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SOUL SEARCHING: ZOE LUCKER

When I was seven ...

I loved going to Brownies, Sunday school and having piano lessons. I liked to visit the little old ladies up the road for a cup of tea and a chat.

The first time my heart was broken ...

I was 16 and had been going out with the guy for a couple of years. It was a terrible relationship and I was devastated at the time. Looking back now I think: "How could I let myself be in that situation?" but it's all part of life's learning experience.

The wisest thing my grandmother told me ...

My Nana Kitty always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. She passed away when I was 12. She was a brilliant artist and won a scholarship, but her father thought it wasn't particularly appropriate and she should get a proper job instead. She never got to do what she really wanted to do and I think for the rest of her life felt quite frustrated creatively. We had a strong bond.

The biggest adversity I have overcome ...

Doing the scene on the plane in Footballers' Wives [in which Lucker's character Tanya joined the Mile High Club]. I didn't realise how much attention it was going to generate. The public reaction was quite a shock.

My motto for life ...

To not panic about things. I don't always achieve that, but I try to tell myself to live in the moment and take everything a step at a time.

My soul mate is ...

My partner Jim. We have been together almost six years now. He is brilliant and I adore everything about him. He understands me completely and doesn't ever judge me. I can't imagine my life without him.

Not many people know that ...

I'm good at baking cakes. My speciality is Victoria sponge and I make one whenever my parents come to visit. My dad goes to a lot of coffee shops and always tries the Victoria sponge to see if it comes close to mine – he says he hasn't tasted one yet that has.

The most inspiring book I've read was ...

The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard C Cutler. I read it at a time of my life where I felt alone and needed a bit of guidance. It inspired me to be positive and re-train myself to be happy.

I believe the secret to a strong relationship is ...

Trust, respect, love, friendship, communication and honesty.

Something I wish I'd done earlier ...

Stopped smoking. Or not even started smoking in the first place. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Lily I stopped completely, that was a no-brainer. But then, when she was three or four months old – Jim was working away, Lily had gone to bed – I was sitting on my own one evening, stupidly had a cigarette and it was as simple as that to start smoking again.

My all-time favourite YouTube clip ...

I don't do YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or anything of those things. I'm completely Victorian. Someone sent me a mash-up of "bubbly's in the fridge", a scene I did in EastEnders when my character Vanessa had a melt-down. That's the only one I've seen.

My childhood hero was ...

I loved George Michael and Simon Le Bon as I was of that era. Joan Collins too – I used to sneak in and watch Dynasty. I only really started finding my heroes once I left school: Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.

The place I most like to call home ...

Where I live now in Surrey. I'm happy here.

Zoe Lucker stars in Waterloo Road, which returns tonight, BBC One Scotland, 8pm

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