Inside Unforgotten star Nicola Walker’s life from her actor husband to best friend Sue Perkins

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TV viewers know actress Nicola Walker as the leading lady of ITV’s brilliant crime drama, Unforgotten.

However the star, who plays dedicated police officer DCI Cassie Stuart, has been winning fans over for more than twenty years, with standout roles in shows including Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax and The Split.

But how much do you know about the talented actress away from our screens?

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Nicola, 50, first fell in love with acting as a child doing classes, but it was while she was studying English at Cambridge University that she was really bitten by the bug.

After signing up to the university’s famous Footlights society, Nicola said she knew there was no turning back.

It was also while studying and living in Cambridge that Nicola became good friends with former Bake Off host Sue Perkins, and the pair later went on to share a flat alongside acclaimed TV writer Sarah Phelps.

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And the trio are still great pals to this day. Speaking about their close relationship, Nicola has said: “I found my best friends, Sue [Perkins] and Sarah [Phelps] in my first term at university.”

“Doing further education at that age isn't straightforward because you're growing up and there's a lot to deal with, so we went through a lot of highs and lows together, which is probably why now, they feel more like sisters than friends.”

Luckily for Nicola, her gamble to pursue a career in acting was one that massively paid off and she landed her big break in none other than hit Brit film Four Weddings and A Funeral, playing a wedding singer.

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This led to lots of other lucrative parts, including the role she’s arguably now best known for – Ruth Evershed in BBC One’s Spooks.

As well as having a top spot on her CV, Spooks also has a special place in Nicola’s heart, as it’s the touching reason behind her son’s name.

Nicola and her husband, actor Barnaby Kay, have a teenage son called Harry – after Harry Pearce, the name of the character her co-star Peter Firth played in Spooks.

Nicola and Barnaby met when they starred alongside one another in a play called The Libertine when she was 25. However, they only tied the knot after almost twenty years together.

Speaking about their big day, Nicola explained: “I was always quite daunted by the idea of marriage; my parents had the most amazing partnership, and no one wants to be the one who gets it wrong.”

“But now that we've done it? Actually, it was just the legalities we were missing before.”

Unforgotten airs tonight at 9pm on ITV

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