Ruth’s Report, from Manchester

Posted by Ruth (@theOofOof) on 18 February 2013

click to see a larger pic

click to see a larger pic

So … I met Nicola Walker again today.

They’ve been filming the new series of Scott and Bailey in my town (Manchester) for some time now and today, I could see that the crew has set up filming equipment and parked trailers at a local park, Whitefield Park, which is about 10 minutes from where I live. That means I can probably expect some outdoor scenes from Nicola and the rest of the cast. I went down at lunchtime but a very helpful security guard said Nicola wasn’t there yet (she was rehearsing at Granada Studios) but if I came back about 5 o’clock I’d probably be able to see her then.

I saw Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones before I left – they were coming out of make-up. But there didn’t seem to be much else happening so I left. Well, that was my afternoon out of the window – too busy fangirling to do any work!

I went back at 5 pm as I’d been told. When I arrived Nicola was in make up but they said she’d only be a couple of minutes so I could hang around. A few minutes later she appeared. She greeted me with a big hello and a hug and looked as if she vaguely remembered me, but wasn’t sure where from.

“I’d met you at the National, back in October 2012. I was with my friend with the sore finger!” (see the previous Ruth’s Report.) And it suddenly clicked.

“Oh you were with ‘sore finger friend’!” Then she laughed and said, “it’s so hard to keep track sometimes especially when people have been in a group and then come again on their own. Most people don’t tend to come on their own; they usually dragged someone else along. How did you know we were filming here?”

“I live just 10 minutes up the road.”

“How weird that we’ve ended up practically on your doorstep!”

“At the National, you told us that she’d be up here so I’ve been keeping an eye out,” I reminded her.

“Everything I seem to be doing is up in Manchester at the moment because we’d be back in June to film the next series of Last Tango in Halifax. Maybe I should rent a flat in Manchester, near Piccadilly station, since I’m here that much.”

I was tempted to offer her my spare room but thought that would come across as rather strange.

“I really liked the first series of Last Tango in Halifax,” I told Nicola.

She was pleased and said, “we’ve got the same director back from the first series so I’m looking forward to that.”

We then chatted a bit about Heading Out. “It was so much fun to do,” Nicola said, “we all love it but I don’t know how it’s going to go down with viewers.”

“I’m sure it would be great.”

“I’d recently had coffee with Luke Treadaway and they’re about to restart Curious Incident in the West End. It would be strange to see someone else play Christopher’s Mum. There is talk about the play going to New York for a run too.”

“Its a shame that you have other commitments and won’t be able to join in the West End run.”

“Well, I can’t complain really.”

Then to Scott and Bailey. “All the cast and crew are lovely but its a completely different job to anything I’d ever done,” Nicola told me. “Its not very glamorous at all.” She pointed to what she was wearing (blue knitted jumper, skinny jeans and boots) and said. “this is my costume”. She then pointed at her face, “and this is my make-up – which is actually no make-up at all.”

Lesley Sharp walked past at this point and smiled at me but didn’t say anything.

“Would it be okay to have a photo,” I asked Nicola.

“Of course, of course!” The security guard took our photo and he was feeling the pressure. “It’s an awful job (taking pictures),” Nicola said, “I’d always do it a few times because I get worried in-case I mess it up.”

Nicola then had to go because she was needed for filming, but she gave me another hug goodbye. I must have said “thank you” like ten times and she said, “You’re welcome!”

Unfortunately I couldn’t hang around to try and spot any filming as I needed to get home. Nicola’s so lovely – she always has time for people and she’s so kind.

This has made my half term – and it’s only Monday!

Editor’s Note – 26 May 2013

When we first received this report and Ruth’s pic with Nicola, we were a little worried about Nicola because she appeared worse for wear in the pic – puffy face, swollen eyes etc. Now, having watched all of Scott & Bailey Series 3, we know why. Given what Nicola told Ruth about the “costume” she was wearing at the time, it is highly possible that Nicola was filming episode 8 at the time. If you’ve watched episode 8, you will know that its a highly emotional episode and that Nicola gave a breathtaking performance. What a true professional she is, our Nicola! In between all that emoting and crying in front of the cameras, she still found the time and inclination to greet a fan and give a big smile for a fan pic! A lot of other actors and actresses in a similar situation would probably not be willing to break or step out of character just greet a fan.


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