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London Evening Standard article

In a short article titled, “Up-and-Coming Character Actors to Watch”, published on 5 April 2011, the London Evening Standard rounded up a list of 5 character actors/actresses which they have labelled as “up-and-coming” and “to watch”. For the convenience of Nicola fans, we quote below what the paper had to say about Nicola :

Nicola Walker
Walker, 40, best known for her long-running role as Ruth in the BBC’s Spooks, has a wonderful knack of providing the quiet, beating heart of whatever drama she’s in. Ruth, the still centre of an office of MI5 mayhem, is a case in point, as is her recent turn as lovelorn Rachel in Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings at the National.

The other character actors covered in this article were :

Pip Carter
Bryony Hannah
Anna Maxwell Martin
Russell Tovey

Nicola last shared the stage with Pip Carter in Gethsemane (2008-2009). Nicola recently worked with Russell Tovey in Being Human (episode titled The Longest Day). Although Anna Maxwell Martin has not yet worked with Nicola, she does have a (somewhat tenuous) connection with Nicola in that Anna was recently seen on TV as the female lead in South Riding, a TV mini series in which Peter Firth also had a small but important role. Certain fans have expressed the view that Anna’s role in South Riding should have or could have been done by Nicola. This is no more than these fans’ hope for a perpetuation of the “Ruth and Harry” characters from Spooks, which is not only an unnecessary pigeonholing of Nicola’s enormous talents but also dismissive of the skills of Anna Maxwell Martin, an equally capable actress in her own right.

Anna Maxwell Martin is often mistaken for Nicola. Some fans think that the two of them must be somehow related. They are not. Please see our comments on this subject in this Fun Fact.

We are not sure whether Nicola should be labelled as “up-and-coming”, given that she has had lead roles on TV, comedy (Chalk) and drama (Touching Evil), in the past. But on the grounds that any publicity is good publicity, we still want to thank the London Evening Standard for including Nicola in this list! 😀

Update : 7 April 2011

We have received a number of requests from fans of the other actors named in this list, so for everyone’s convenience, we will quote below what was said in the article about these other actors :

Pip Carter

Quietly making a name for himself as a recurrent cast member of headline National Theatre productions (Never So Good, David Hare’s Gethsemane), Carter, 26, recently provided the perfect foil to Matt Smith’s flamboyant Christopher Isherwood as a wryly world-weary yet quietly smitten WH Auden in the BBC’s Christopher and His Kind.

Bryony Hannah

Many would contest that it is the diminutive Hannah who is the real star of current stage hit The Children’s House, rather than headline names Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss. Her scheming schoolgirl Mary is another of the compelling children that 27-year-old Hannah has become known for, after notable work at the National in Earthquakes in London and War Horse.

Anna Maxwell Martin

Her angular beauty might not quite fit the Hollywood mould, but Maxwell Martin, 32, has surprised and delighted with her professional choices ever since her BAFTA-winning work in the BBC’s Bleak House (2005). Her turn as a progressive headmistress in the recent television adaptation of South Riding showcased her at her passionate, questing best.

Russell Tovey

The personable Tovey, 29, first garnered public attention and affection as sports-mad Rudge, one of Alan Bennett’s iconic original History Boys, a role he played at the National, on Broadway and on film. Now he’s wooing BBC3 audiences as flat-sharing werewolf George in the popular supernatural drama Being Human.


Nicola on Christmas

Towards the end of 2007 when Nicola was doing publicity for Oliver Twist (she played Sally), she gave an interview to Whats on TV where she talked about her views on Christmas. The video of this short interview used to be available on the Whats on TV website, but sadly they must have archived the video because the link is no longer live. So for the benefit of fans who are interested in Nicola’s views on Christmas, here is a transcript of that interview.

Interviewer (“Int”) : What are you planning this Christmas?

NW : Erm, I don’t know, cos I’m in that awful phase, that thing where you’re all rowing. I’m rowing with my husband, I’m rowing with my dad, his rowing with his brother, about where we go. That for me has now slightly become Christmas, where you row about where you’re driving, for how long, for what day. And its like having trumps, cards, where you sort of swap them. I’ll swap you Boxing Day for Christmas Day if you do the Christmas Eve. I don’t know where I’m going to be, but I know that I’ll probably be in a car, driving somewhere, for most of it.

Int : Who usually wins, these Christmas disputes?

NW : (Smiles) Me, yeah.

Int : So you know where you’re going to be?

NW : I do, secretly, (laughs), I know exactly where I’m going to be, on Christmas Day. (Nods) yep.

Int : And what do you particularly like or dislike about Christmas?

NW : I think I really like the build up to Christmas, that’s fantastic, putting the tree up is brilliant, and then everything from about 11 o’clock on Christmas morning, it starts going downhill for me. Then its all the law of diminishing returns after that, after you’ve opened the presents, its all downhill. But then you’ve also got New Year’s to look forward to, when one could get raucously drunk and embarrass oneself in front of one’s family.

Int : Or you could start getting drunk on Christmas Day …

NW : Well I’ll obviously, actually, be watching Oliver Twist, that’s what I’ll be doing.

(This was three years before Nicola knew that she was going to be in Season’s Greetings at the National in 2010!)

Update 12 December 2010

National Theatre/Season’s Greetings Cast Interview

The National Theatre has just put up a video of interview of the cast of Season’s Greetings, with their thoughts on Christmas. You can watch the video here, by clicking on “cast interview”. Nicola was interviewed together with Oliver Chris at the beginning of this video. In case the video is not available to non-UK IP addresses, or becomes unavailable, here is a transcript of that interview :

Oliver Chris : We eat turkey.
NW : We do that as well, I think we often do that.
OC : Do You?
NW : Do you listen to Phil Spector’s Greatest Christmas Hits?
OC : I love that, I love that, that is the best album.
NW : That is, isn’t it.
OC : I was going to give everyone that for first night presents, I won’t bother now.
NW : I think we are really traditional in my family. I don’t think we do anything strange. We adhere to all the …
OC : Do you argue?
NW : We do all the things you’re meant to do at Christmas.
OC : Argue, fight, watch telly
NW : Yeah, argue, fight, laugh, reminisce …
OC : Stuff your face until you can’t eat any more.
NW : Yeah …
OC : With a chocolate orange …
NW : Yep, we keep eating.

For more interviews with Nicola, go to Interviews.


Nicola Walker : Foodie!

Nicola was recently interviewed by the Financial Times for their Food & Drink Section. You can read the article, published on 26 November 2010, here.

As always, interesting and amusing tidbits (or should that be morsels?) of information. Nicola’s answers are refreshingly honest and down to earth. She sounds like a real person, compared to the rail thin actresses who only inhale air for sustenance!

Come on, writers and producers, Nicola is waaaayyyy over due for a lead role in a comedy! Ms. Catherine Tate, do you think you can help?

For more interviews with Nicola, go to Interviews.


The 2010 Ian Wylie Interview

Ian Wylie is one of the most respected journalists in the UK who writes about its entertainment industry. He is also a Spooks fan and has kept other Spooks fans highly entertained, in the past few years, with his interviews with members of the Spooks cast and his previews of forthcoming episodes of Spooks.

On 5th October 2010, Ian published an interview with Nicola which is a must-read for all Nicola Walker fans. Nicola has not done a lot of interviews in recent years. Of the interviews which she has given in the recent past, she spoke mostly about the characters she played and very little else about her private life. In the Ian Wylie interview, Nicola was very candid about her character in Spooks, Ruth Evershed, the reaction from fans she’s met and a little about her other projects, such as Being Human and Season’s Greetings.

You can access the interview HERE.

For more interviews with Nicola, go to Interviews.