Who is Nicky Wheatley in Coronation Street?

Coronation Street spoilers follow.

Tonight’s episode of Coronation Street (April 19) will see the return of Nicky Wheatley (Kimberly Hart-Simpson), who is back on the cobbles after two years away. She has made somewhat fleeting appearances on the show since 2020 but has played an important role in the life of Daniel Osbourne over the past few years.

Here’s a reminder of who Nicky is, and why she is back on the show:

daniel osbourne with nicky in coronation street

Who is Nicky in Coronation Street?

In June 2020, Nicky was introduced as a new potential love interest for Daniel, following the tragic death of his wife Sinead the previous year.

Daniel was still consumed by his grief, and in an attempt to get him out the house, his nephew Adam Barlow encouraged him to go to a drinks reception for solicitors – where he met Nicky.

The pair immediately formed a connection and enjoyed some drinks, but Daniel got the wrong end of the stick and didn’t realise that Nicky was a sex worker, so was shocked when she asked about payment before they took things further.

He stormed off, but days later he changed his mind and called Nicky, meeting her in a hotel room. Daniel opened up to her about Sinead’s death and his grief, and paid her for the time.

daniel osbourne and nicky in coronation street

They continued to meet up, with Daniel spending a lot of money to see Nicky, and it was revealed that he was paying her to dress in Sinead’s clothes and provide comfort and emotional support.

Adam, having found out that Nicky was a sex worker, told her to stay away from Daniel, and she demanded that he paid her to do so. But Nicky later came back to see Daniel, and they decided to be proper friends, with no payment involved.

Things got more complicated, though, when they slept together, but Nicky then overheard Daniel telling Kirk Sutherland that he’d never replace Sinead with "some sex worker", leaving her devastated.

They later made up – and just in time, as Daniel had to come to Nicky’s rescue when she was attacked by another client and ended up in hospital.

nicky wheatley in coronation street

Why did Nicky leave Coronation Street?

Following the attack, Nicky was resigned to returning to work, but Daniel gave her £5,000 to make a new life for her and her daughter, and take a job at her aunt’s B&B.

She left the cobbles shortly after, but first gave him back some of the money to spend on his son Bertie, determined to stand on her own two feet from now on.

However, she returned to the Street in March 2022, after applying to be a teaching assistant at Daniel’s school in Weatherfield. Her return caused tension between Daniel and his then girlfriend Daisy Midgeley, who was jealous of the pair’s relationship.

Nicky got offered the job, and she and Daniel began working closely together to organise a school trip to Edinburgh.

daisy, daniel, nicky, coronation street

But Daisy found out that Nicky used to be a sex worker, and so did Max Turner, who shared old images of her with his friends – and Nicky was subsequently fired from her job.

Daniel wrongly assumed that Daisy was behind this information getting out, and they split up, while Nicky and her daughter moved in with Daniel temporarily.

Nicky was later honest with Daniel about her feelings for him, but he turned her down, saying he was still in love with Daisy.

She moved out soon after and left the Street, saying that she was going to Spain to look after her friend’s house for a few months.

daniel osbourne and nicky wheatley, coronation street

Why is Nicky back in Coronation Street?

Nicky will return to Weatherfield when old friend Daniel enlists her help surrounding Lauren Bolton’s disappearance.

While Roy Cropper has been charged with Lauren’s murder, her former English tutor Daniel is still under suspicion, and new information from Bobby has shifted the police’s attention back to him.

An article online suggests that Lauren was working as an escort, which gives Daniel an idea. To try and help find her and therefore clear his name, he turns to Nicky, who is now an outreach worker in the community.

daniel osbourne, nicky, deana, coronation street

Daniel wants to get information about Lauren’s disappearance from the girls on the streets who Nicky supports, but news of her murder has left them feeling scared.

Will Nicky be able to encourage the girls to open up, and do they have information to share?

ITV have said that Nicky will return to the show for a "guest stint", so it seems that she will only be back for a short time – but seeing as she has returned to Corrie several times now, we wouldn’t rule out another return in future.

"It’s been four years since we first met Nicky and it is once again a pleasure to be back on the cobbles," Hart-Simpson said in a statement.

"Stories surrounding women in the sex industry have often been forgotten, shamed or unspoken. But not at Coronation Street, they respectfully explore the world these women live in, the impact it has on the community and at some point dangers attached to the work.

daniel osbourne, nicky wheatley and deana in coronation street

"The story of Lauren Bolton has allowed the safety of other characters to come forward such as Cassie but unfortunately led to the devastating effects of conspiracy theories by other folk."

She continued: "Nicky has fought against all stereotypes and I am looking forward to the audience finding out who and where she is today."

Nicky’s return could also stir up trouble between Daniel and his current partner Bethany Platt, as actor Rob Mallard has warned.

He said: "Bethany had left before Daniel had started meeting Nicky and to be honest, Nicky was almost like a coping strategy for Daniel to deal with the fact that Bethany had gone as well as Sinead.

"So, if Bethany knows that then I think she will be suspicious to say the least – and rightly so, especially with what Nicky does for a living and their history."

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

Read more Coronation Street spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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