Surprise as THIS former EastEnders LEGEND joins Coronation Street

Debbie and Nigel EastEnders
Debbie and Nigel EastEnders

There's a familiar face heading to Coronation Street...

There's exciting news for soap fans as a former EastEnders favourite, Nicola Duffett, joins the cast of Coronation Street.

Nicola, who is better known to soap fans as Walford's Debbie Bates, has joined Coronation Street as Yasmeen Metcalfe's (Shelley King) prison cellmate.

EastEnders actress Nicola Duffett Coronation Street

Former EastEnders actress Nicola Duffett has joined Coronation Street (Picture: Getty) (Image credit: Ben Pruchnie)

Coronation Street newcomer, Lucie, will appear on our screens on Friday 17th July.

Lucie will befriend Yasmeen, who is in prison for attacking husband Geoff in self defence earlier this year.

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Yasmeen is set to be shocked when Lucie hands her a contraband phone in their cell.

Yasmeen calls Geoff on a contraband phone!

Nicola will appear as Yasmeen's cellmate, Lucie, next week (Picture: ITV)

Lucie urges Yasmeen to call Geoff (Ian Bartholomew) and tell him who is boss.

But will Yasmeen go through with it?

Soap veteran 

Nicola Duffett, who is no stranger to soaps.

She has also appeared in Channel 5's Family Affairs, where she played boozy character, Cat Matthews.

This is also not the first time that the actress has appeared in Coronation Street.

Back in 2015 Nicola played the chief officer for environmental health at Weatherfield Council, Mrs Bird.

Debbie and Nigel EastEnders

Nicola played Walford's Debbie Bates in the early 90s (Picture: BBC)

Most recently Nicola has been back on our screens in EastEnders as the soap airs retro episodes while it is off air.

EastEnders fans has been forced to take a break from our screens thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

The pandemic sadly forced studios to close as the country went into lockdown, meaning filming came to a halt.

Debbie and Nigel EastEnders

Debbie was on screen recently in retro EastEnders episode 'Sharongate' (Picture: BBC)

Playing Debbie Bates

In the episode called 'Sharongate' by fans, that was shown on BBC1 last week, Nicola's character Debbie was seen with husband Nigel.

The pair were enjoying a drink at Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Kathy Beale's engagement party.

However, their evening soon came to a dramatic end when the news that Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean), who was married to Grant Mitchell at the time, had been sleeping with her brother-in-law, Phil.

BBC One airs Secrets from the Square with Stacey Dooley, at 8pm on Mondays.

Classic episodes of the soap will air at 7.30pm on Tuesdays.

Coronation Street will temporarily air a reduced schedule of three episodes a week.

Watch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm on ITV. 

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 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.