Kimberly Hart-Simpson has shared her pride at being able to portray Nicky Wheatley’s sex worker past in Coronation Street. The actress made her Ella Weatherfield debut in 2020 when her character Ella met recently widowed Daniel Osbourne.
It wasn’t long before Daniel, whose wife Sinead Tinker died from cervical cancer in 2019, discovered Nicky was an escort and after being shocked at first, he later started paying her to dress in his wife’s clothes as he struggled through his grief. After a four-month stint, Kimberly bowed out of the soap as Nicky, with the help of Daniel, started a new life with her daughter de ella away from Weatherfield.
However, Kimberly has since got back into character as Nicky made a comeback on the cobbles earlier this year. Nicky landed a job as a teaching assistant at the same school Daniel works at, Weatherfield High. However, that all started to fall apart last week when Max Turner overheard Daniel and his new girlfriend rowing in the street about his relationship with Nicky and discovering her past work from her.
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In a spiteful move, Max leaked video and pictures of Nicky as a sex worker leading to her being hauled into Mrs Crawshaw’s office and ultimately losing her job. But things only got worse when Nicky ended up the subject of an article in the Weatherfield Gazette.
With no job, she had to give up the home she had found for herself and her daughter Maisie as she wouldn’t be able to afford it. She has since moved in with Daniel. And during scenes to air on Friday night (May 20) viewers will see Nicky confesses her feelings from her to Daniel and proposes that they have a future together. Fresh from his split from Daisy, Daniel is feeling vulnerable and doubting his teaching abilities, fans have already seen Nicky beg Ken and Tracy to cut him some slack, and after a sincere conversation in the flat, Nicky tells Daniel where her heart is truly at .
speaking to the Manchester Evening News about Nicky’s move, Kimberly said: “It’s that pre-made, packaged family. We’ve got to remember that Nicky has been deprived of that family picture, that thing that we’re all striving for that we all believe we deserve, which is love and companionship and security. She looks at it, and right now it looks like a postcard and she wants that destination, that’s what she sees.
“Whether he’s the right person for her or not, I don’t know! But he’s the closest thing she’s had to it in absolute years and years and years and of course, she’s going to go for that, of course, she will naturally want to gravitate towards that.”
As for whether Daniel will feel the same way and move on from Daisy with Nicky, Kimberly commented: “It all depends on whether he wants to go be at a theme park or does her want to go for a picnic”, referring to Daisy’s up and down behaviour. What he needs is stability, it’s routine and Nicky is the best one for that.”
Kimberly also shared her pride at her character being a former sex worker and detailed the response she has received. “I feel like I’m representing real women,” she said of what she likes about playing Nicky. “Particularly that job title that she had. I’m very proud of how the writers have written for this character, that we’ve not made it a shameful situation and there have been people on the street who have actively stuck up for her and have been on her side of her.
“I’m really, really proud of that because there might be somebody watching it and seeing themselves on it. If we’ve got that then we’ve absolutely smashed it and that’s the key thing here. I have friends in the sex industry and I want to get it right for them.”
On the reaction, she added: “There’s been a couple of organizations that have reached out to me to say thank you for it, of course I can’t take all the credit for it, that comes down to the writers as well, but saying that they feel it’s been represented in the right manner.
“There have been people that have inboxed me personally on my Instagram that work in the sex industry and say it’s good to see somebody like them on TV because normally it’s a shame project or a quirky documentary about someone who works in the sex industry and this time it’s just somebody who lives on a street, trying to make ends meet.”
Despite Nicky divulging her feelings to Daniel, Kimberly has shared what she’d like to see for her character. “What I’d really like is to just see a strong, single woman. Raising a child, representing the communities we see around us and my mum’s a single mum. I’d like to see that. I’d like to see just , for a little bit, a woman survive on her own. Maybe have a few bits here and there, she’s only human, but I think there’s something in that. A woman bringing up her child and doing all she can.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.