The four-time married mother-of-three has endured a tough time in her long life, during which she enjoyed a one-night stand with Phil Mitchell, who survived a car crash bus and fell into poverty.

However, off-screen life proved to be pretty ‘normal’ if quite hectic for Diane, who first appeared on TV in 1998, playing singer Lola Christie, an experience she made would rather forget.

“I don’t sing, I’m not a singer and that’s horrible! Oh, it’s terrible,” she revealed on the TV show Secrets of The Square. “I remember Patsy Palmer came up to me at one point and she said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, it sounds great, don’t worry about it.

Diane Parish has played Denise Fox on EastEnders since 2006.


BBC / Jack Barnes / Kieron McCarron)

Diane Parish got engaged to Gerry Zucarello in 2018.



“I thought, ‘No, Patsy! The role is not for me. “

However, before returning to EastEnders regularly, Diane was known for her roles on shows like Lovejoy, Clocking Off and The Bill, where she played DC Eva Sharpe from 2002 to 2004.

And of course, it was mandatory to appear in Casualty, in 1997.

The Chelsea-born actress, 52, graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and got her start in theatre, before graduating from television in 1993, having her big break on Lovejoy, becoming become the protagonist’s new apprentice. following the passing of the famous but lackluster Eric Catchpole played by Chris Jury.

After appearing in the first two series of the television series Clocking Off, she then played Lesley Bailey in Babyfather, described as the ‘British version of Sex and the City’. She received the Royal Television Society’s best actress award in 2001, being the first black actress to win such an honor.

Then came The Bill, plus brief stints in Holby City, Homicide and Awakening Teams, before returning to EastEnders. And ironically, she ended up marrying Jack Branning on the show, played by Scott Maslen, Bill’s former co-star.

Diane Parish made her debut on EastEnders in 1998, as singer Lola Christie.


Mike Marsland / WireImage)

Now engaged to Gerry Zucarello, whom she met in 2017, Diane was previously married to IT expert Sebastian Parish, with whom she has two daughters, Kaya and Kenya. She was once asked if she would ever consider having more children in the future, but she told The Mirror: “No way! I closed the store.

“I’m done, I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I feel so lucky to have my lovely little daughters.”

Diane and Gerry, who she says is ‘the man of her dreams’, met through mutual friends and publicly announced their engagement in 2018, on Loose Women, although it didn’t appeared in the headlines until two years later. A source told OK! Magazine: “Diane and Gerry are really laughing about it.

“It’s nice to be congratulated, but they had all of that a few years ago when they were actually engaged. They were a bit confused at first by the sudden news it generated, but it’s the social network for you! ”

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