And just before her soap debut, HuffPost UK and other reporters caught up with Nicola, getting an insight into how her character’s grand entrance will affect Phelan (while also asking a lot of questions about the fact she lives on a boat).
So ahead of her arrival in Weatherfield, get to know Nicola a little better below…
Nicola’s from Blackpool
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? The actress was born and raised in the seaside town, where her parents run a rock factory. Yeah, an actual rock factory.
She’s a big ‘Corrie’ fan
“Two months ago, I was watching ‘Corrie’ with my family shouting at Phelan,” she said. “We have a saying in our house, ‘Sit down and shut up, it’s on.’ No matter what it is, zip it, [watch] ‘Corrie’, wait for the break, carry on the discussion, then ‘Corrie’ again.
“I’ve watched it since I was a kid.”
You might recognise Nicola from her campaigning
The actress hit headlines last year when she started a petition calling for a change to dress code rules, after being fired from a temporary job for not wearing heels. The high-profile campaign led to appearances on shows including ‘This Morning’ and it’s something she’s clearly (rightly) proud of.
“That experience was the best experience in terms of gaining confidence and being self-assured in what I’m doing,” Nicola said.
She now lives on a boat
A canal boat to be precise. “I’ve been obsessed with boats and canals for years I’d always wanted to do it,” Nicola said. “At the moment I have to move it every two weeks, it’s so fun I love it.”
Is this the coolest thing ever? Yes, probably.
One of her all-time favourite characters was Tina McIntyre
Nicola explained: “She was tough and I identified with her.
“She struggled with being labelled as promiscuous, whereas the men would be doing the same. I love watching working class women on TV.
“I never connected with certain dramas on telly, only ‘Corrie’, where you saw things from a woman’s point of view, rather than about her relationship with a man.”
Here’s how she describes her character in three words…
“Warm, very caring but fierce.
Fierce like her dad, a few moments where that comes out and that worries her. I haven’t hit anyone on the head with a laptop yet.”
Catch up on all the latest soap news and spoilers here.