(Click on each image to see a larger pic.)
I’ve discovered that Nicola is like alcohol.
Both of them bring moments of smiles and laughter… then both make you wake up the next morning, slightly light-headed thinking “… oh god, what happened? What did I SAY?”.
With this analogy/metaphor in mind, here is report of what happened when my friends and I went to the red carpet on Olivier Awards night.
We arrived at the red carpet, brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed than a bunch of squirrels, and proceeded to stake out our spot with some wonderful signs designed by Liga. A roll of sell tape later, we were all set and ready to squint, point and mutter “is that her? … No, can’t be, she won’t be wearing a top hat”.
Fortunately, our wait was a short one and we spotted her at the beginning of the red carpet with her husband, Barnaby Kay and her agent, Rebecca Blond (as we found out later). A lot of the guests were being moved along rather quickly and Nicola was no exception. However, as she turned around and spotted our signs (then us) she pointed and made her way over, Barnaby and Ms Blond in tow.
Nicola first pointed out the signs as she came over and said “you girls are f*****g amazing”. She then noticed the t-shirts that bore the same design and her smile widened as she said excitedly, “I want a t-shirt!” She seemed really enthused by the show of support and definitely loved the t-shirts as she pointed again at them saying how amazing they were and how amazing it was SHE was on an item of clothing.
The next moment took me by surprise as she leaned over the barriers and gave us each a hug and a kiss on the cheek. We got a few looks from the people around us and I like to think it was more “wow, what a kind and considerate actress greeting them like that” than “who the hell is that and why is it not Helen Mirren?”.We then decided to present Nicola with a wristband which Lucy had custom-made for the occasion. On one side, it read “Super Good Day” with a smiley face (a reference to the play) and on the other side it read “Curious Incident at the Oliviers”. The band was red, another nod to the fabulous play.
Usually the wrist-bands go down well and that evening was no exception. She put it on straight away, commenting that it was great as she had no jewellery. She then turned around to show Barnaby, who looked suitably impressed as he read it. While this was going on, Ms Blond came over and told us that she really loved the signs.
During this time, Damian Lewis also made an appearance on the red carpet, with his wife, Helen McCrory. Damiam greeted Nicola warmly and congratulated her on her nomination. It was really lovely to see. At this point, the actors and actresses were being prodded along forcefully and Nicola had to go. She said “you guys are amazing, you are amazing. I love you all” before she was swept away up the red carpet with Barnaby and lost in a sea of nominees.
[Ed’s Note : Helen McCrory was also nominated in Nicola’s Supporting Actress category. In fact, she was appearing on stage at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre, in The Last of Hausman, at the same time as Nicola was appearing in the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the National Theatre’s Cottesloe Theatre.]
We left the red carpet after all the guests had gone in and made our way slowly over to the big screen in the Covent Garden Market area. We met up with Kate’s husband, who was very lovely, and had a can of beer (because we’re classy) while we wandered there. At the exact moment we got there, Rupert Penry-Jones took to the stage to present the Best Supporting Actress award. Talk about timing! We gave an extra big cheer as Nicola’s name came up. We got quite a few surprised looks from the rest of the audience. It’s like they’ve never seen a Nicola fan before! The camera then cut to the nominees… and well done to ITV for showing the wrong person in Nicola’s place. Fortunately just before the winner was announced, the cameraperson realized and shifted slightly to the left and there she was.
And the winner is …. NICOLA WALKER!!
Cue screams, hollers, whistles, clapping and high-fives from the whole audience! … just kidding, it was just us 7 celebrating over-zealously. The live screening was brilliant and the atmosphere surrounding these awards was absolutely incredible. We all watched as Nicola walked on stage and gave her speech, the start of which (where she swore) brought a bit of laughter to the audience outside. After a few muttered “oh no, I hope she doesn’t cry” moments, her speech was at an end and we celebrated some more. Great speech, Nicola!
At that time, after some celebration, Kate and Wendy had to leave us, which was very sad. Our group became smaller. So what to do now? Well, we decided to celebrate in style by walking to The Strand and plastering the ‘Nicola Walker for the Win’ posters on anything we could find: phone boxes (a hairdresser opposite found it particularly funny), statues of Olivier (pffft removed already) and, of course, one of the benches outside The National Theatre itself (still going strong). Throughout this journey we did holler and cheer at random intervals.
Unfortunately we then had to say goodbye to Ruth, another loss to the group.
We then decided to head back to Covent Garden to catch the last of the awards on the big screen and just relax with a hot drink and some weird cookie mountain dessert. After this, we decided it might be time to head back to the Opera House.
There was a crowd outside, kept apart by some barriers but we stood across the road in the hopes that we hadn’t missed Nicola leaving. We saw Marianne Elliott walk past, followed by Luke Treadaway and we started to doubt … perhaps she had already left? Then, just as Lucy and Liga were crossing the road to ask – we spotted Nicola.
The evening had turned bloody cold by now and clearly, Nicola was freezing in that lovely silk and lace dress she was wearing. Thank goodness chivalry is alive and well in the form of Barnaby Kay. When Nicola came out of the Opera House, we can see that she was wearing Barnaby’s suit jacket. As she left the doors she was surrounded by plenty of people asking for photos and autographs. This made us laugh as a few hours earlier, no-one on the red carpet seemed to know her well enough to call her name for photo ops. She looked our way as she signed autographs and raised her eyebrows at the influx of people around her, as if to say, “where have all these people come from?” It was funny to watch!
Eventually she came over to us with a beaming smile and once again gave us all a hug and kiss on the cheek. We congratulated her on her win and she thanked us. While Lucy and Liga were talking to Barnaby, who pointed once more at the shirts and said “you called it! You totally called it!”, Nicola said “Did you see I was wearing the wristband?”. Oh yes, Nicola, we saw!
We then asked for a group photo and Barnaby stepped forward and offered to take it. He stopped suddenly and said “Hang on, Nicola, have one with your award”, then pulled the Olivier Award out of one of her bags. We had our epic group photo courtesy of Barnaby Kay! As Nicola was asked for photos by other fans, Barnaby once more played the photographer, with Nicola telling one fan, “that’s my husband” after they asked him to take the photo for them.
Nicola came back to us and thanked us once more before walking off down the road with Barnaby and her agent, Ms Blond.
I will just sum up that day with a word: EPIC.
Please Note :
This website owns the copyright for this version of the report. If you wish to repost the whole or any part of this report elsewhere, please Email Us for permission. Alternatively, you may contact the fans involved and ask them to provide you with a differently worded version of these events.
Back to Close Encounters : Main page