Laila Abdesselam Rouass
22 June 1971
Stepney, London, England
Strictly Come Dancing
The Sarah Jane Adventures
|Spouse(s)||Abselam Rouass (1990–2003)|
|Partner(s)||Nasir Khan (2005–2008)|
James Petrie (2010–2011)
Ronnie O'Sullivan (2012–)
Laila Abdesselam Rouass (born 22 June 1971) is a British actress. She is best known for her portrayals of Amber Gates in Footballers' Wives (2004–2006) and Sahira Shah in Holby City (2011–12). She has also starred in Primeval and Spooks and been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, in which she finished fourth.
Rouass was born in Stepney, London to a Moroccan father and an Indian mother.
Rouass worked as a VJ on Channel V in India in the 1990s. While on Channel V, she appeared in a music video for the band Colour Blind, directed by the then creative head of the channel, Shamin Desai.
After moving back to the UK, Rouass became famous for playing the role of Bollywood actress Amber Gates in the cult ITV1 series Footballers' Wives between 2004 and 2006 and, albeit briefly, on the ITV2 spin-off series Footballers' Wives: Extra Time. She also played recurring roles on the British soaps Family Affairs and Hollyoaks, as well as appearing in episodes of I Dream, Casualty and Meet the Magoons. She starred alongside Meera Syal in the television adaptation of Syal's novel, Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee.
In 2009 she appeared as Egyptologist Sarah Page in the third series of the ITV science-fiction series Primeval. She left the show when location of filming was changed to Dublin, for series four and five, saying it would be hard to continue participating as she was a single parent.
She played Maya Lahan, a regular character introduced in the ninth series of BBC One drama Spooks which broadcast from September 2010. She guest starred as the evil Colonel Karim in The Sarah Jane Adventures in October 2010. Rouass then joined the cast of the BBC medical drama Holby City, appearing from February 2011 as registrar Sahira Shah. She left Holby City on 17 April 2012, after just 14 months on the show, to take a break to spend time with her family. The door has been left open for her to return.
She is also currently one of the presenters of "The Channel 4 TV Book Club". 
Strictly Come Dancing
The pair made it to the last four before being voted off the show on 6 December 2009. She failed to show up for the final on 19 December 2009 to reprise her partnership with Anton Du Beke. The show's host, Bruce Forsyth, offered no reason for her absence although he did do so for the other missing celebrity, Phil Tufnell, who had influenza.
Rouass' first film was City of Dreams produced by Feroze Nadiawala, in which she starred opposite Lisa Ray and Saeed Jaffery. During the years that she was based in India, early in her career, she acted in some Indian films, Aditya Bhattacharya's Indo-Italian Senso unico (1999) and Dev Benegal's Split Wide Open (1999).
In 2000, Rouass starred in Jag Mhundra's controversial film, Bawandar (English title; The Sand Storm), about revenge rapes in Rajasthan, and she made her English-language film debut in 2002 with a small role in The Four Feathers opposite Heath Ledger.
Rouass also appeared in the independent British film Shoot on Sight (2007) opposite Brian Cox, Om Puri and Sadie Frost. In 2008, she appeared in two films, Freebird and the New Zealand funded Apron Strings.
In 1990, Rouass married Abdeslam Rouass in Tower Hamlets, London. They divorced in 2003. She went through a religious ceremony in 2005 with Nasir Khan, a businessman, however the two never legally married. In October 2006, Rouass saw a doctor regarding back pains only to find she was six months pregnant. She and Khan split briefly during the pregnancy and then reconciled. She gave birth to a daughter in February 2007. She and Khan separated again in 2008, after which Rouass raised her daughter by herself. In February 2013, she became engaged to professional snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan, with whom she had been in a relationship since early 2012.
Rouass is Muslim.
|1999||Split Wide Open||Nandita|
|2002||The Four Feathers||Maya|
|2007||Shoot on Sight||Ruby Kaur|
|2011||Conan the Barbarian||Fialla, Conan's Mother|
|2001||Family Affairs||Tanya Ayuba|
|2002||The Comedy Lab||1 episode: "Meet the Mangoons"|
|2002||Casualty||Mandy Kellaway||1 episode: "You're Going Home in the Back of an Ambulance"|
|2004||I Dream||Lollie Das||1 episode: "Toon in Love"|
|2004–2006||Footballers' Wives||Amber Gates|
|2005||Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee||Tania|
|2005||Footballers' Wive$: Extra Time||Amber Gates|
|2005||Meet the Mangoons||Anita||1 episode: "Stairway to Havan"|
|2006||Casualty||Gina Marshall||1 episode: "All Through the Night"|
|2009||Primeval||Sarah Page||Main cast, season 3|
|2010||The Sarah Jane Adventures||Colonel Tia Karim||2 episodes: "Death of the Doctor" (Part 1 and 2)|
|2011–2012||Holby City||Sahira Shah||Main cast|
|2011||Sadie J||Maddy||1 episode: "Robobootylicious"|
|2014||Midsomer Murders||Stephanie King||1 episode - "The Flying Club"|
|2015||The Royals||Deputy Prime Minister Rani|
|2016||The Lodge||Olivia||4 Episodes|
- "Rouass fibbed about her age and faked marriage to millionaire". News of the World. News Group Newspapers. 26 September 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Alex Tate; Steven Smith (22 February 2004). "Star Chat: I'm really a good girl!; Footballers' Wives star Laila Rouass, 28, might play a swinging schemer, but in real life the finishing schooled actress says she's sweet and innocent". The People.
- "The Language of Fashion". Outlook. India: The Outlook Group. 19 June 1996. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Joshi, Namrata (24 April 2000). "Givin' It A Good Shot". Outlook. India: The Outlook Group. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Hollyoaks – Laila Rouass". Channel 4. 7 March 2003. Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (12 May 2010). "Laila Rouass explains 'Primeval' exit". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Walker, Tim (10 March 2010). "Footballers' Wives star Laila Rouass films life of terrorist Leila Khaled". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Wightman, Catriona (16 September 2010). "'Spooks' – Meet The Newbies: Laila Rouass". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
- "The Sarah Jane Adventures – Death of the Doctor". BBC. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (7 November 2010). "Laila Rouass joins 'Holby City'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- The TV Book Club – Presenters – Laila Rouass – Channel 4
- Conlan, Tara (5 October 2009). "Strictly Come Dancing: BBC receives scores of complaints over racist remark". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Sehgal, Nutan (23 August 2001). "Wisecracking their way to Bollywood". The Tribune. Chandigarh, India: The Tribune Trust. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Sandstorm". Film.com. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Marks, Loma-Ann (16 July 2008). "Laila Rouass". Open. Open Magazine Ltd. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Hunt Feast shooting in Syria with Iraq theme". FilmFestivals.com. 2004. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Suniel Shetty's films incl. new projects – in chronological order". kabir-bedi.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Laila Rouass". Channel 4. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Cummins, Fiona (11 February 2004). "My Secret Sexless Marriage; Footballers' Wives Sensation". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- McGowan, Eve (13 May 2007). "Westlife's Kian says I do to barn; Hothouse". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Dorrian, Gareth (7 September 2008). "TV Laila boots out cheating hubby". The People. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- "Snooker star Ronnie rockets to happiness after proposing to Laila Rouass". Hello. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Strictly Come Dancing and Holby City's Laila Rouass caught up in Barcelona attack – BBC Newsbeat". BBC Newsbeat. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- @lailarouass (10 May 2019). "Another thing..I'm a Muslim. I have and continue to visit (with my 12 year old daughter) churches, synagogues, Gudwaras, Buddhist temples, mosques etc. Here's a pic of my daughter and I in church a few weeks ago" (Tweet) – via Twitter.