Tanya Franks

Tanya Franks
Born Tanya Franks
Occupation Actress, writer, producer
Years active 1986present
Website tanyafranks.com

Tanya Franks is an English actress, writer and producer, who is most known for starring roles on television in Family Affairs, The Bill, Pulling, as Rainie Cross in EastEnders, and Lucy Stevens in Broadchurch. Franks is also the founder of Stock-pot Productions, a film and theatre production company. She returned to EastEnders in 2011 as a regular, but later departed and made a surprise return to the show in 2014.


Franks worked for 14 years in theatre both in the UK and abroad. Her roles included the title role in "Tess" [1] at The Kings Head Theatre in London in 1989 which was Time Out's Critics Choice, and Sylv[2] in Steven Berkoff's 25th Anniversary production of "East" at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End and on tour. Tanya then rose to prominence when her TV career began in 2000, after being cast in the Channel 5 soap opera Family Affairs as Karen Ellis.[3] Franks continued in the soap opera for three years, with storylines including a cancer scare, infertility, surrogacy, and a child custody battle, before leaving the series in 2003. In 2004, Franks was cast as DI Rowanne Morell in the long-running ITV1 police serial-drama The Bill.[4] Franks stayed with the serial for over a year, with her character investigating various murders of police officers and police corruption.

In 2005, Franks appeared as a guest lead in an episode of the BBC1 medical serial-drama Holby City [5] and in 2006, Franks appeared in an episode of the BBC1 drama series Doctors.[6]

In 2006, Franks starred opposite Sharon Horgan and Rebekah Staton in the BBC Three comedy series Pulling.[7] Franks was cast as Karen, a promiscuous, raunchy, aggressive primary school teacher, who drinks heavily and is not suited to her job, for which she was nominated at The British Comedy Awards in 2009. The sitcom ran for two series and a special feature episode, and gained a BAFTA nomination for best comedy series and won The South Bank Show award for Best Comedy.

In July 2007, it was announced that Franks would play the role of Tanya Branning's sister, Rainie Cross in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders for a week-long stint from 2 August 2007. Franks returned to EastEnders as Rainie in January 2008,[8] and again in August 2010.[9] She returned again in April 2011, before departing once more later that year. She made a surprise return to the show on 16 June 2014.[10]

In 2008, Franks starred as Sandra Farrell in the BBC Two mocumentary The Cup.[11] In 2009, Franks appeared in an episode of the E4 teen drama Skins.[6] In 2010, she appeared in an episode of the BBC1 time-travelling drama Ashes to Ashes.[12] From September 2010 to August 2011, Franks starred as a series regular in the CBBC comedy serial Hotel Trubble. Franks also appears in Episode 7, Series 9 of New Tricks as literary agent Roxanne Guthrie. In 2013 she was a guest lead in an episode of "Pramface" as Fiona.[13] Tanya plays Richard Burton's wife, Sybil, in the 2012 made-for-television film Liz & Dick.[14] In 2013 Tanya played Lucy Stevens, sister to DC Ellie Miller played by Olivia Colman, in the award winning series Broadchurch. She also played Mandy in the E4 sitcom Chewing Gum in 2015 and earlier in 2016 she played Carol in the new hit BBC comedy series Mum.

In addition to her television work, Franks has also appeared in further theatre roles, including leading roles at the Royal National Theatre in "Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads" by Roy Williams in 2004, "The Black Album" by Hanif Kureishi in 2009, and in the premier run of Really Old, Like Forty Five in 2010.[15] In 2013 she toured as Irene Adler in the new mystery "Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret",[16] and played the title role in Bertolt Brecht's "The Good Person of Sichuan" at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester.[17] Early 2015 saw Tanya return to the stage in "Contact.Com" at The Park Theatre.[18] In 2016 Tanya co-starred at The Menier Chocolate Factory in The Truth written by Florian Zeller and adapted by Oscar winning playwright Christopher Hampton. Following it's sell-out run the production transferred to the Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End.[19]

Tanya's film career includes "The Magnificent Eleven", [20] "We Still Steal The Old Way",[21] and "Aux",[22] The last two are soon to be released.

Franks founded Stock-pot Productions in 1993. Theatre credits included "Scenes of Shaw" at London's Theatre Museum starring Les Dennis and the late Paul Eddington; "Deckchairs" at London's Kings Head Theatre in which Tanya also co-starred. Co-productions included the national tour of "You Don't Kiss" and "All Fall Away" which the Guardian named Pick of the Week with Tanya playing the lead role at the Latchmere Theatre (now Theatre 503).[23] The company has made three short films, the last of which Franks wrote, produced, and starred in, entitled One Day. It was officially selected at several national and international film festivals and was Kodak best short film finalist. In addition to Franks, the film starred Tim McInnerny as well as Toby Stephens in a small part.[24]


  1. Archived 7 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Tanya Franks on Twitter: "1999/00 I was Sylv in Steven Berkoff's 25th anniversary run of EAST. And yesterday's catch up. Pic @jamesbarriscale http://t.co/O2UhQawoWE"
  3. "Family Affairs". IMDb. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  4. "Tanya Franks". IMDb. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  5. "Holby City" Live and Let Die (TV Episode 2005) - IMDb
  6. 1 2 Tanya Franks - IMDb
  7. BBC Three - Pulling, Special
  8. BBC Programme Information, Network TV Week 2, Tuesday 8 January 2008 accessed 7 December 2007
  9. Green, Kris (27 July 2010). "Phil hits Peggy across the face". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  10. "EastEnders: Rainie returns...". Tanya Franks.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  11. BBC Two - The Cup, Episode 1
  12. BBC - Press Office - Network TV Programme Information BBC Week 13 Unplaced
  13. Pramface (Aaargh) on BBC3, Sun 16 Aug 3:00am - Your UK TV Listings at TVGuide.co.uk
  14. Bull, Sarah (4 July 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: First picture of ex EastEnders star Tanya Franks as she gets her Hollywood break alongside Lindsay Lohan in Liz & Dick". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  15. Tanya Franks | National Theatre | South Bank, London
  16. Sherlock Holmes - The Best Kept Secret (Leeds) - WhatsOnStage.com
  17. The Good Person of Sichuan at The Mercury Theatre
  18. Make a date with these racy couples: PATRICK MARMION reviews Contact.com | Daily Mail Online
  19. Stock-pot Productions (UK) Stock-pot Films (US)
  20. Stock-pot Productions LLC, Blog

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