Judith Jacob (born 13 December 1961) is a British actress best known for her role as the health visitor Carmel Roberts in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, a role she played from 1986 to 1989. During her period in Albert Square, her character suffered from severe marital abuse and her husband's attempted murder and eventual separation.
Jacob attended London's Anna Scher Theatre. Two of her classmates were also future EastEnders actors, Susan Tully (who played Michelle Fowler) and Phil Daniels (as Kevin Wicks). Before landing her role on EastEnders, Jacob was a co-founder of the Black Theatre Co-op (BTC), a London theatre group of black actresses.
Jacob's first appearance on British television was in the BBC series Play for Today (1976). Before her role in EastEnders, she had been a regular cast member in the hospital drama Angels (1979–81) and the sitcom No Problem! (1983–85). Her other television credits include roles in the comedy sketch-show The Real McCoy (1991); The Queen's Nose (1995); Holby City (2003); Doctors (2003); and My Family (2004).
She featured as a prison guard in the 2006 drama Provoked (2006), which told the true story of a Punjabi woman named Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who left India to marry a London-based man, only to be badly abused, subsequently ending up in prison for murdering her abusive husband.
In May–June 2009, Jacob hosted Judith Jacob Yabba Yabbas with Friends in the Marie Lloyd Bar at the Hackney Empire, interviewing performing friends "to find out what makes them tick". The singers, actors and comedians participating included Felix Dexter, Janet Kay, Curtis Walker, Wayne Marshall, Victor Romero Evans, Tameka Empson and Noel McKoy.
Jacob's daughter Aisha worked with her mother on EastEnders during her time on the series in the 1980s, playing her young niece Aisha Roberts. She followed her mother's career path by also becoming an actress, and is now known as Aisha Jacob Williams.
- Larry Jaffee, "Judith Jacob Looks Back on Carmel", Walford Gazette interview with Judith Jacob Archived 2011-05-18 at the Wayback Machine, Spring 2006.
- Abram, Nicola, ed. (2020). "Theatre of Black Women". Black British Women's Theatre. Black British Women's Theatre: Intersectionality, Archives, Aesthetics. Cham: Springer International Publishing. pp. 23–84. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-51459-4_2. ISBN 978-3-030-51459-4. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
- "What's On", Hackney Empire.
- "Judith Jacob Interview", YouTube
- Judith Jacob at IMDb
- Larry Jaffee, "Judith Jacob Looks Back on Carmel", Walford Gazette, Issue 53, Spring 2006
- Amarsh Productions, "Beating The Odds - Judith Jacob Part 1", YouTube