Shelley King - things you didn't know about the Coronation Street star

Shelley King PA
Shelley King attending the British Soap Awards 2016 at the Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London. (Mandatory credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment) (Image credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

From her best friends on the set of Coronation Street to a secret love for cars, there are a few things you might not know about actress Shelley King...

Shelley King has become a household name since joining Coronation Street in 2014 as the Yasmeen Nazir. But it is her most recent storyline, which has seen her subjected to the most horrific coercive abuse at the hands of her husband, Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew), that has really captured the nation's hearts.

But while we all know and love Shelley as her on screen alter ego Yasmeen, just how much do you know about Shelley herself?

Most fans of the actress will know that:

  • She was born in Calcutta (now called Kolkata), India
  • She's been acting since 1978
  • She's had a hugely successful career on TV and stage

But what else do we know about Shelley King? Here are several things you probably don't know...

1. Shelley King is good friends with co-star Ian Bartholomew 

Yasmeen and Geoff Coronation Street

Geoff and Yasmeen's relationship might have turned dark, but in real life Ian and Shelley are great friends (Picture: ITV)

Fans have watched in horror as Geoff Metcalfe has subjected wife Yasmeen to months of sickening coercive abuse, but in reality Shelley gets on brilliantly with her on-screen husband, played by actor Ian Bartholomew, who she affectionately calls Barty. The actress tole OK Magazine:"If Barty and I didn't get on well and didn't trust each other, I don't think we could explore this whole process."

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2. She has been in EastEnders 

Before landing her role in Coronation Street, Shelley appeared in rival soap EastEnders for one episode back in 2013 playing the role of Mrs Kayani. Shelley has also appeared in The Bill, Casualty and Holby City.

MORE: Things you didn't know about Coronation Street star Julia Goulding

3. Shelley King is totally obsessed with cars

When she's not busy filming on Coronation Street, Shelley can be found spending her spare time tinkering with her many cars. She inherited her love of cars from her father, and has four, including a Mercedes Pagoda Roadster and a Porsche C4 GTS. She told OK Magazine: "I'm a big petrol head and I love my cars. I have got four!"

4. She was once turned away from a gay club 

Despite now being openly gay, Shelley has admitted that she struggled with how to deal with her sexuality when she was younger. During an appearance on This Morning, Shelley told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about a time she was rejected from a gay nightclub in Chelsea because they didn't believe she was gay because of the way she was dressed... "I don't know what to do. It was a different world then and people were put into boxes. I think it is getting hugely better but I still think it's got a long way to go."

5. Her partner struggles to watch her on TV

Trilby James and Shelley King PA/Doug Peters/EMPICS

Shelley's partner, Trilby James has admitted she finds Geoff and Yasmeen scenes hard to watch (Picture: PA/Doug Peters/EMPICS) (Image credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

The shocking abuse that Yasmeen Metcalfe has been subjected to over recent months has been hard to watch for any Coronation Street fan. But these scenes are even harder for those who know Shelley personally. Speaking on Loose Women, Shelley's partner, actress and director, Trilby James, admitted: "Just watching Shelley has been difficult. I had a nightmare about it the other day. You know it is acting, but if you're acting things properly, truthfully, you are going to go to some grim places."

MORE: Things you didn't know about Coronation Street star Alison King

6. She started her career in a BBC medical drama 

Shelley made her acting debut in 1978 as Jay Harper in BBC medical drama, Angels. Speaking of her role on This Morning the actress said: "The producers suggested that they made my character gay and I just wasn't ready. The world was different then and I didn't know how to deal with my own sexuality."

7. She has a huge interest in her family tree

Shelley traced her ancestry on ITV genealogy documentary 'Coronation Street's DNA Secrets' where she discovered that after believing all her life that she had Portuguese in her DNA she actually had no Portuguese roots at all. Instead she discovered more about her Indian roots by visiting India where she had lived until she was 10 years old.

Shelley King's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actress....

How old is she?

Shelley King's age is 64. He was born on 25th September 1955.

Is she in a relationship?

Shelley King is in a civil partnership with actress and director Trilby James.

Does she have kids?

Shelley King doesn't have any children.

Where was she born?

Shelley King was born in Calcutta (now called Kolkata), India.

How tall is she?

Shelley King is 5ft 4 inches tall.

Twitter: @shelleyking55

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Picture credits: Main image of Shelley King: PA

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.