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Nicola Stephenson
Nicola Stephenson WarHorse (cropped).jpg
Nicola Stephenson in War Horse as Rose Narracott
Born (1971-07-05) 5 July 1971 (age 51)
Oldham, Lancashire, England
Nationality English
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Paul Stephenson
Children 2

Nicola Stephenson (born 5 July 1971) is an English actress. She played the roles of Margaret Clemence in Brookside, Julie Fitzjohn in Holby City, Sarah Williams in The Chase, Allie Westbrook in Waterloo Road, and Tess Harris in Emmerdale.

Life and career

She was born in Oldham, Lancashire and attended North Chadderton School for her secondary education.


She is known mainly for her roles in television, which include Margaret Clemence in Channel 4's Brookside; Stephenson's on-air kiss with Anna Friel (Beth Jordache) was the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss to be broadcast on British television. In 2012 the kiss was broadcast to over 5 billion people when it was included as part of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle. The opening ceremony was broadcast uncensored in 76 countries where homosexuality is illegal and therefore became the first homosexual kiss to be broadcast in these countries. Other roles have included Julie Fitzjohn/Bradford in Holby City, Suzie Davidson in Clocking Off, Jackie Armstrong in ITV's Christmas Lights/Northern Lights/City Lights, Sarah Williams in BBC's The Chase and All at Sea. In 2012, Nicola played Louise, a series lead in the ITV drama Homefront. In 2014 she joined the regular cast of Waterloo Road as art teacher Allie Westbrook for 11 episodes.

Her theatre roles include A Patriot for Me at the Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Peter Gill, His Girl Friday and Edmund at the National Theatre, directed by Ed Hall, and War Horse at the New London Theatre in London's West End, directed by Marianne Elliot.

In 2007, she had a lead role in the BBC TV 3 part series Superstorm directed by Julian Simpson. In 2014 she worked with Simpson again when he directed her as a guest lead in the BBC TV series New Tricks.

She appeared in the ITV drama Safe House in early 2015.

From 2015 to 2016, she played the part of Tess Harris in the soap-opera Emmerdale. Her five-month stint on the serial came to a sudden end when her character was killed off in a hit-and-run incident. Stephenson's role in the soap also reunited her with her co-star from The Chase, Gaynor Faye, who had played the character of Megan Macey since 2012.


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Coronation Street Priscilla Millbanks 3 episodes
1989 The Rainbow Ethel
1990 Children's Ward Amanda Recurring Role
1990 Medics Suzie Guest Role
1990–1994 Brookside Margaret Clemence Series Regular
1994 Nice Day at the Office Lizzie Kershaw Lead Role
1996 My Wonderful Life Gail
1996 Out of The Blue Lucy Shaw Main Cast
1997 Wokenwell Fran Rainford Main Cast
1997 The Bill Julie Hicks Recurring Role
1998–2001 Casualty Julie Fitzjohn Guest Appearances
1999–2001 Holby City Series Regular
2002–2003 Clocking Off Suzie Davidson Lead Role
2004 Christmas Lights Jackie Lead Role
2005 The Afternoon Play Nicola Passmore
2005 Dead Man Weds Donna Havercroft Main Cast
2005 The Walk Christine
2005 Waking The Dead Julia Henderson Guest Role
2006 Northern Lights Jackie Lead Role
2006–2007 The Chase Sarah Williams Series Regular
2007 Superstorm Sara Hughes Main Cast
2007 City Lights Jackie Lead Role
2008 Hotel Babylon Justine Guest Role
2008 Lark Rise to Candleford Susan Braby Guest Role
2008 Clash of The Santas Jackie Lead Role
2009 Law & Order: UK Mandy Jackson
2010 Strike Back Diane Porter Guest Role
2010 Moving On Lindsay
2012 Life Stories Megan's Mum
2012 Homefront Louise Mancetta Lead Role
2013–2015 All at Sea Helen Enright/mum Series Regular
2014 New Tricks Emily Fraser
2014 Waterloo Road Allie Westbrook Series Regular
2015 Safe House Ali Main Cast
2015–2016 Emmerdale Tess Harris Series Regular
2017–2020 The Worst Witch Julie Hubble Series regular
2018 The Alienist Maebh Connor Guest Role
2019 Agatha Raisin Liz Jellop Guest Lead
2019 Tales From The Lodge Amanda
2020 Silent Witness Grace Beaty Guest Lead
2021 Midsomer Murders Izzy Silvermane Guest Lead
2021 Whitstable Pearl Connie Rowe Guest Lead
2022 The Dumping Ground Delilah Fortune Guest Role
2022 The Walk-In Jack Renshaw's Mother

Personal life

Stephenson was in a relationship with actor Kieran O'Brien for eight years. The relationship ended in 1999. Nicola has two daughters, one named Esme Rose Stephenson born in 2008 daughter of Director Ian Curtis, and one named Iris Lilly Stephenson, born in 2010 daughter of Paul Stephenson. She is currently married to artist Paul Stephenson.

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