Nicola Walker is a British TV, film, theater and voice actress, who has starred in various TV series including “Spooks” and “Unforgotten.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Nicola Jane Walker hails from Stepney, London, and was born under the Taurus zodiac sign on 15 May 1970, which makes her 53 years old as of 2023. She hasn’t disclosed the names of her parents, but it’s reported that her father worked at a scrap metal factory. She has an older brother whose name is also unknown.
Walker began her education at Saint Nicholas School, which is situated in Old Harlow, Essex. Encouraged by her mother, Nicola enrolled in acting classes at the age of 12. She later attended the Walthamstow-based Forest School before enrolling at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge – founded as New Hall, Cambridge – where she majored in English. Nicola met the English actress, comedienne, and former co-host of “The Great Britain Bake Off,” Sue Perkins, whom she considered her ‘college mother’ there. She was introduced to the school’s theatrical club, the Cambridge Footlights, by Perkins. Walker was schoolmates with the “Spooks” scriptwriter, David Wolstencroft, at New Hall. While in college, Walker performed with the Oscar Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz, who’s the wife of the acclaimed English actor, Daniel Craig.
Facts and Hobbies
Nicola has confessed that the main reason she ventured into acting as a teenager was to meet and socialize with boys. She previously told MASTERPIECE Studio Podcast, ‘I was 13 and went to an all-girls school… I tried one ballet class and got thrown out because I kept talking and they kept saying I should be talking with my body, not with my mouth. They told me there were drama classes upstairs, so I thought I’d be more suited to that.’
The “Spooks” starlet is also a talented singer, and has demonstrated abilities in several projects including “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Unforgotten,” and “River.”
After her graduation, Walker was offered a place at the London-based Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, but declined because she had already secured an agent and had begun her acting career. During the early stages of her career, the actress shared a flat with Sue Perkins, Emma Kennedy and Sarah Phelps and acted at the London Festival Fringe and Edinburg Festival.
After making her TV debut as Carol in an episode of the British police comedy-drama “Pie in the Sky” in 1997, Walker was cast for the recurring role of Suzy Travis in 12 episodes of the British TV sitcom “Chalk.” Her next notable appearances were in the drama “Touching Evil,” and the post-apocalyptic drama “The Last Train.” In 2003, Walker landed her breakthrough role as Ruth Evershed, an enthusiastic, dedicated MI5 Intelligence Analyst and Security Advisor of the Home Secretary in the second season of the British TV spy drama “Spooks.” She briefly left the series in its fifth season (2006) to tend to her newborn son – she made a comeback in 2009 and continued making regular appearances until the show ended in 2011, appearing in 57 episodes shared the screen with Peter Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, and Keeley Hawes, among others.
Walker’s following noteworthy appearance was in the British comedy-drama “The Last Tango in Halifax,” in which she appeared in 24 episodes (2012-2020). In 2014, she starred in the comedy-drama “Babylon,” which was followed by the starring role of DCI Cassie Stuart in the English crime drama “Unforgotten” (2015-2021), being nominated for a TV Times Award for Favorite Actress for her performance in the show. Her following notable appearances were in the six-part TV drama “River” (2015), the legal drama “The Split” (2018-2022) – which brought her a TV Choice Awards UK nomination for Best Actress – and the Scottish crime drama “Annika” (2021-present). The actress will play Elizabeth Hatton in the upcoming British historical drama miniseries “Mary & George” in 2023.
Film and Theater
Nicola has played various minor supporting roles in films. One of her most important appearances was in the 1994 British romantic comedy “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” She later played a reporter trapped in the Rwandan Civil War in the 2005 John Hurt-starred film “Shooting Dogs.”
In 2013, Walker bagged an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her praised performance in Simon Stephens’ play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which scooped seven Olivier Awards. She has appeared in several other plays, including “A View from the Bridge” in 2014, and “The Corn is Green” in 2022.
Nicola backstage at the National Theatre for The Corn is Green.
📸: Cameron Slater pic.twitter.com/TzhzpknwLQ
— Nicola Walker (@NicolaWalkerHQ) May 13, 2022
2002 saw Walker star in the production of William Ford Gibson’s novel, “Neuromancer,” which aired on BBC radio. She later landed a supporting role in the audio drama “Robophobia,” which is based on the acclaimed British TV sci-fi series “Doctor Who.” Since 2013, she’s been voicing detective Annika Stranded in several series of BBC Radio 4’s drama “Annika Stranded”, and has also lent her voice to a few video games, including “007 Legends” in 2012, and “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” in 2015.
Nicola has received seven award nominations as of 2023. She is a two-time nominee for BAFTAs for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Last Tango in Halifax” (2014 and 2017). Her performance in the same series saw her nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television in 2015. Moreover, the actress received two Broadcasting Press Guild nominations for Best Actress for her performances in “River” (2016) and “Mariage” (2023).
Nicola prefers to lead a private life and is not available on any social media platforms as of 2023.
The “Spooks” starlet is a married woman – she first met her husband-to-be, the English actor, Barnaby Kay, in the 1994 production of Stephen Jeffreys’ play “The Libertine,” which was performed in London. Kay has appeared in various films and TV series including “Public Enemies,” “Without You” and “Undercover Boss.” The duo has appeared together in several projects, including the TV series “Spooks.” They dated for several years before tying the knot in 2006, and have one child together, a son named Harry Kay, who was born in 2006, named after the character of her “Spooks” co-star, Peter Firth (Harry Pearce).
In an interview with “Radio Times,” Nicola revealed that she isn’t much of an advocate of marriage, but decided to get hitched because she (and her husband) had lost a parent at a young age and wanted to provide a sense of belonging and security to their son. She added that it was ‘not the most romantic reason to get married but was the only thing that would get me to sign a piece of paper.’
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Nicola is of White ethnicity, and has a set of green eyes and long light brown hair. She has an hourglass figure, weighs around 130lbs (59kgs), and is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall.
Nicola has carved a niche for herself as a UK household name which has seen her accumulate a decent net worth. She’s worth approximately $5 million as of 2023.