This is an unofficial biography of Nicola Walker which has been put together using mostly information available from interviews (print and DVD commentaries) which Nicola has done through the years.
Name : Nicola Walker
Born : April 1970, in Stepney, East London, England
Height : 5’3″ to 5’4″
Colour of eyes : Blue grey
Colour of hair : Brown
Siblings : One older brother
Schools attended :
The Forest School (years attended unknown but Nicola is listed as an alumni on the school’s website)
New College (now known as Murray Edwards College), Cambridge University, where she read English.
Marital status: Married, to actor Barnaby Kay and together, they have one son named Harry. For more information on Barnaby Kay (his bio, current and past work etc.), visit his IMDb page.
As for how Nicola met her husband, check out this Fun Fact. And yes, Nicola’s son is named after the Spooks character, Harry Pearce. Nicola talks about this in the 2010 Ian Wylie interview. On this Page is a scan of an article in which Barnaby talks about how he and Nicola manage their schedules as busy actors.
For more pics of Nicola with Barnaby on the red carpet at the 2013 Olivier Awards, go to this Page.
The Story so far
Drama School :
Nicola : I only started acting classes at the age of 12 in order to meet boys. Before that I was convinced I was going to be a prima ballerina, but I was untalented, had no grace and kept talking. At least in drama you can talk with some reason. I started acting at my local youth theatre and did not go to Drama School. Whilst my parents had always been 100 per cent behind me in my choice of a future career, they sensibly insisted that I went to university first before I took up acting.
It was whilst Nicola attended Cambridge that she joined the University’s famous comedy club, Footlights. Many of those involved with Footlights over the years have gone on to famous careers in the entertainment industry. These include Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, to name just a few. At university, Sue Perkins was her college “mother” and is now one of her best friends. “Not only did she abandon me on my first day but she borrowed my bike and it got nicked. But then that’s the way the relationship has been ever since,” she says. Sue offered to buy Nicola a drink in the Footlights club room to say sorry. “I don’t think I ever tried out; I just hung around until someone took pity and gave me a line.”
Nicola held the office of “Falconer” in the Footlights in the 1990-1991 academic year. (Sue held the same post in the 1989-1990 academic year. In the following year, Sue became president of the Footlights.) Its an office which was made up because the club was based in Falcon Yard on the university campus.
[The Falconer’s] the person who picks up all the empty cans and overflowing ashtrays at the end of a smoker session where people have got up and done really interesting sketches that they’re working on. I wasn’t a writer/performer and never have been.
Radio Times, 29 September 2015
After University, Nicola shared a flat in London with Sue Perkins, Sarah Phelps and Emma Kennedy. All of these ladies are now highly respected presenters and comedy writers in Britain. Another one of Nicola’s contemporaries at Cambridge was David Wolstencroft, one of the creators of Spooks.
In fact, Nicola did have a place in RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, one of the most prestigious drama schools in the UK and not at all easy to get into) where she might have gone after she finished university. However, by then, she had acquired an agent who advised her to go to RADA only if she could not get work for six months. She did find employment, such as a small role in Four Weddings and a Funeral and a Howard Barker play, and decided against going to drama school.
Entry into the acting profession :
Nicola : After I left university, I did a lot of stuff on the London Fringe and at the Edinburgh Festival. An agent spotted me at a small theatre in London’s Camden and offered to represent me. We’d been doing this show in a tiny 60-seater theatre and there were about 12 people watching the show that night, then a woman approached me who said she’d like to take me on. It was nothing short of a miracle – I hate the idea of selling myself because I find it all a bit embarrassing. I prefer to hide behind a character.
First screen acting job :
In 1992, Nicola was employed for two weeks in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Nicola : [That job] gave me a completely deluded sense of what the acting profession was going to be like. [I was] sharing caravans with Kristen Scott Thomas and hanging out with Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant. And I thought, well this acting lark is easy, I don’t know what people are talking about. And of course after that job, I probably spent a year out of work, and desperately trying to get a theatre job.