Nicola made her debut on the drama Children's Ward in 1990.
Nicola is good friends with her former Holby City co-stars Lisa Faulkner and Angela Griffin. They have been nicknamed the three witches.
Nicola learnt how to deliver lambs after she did so in her role as Sarah on The Chase.
Nicola enjoys yoga and horse-riding.
Nicola became a qualified fork-lift driver for her role as Suzie in Clocking Off.
Nicola dated Cracker and Burn It star Kieran O'Brien but they split up after several years together.
Nicola is a fan of Chris Moyles and The Larry Sanders Show.
Nicola's lesbian kiss on Brookside was later named 59th in Channel 4's The 100 Greatest TV Moments of All Time.
Nicola: (On working in America) If I went over to the States for six months it could be a backward step. The bright lights, money and fame do not seduce me. I'd rather be around people I love and doing good work."
Nicola: (On Superstorm) Mini-series like this are really enjoyable to do. When you do a long-running series, you get on a treadmill with it, but with a mini-series, it's a finite amount, and you know how it's going to end and what's going to happen to the character. That means you can really get into it, and get submerged in it. It is how I prefer to work. I love three-parters, or a one-off drama.
Nicola: (On her role in Superstorm) I knew straight away that I wanted to be in it, Playing a scientist who flies planes through eyes of hurricanes? Of course I wanted the part! The director said there was going to be a lot of me running around wearing a flight suit and aviator shades. I was like, 'all right!
Nicola: I would say Suzie is the closest I have ever played to my character. All my life I have wanted to be this elegant, poised person. I think that's how I ended up in acting.
Nicola: I have the knees of an eight-year-old child, all covered in bruises because I am so accident prone. I am always walking into something and hurting myself or breaking things. Honestly, it's exhausting being me. I can never have anything nice because I know sooner or later I will end up breaking it.
Nicola: You've got your ideas about things more sorted out. It's a positivity about life. Knowing what I want and what's important and what just doesn't matter in life, the things that you shouldn't worry your head about. I feel a lot calmer.
Nicola: (On the best thing about Oldham) It's the home of the tubular bandage. That makes everyone very proud. 'Home of the tubular bandage' – it's written on a bridge on the way into Oldham.
Nicola: I'm a very hands-on actress. I've never used my forklift truck driving licence since, though. I actually drove the truck into the camera once.
Nicola: All I wanted was to get onstage and show off. I was a good girl, though, swotty and I always tried my hardest.