Nicola Walker is a popular English actress who has starred in various British television shows, such as Spooks, Unforgotten, Annika, and The Split. She has also won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. But is she related to Nick Walker, the writer, producer, and director who has worked with her on the radio series Annika Stranded? Here is what we found out.
The Short Answer: No
The short answer to the question is no, Nick Walker and Nicola Walker are not related. They share the same surname, but they are not siblings or cousins. They are simply colleagues and friends who have collaborated on several projects.
The Long Answer: How They Met and Worked Together
Nick Walker and Nicola Walker met in 2013, when Nick was looking for an actress to play the lead role in his radio drama Annika Stranded. The show follows Annika Strandhed, a detective in the Oslo Boat Patrol, who solves crimes and shares her thoughts with the listeners. Nick had written the show as a series of monologues, and he needed someone who could carry the show with their voice alone.
He told Radio Times: “I wanted someone who could do comedy and drama, someone who had a warmth and a lightness of touch. I’d seen Nicola in Spooks and Last Tango in Halifax and thought she was fantastic.” He sent her the script, and she agreed to do it.
The show was a success, and it ran for six series on BBC Radio 4 between 2013 and 2020. Nicola won many fans for her portrayal of Annika, who was witty, smart, and vulnerable. She told Radio Times: “I love playing her. She’s so much fun. She’s got a great sense of humor, she’s very good at her job, but she’s also quite lonely and insecure.”
In 2021, the show was adapted for television by MASTERPIECE on PBS, with Nicola reprising her role as Annika. However, some changes were made to the format and the setting. Instead of Oslo, the show was set in Glasgow, Scotland. And instead of monologues, Annika broke the fourth wall and talked directly to the camera.
Nick explained the reason for this change: “Our brilliant writer, Nick [Walker] came up with a really good way of holding onto this very intimate relationship you had with Annika on the radio, that she’s, you know, she’s in your ear. And on television, he’s using breaking the fourth wall to maintain that intimacy,” says Walker (the actor). “You are with me throughout the case. I’m not just talking for the sake of it. I need you to listen to me and I bounce ideas off you.”
The show also introduced new characters, such as Annika’s teenage daughter Morgan, played by Silvie Furneaux. Nick said that he wanted to explore Annika’s personal life more in the TV version: “I wanted to give her a family life that was slightly chaotic and difficult because she’s a single parent. And I wanted to give her a daughter who was very different from her.”
Nick and Nicola have also worked together on other projects, such as The Lovecraft Investigations, a podcast series that blends horror and comedy. Nick wrote and directed the show, while Nicola voiced one of the main characters, Eleanor Peck.
Nick Walker and Nicola Walker are not related by blood, but they are related by their creative partnership. They have worked together on several projects that showcase their talents and chemistry. They are both fans of each other’s work, and they have expressed their admiration and respect for each other in interviews.