Actress Nicola Duffett had considered one of soapland’s most recognisable faces through the Nineteen Nineties as she performed Debbie Bates in EastEnders. The candy character was married to Nigel Bates, who was famed for his severely curly hair, however Debbie was killed off in a tragic automotive accident in 1995.
Following a two-year stint on EastEnders, Nicola went on to star as Cat Matthews in Household Affairs from 1998 to 2000 and was residing a lifetime of luxurious due to a hefty pay packet. Taking three holidays a 12 months, consuming at fancy eating places, and buying at Harrods have been regular occurrences till work dried up, alongside along with her financial institution steadiness.
The mum-of-two went from incomes greater than £100k a 12 months to residing off a £64-a-week handout and falling on onerous occasions with solely just a little money in her checking account. Fortunately, she managed to kick-start her performing profession once more some years later, which has included touchdown a task on Coronation Road in 2020.
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Chatting with The Croydon Advertiser in 2009, Nicola defined how she went from being a TV star to signing on on the dole workplace, she mentioned: “I’ve gone from not caring about how a lot stuff prices to checking the costs of completely every thing.
“However I adore it – choosing up a discount – it’s so way more satisfying than going out each night time to posh eating places and simply paying the invoice.” The bubbly actress – who additionally starred within the acclaimed movie Howards Finish – was made bankrupt in 2007.
“I want I had discovered to save lots of, however we actors and actresses we simply are usually not very business-minded,” she defined. “I simply went into a nasty place after they axed Household Affairs.”
On the time of the interview, Nicola bravely admitted to having simply £27 in her checking account and needed to borrow the cash from her agent to get her automotive unclamped from a Croydon automotive park. “How may I do know Household Affairs would get cancelled?”, added Nicola. “They’d simply renewed my contract and it was nice enjoyable working there.
“But it surely was onerous work. You’d work from morning to nighttime and on some weekends. You get again and you’re drained, so that you go to an costly restaurant for dinner each night time. I used to spend £500 per week.”
“You begin to not care how a lot issues price. However I’ve been poor earlier than and it’s not so dangerous. I do know some actresses who put on wigs after they go to signal on in order that they aren’t recognised. “I’m proud – effectively, I’m not proud to be signing on – however I wouldn’t put on a wig.”
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Household Affairs was axed by Channel 5 in 2005 after the present’s bosses believed the cleaning soap wasn’t pulling in a large enough viewers with the ultimate episode airing in December of the identical 12 months. In 2010, Nicola landed the function of Eileen within the hit film Made In Dagenham earlier than starring in a protracted listing of different TV collection together with enjoying Daisy Skelton in Waterloo Street, Shawna Peace in Medical doctors, and Alice Stone in Collateral.
Different tv credit embrace Holby Metropolis, Deep Water, Endeavour, and Coronary heart to Coronary heart. Coronation Road viewers will recognise the actress as jailbird Lucie Fernsby and most lately she portrayed Geraldine within the Amazon Prime collection Agatha Raisin this 12 months.
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