7 things you didn't know about Nicola Thorp - AKA Coronation Street's Nicola Rubinstein

NICOLA_RUBINSTEIN played by Nicola Thorp
(Image credit: Mark Bruce)

From making Blackpool rock to living on a barge, there's plenty more to actress Nicola Thorp than playing the daughter of Coronation Street killer Phelan...

The last time we saw Nicola Thorp on Coronation Street, she was bidding a sad farewell to her Weatherfield friends as alter ego Nicola Rubinstein following the dramatic death of her serial killer dad, Pat Phelan.

However, Nicola is back from Bristol next week along with baby son Zack - and fans can't wait to see what she gets up to next.

But what do we know about actress Nicola, who plays the beloved character? There's so much more to the star than playing a murder's daughter...

1. She was a huge fan of Corrie before joining the show

Nicola and her family love nothing more than settling down for an episode of Coronation Street - and the actress has confessed she felt starstruck when she got the part of Phelan's daughter. She told us: "I spend Christmas Day watching these people every year, and now I'm having lunch in the canteen with Dev and the Platts. My dad dropped me off at work once and you could see the cobbles and Nick's Bistro in the background, and he was just in awe!"

A photo posted by on

2. She once got sacked for not wearing high heels at work 

Nicola famously hit the headlines when she started a campaign for female office workers to be able to wear flat shoes after being sacked from a job as a receptionist for refusing to wear heels. She told us at the time: "With any new job you worry about rocking the boat, but I'm very proud of that campaign. As an actress I was worried that people wouldn't want to go near me, but Corrie has an incredible history of strong, feisty women, so everyone has been super supportive."

3. Her parents run a surprising business

Nicola's parents have got their own company called Stanton and Novelty Confectioners, who make Blackpool rock. Nicola revealed: "My parents run a rock factory in Blackpool, if you cut us open we'd have Blackpool rock running through us! My dad moved the Blackpool to set up the factory and we make lollipops and rocks."

4. She owns a canal boat

Before being in Manchester for Coronation Street, Nicola lived in London on a narrow boat! She bought her boat a few years back after spending her childhood being obsessed with boats and canals. Nicola told us in 2017: "I have to move every two weeks, which is so much fun. My favourite place to dock is Shoreditch and around Hackney, that is where I have lived for the last two years. The worst thing is having to move her on my own... oh, and emptying the toilet!"

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5. Shakespeare changed her life

Nicola went to Arts Ed Drama School in London when she was 18 after seeing a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night... "When I was about 15 or 16 I saw Twelfth Night at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester that made me reassess everything I thought about the world. I'd never seen Shakespeare before and I still don't like it, but I loved that production."

6. Nicola isn't the first Corrie part she auditioned for

Despite being perfect for the role of Pat Phelan's daughter, Nicola Rubinstein isn't the first role the actress went for. She told us: "Nicola was the second time I'd auditioned for Corrie. I also screen tested for Kate Connor. I was so nervous. I had to throw some car keys on the bar in the Rovers, and I threw them so hard they flew off the edge of the bar!"

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7. She's never been afraid to fight for what she believes in

As well as getting over 150,000 signatures on her petition to change the dress code laws on wearing heels at work, Nicola has also taken on women's magazines who quizzed her about her weight, and even Piers Morgan! The actress appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about women being objectified on the red carpet, and won the praise of fans across the country for fighting on the behalf of women everywhere.

Picture credits: Main image: Mark Bruce, all others Nicola Thorp Instagram

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.