|Born||Nicola Kathleen Stapleton
9 August 1974
Southwark, London, England
|Years active||1983 – present|
Nicola Kathleen Stapleton (born 9 August 1974 in Elephant and Castle, London) is an English actress. A graduate of the Sylvia Young Theatre School, Stapleton began her career at an early age, appearing in films such as Hansel and Grettel and on television in the children's show Simon and the Witch in 1987. In 1992, she secured a high-profile role on British television as Mandy Salter in BBC's EastEnders. Stapleton quit the role in 1994 but returned to the role after 17 years in 2011. She left the role for a second time in 2012. Stapleton's other notable TV roles include that of Janine Nebeski in ITV's Bad Girls (2005–06) and Joe Nardone in Channel 4's Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star (1998). She has worked extensively in film, on television and on stage.
Stapleton was raised near East Street, which runs down the middle of the Old Kent Road in South London. She and her younger brother Vince were born to working class parents, Kate, a cleaner from Scotland and Vincent Stapleton, who ran a car hire business.
She attended the Townsend Primary School in South East London, where her parents were advised by a teacher "to channel her energy into something positive." As a result they sent her to the Corona Theatre School and Sylvia Young Theatre School, where Denise Van Outen and her future EastEnders co-star, Danniella Westbrook, were among her contemporaries.
Stapleton's career in showbusiness started at the early age of six and at the age of 9 she had a minor role as an extra in the Bond film Octopussy (1983). She made her TV debut in the detective series, Dempsey and Makepeace (ITV), in 1985 and she went on to have roles in feature films such as Little Shop of Horrors (Geffen Pictures, 1986); Hansel and Gretel (MGM, 1987); Snow White (MGM, 1987) and Courage Mountain (Paramount, 1990).
Stapleton is perhaps best known for her role as the wayward Mandy Salter in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders, which she played from 1992–94. During her time in the soap, Stapleton's character was featured in storylines about child and drug abuse, homelessness and prostitution.
Her EastEnders character was also featured in a special episode of the popular science fiction series, Doctor Who, which was entitled Dimensions in Time (1993). The episode was specially screened as part of BBC's annual fund-raising event, Children in Need. Viewers were asked to phone in and vote which EastEnders character, Mandy or 'Big' Ron, would appear in the show. Two versions were filmed for each voting outcome, but the Mandy version won with 56% of the vote.
Stapleton grew tired of all the attention she received from being in such a high-profile show, so she resigned from the role in 1994. In an interview in 2005 Stapleton commented: "Working on EastEnders was so high-profile it put me off working on soaps for a while…I've been asked a number of times to go back but I've done a lot of really credible stuff in theatre, and I thought, 'It took me a long time get here. I'm not ready to go back to Mandy just yet'…The publicity with something regarding EastEnders is huge and sometimes you end up feeling like a famous person rather than an actress - I wanted my work to be more fulfilling than that."
In June 2011, Stapleton announced that she would be returning to EastEnders after a 17-year hiatus, and she reappeared as Mandy in an episode broadcast in August that year. Stapleton left the role for a second time at the end of her contract, with Mandy departing in May 2012. Stapleton commented, "I've had a great time at EastEnders, working with friends old and new. Who knows whether Mandy will return? Let's hope it doesn't take another 17 years!".
Stapleton's subsequent TV credits have included; You Bet! (ITV, 1993); The Thin Blue Line (BBC, 1995); The Bill (ITV, 2002); Casualty (BBC, 1999) and Casualty@Holby City (2004); Harry Enfield and Chums (BBC); Audrey and Friends (2000); Brinks Mat: The Greatest Heist (2003) and Jane Hall (ITV, 2006), among others.
She has also appeared in feature films including: Urban Ghost Story (Living Spirit Pictures, 1998); The Killing Zone (1999); It Was an Accident (2000); South West Nine (2001); Goodbye Charlie Bright (2001); Lava (2002) and Chunky Monkey (2001).
On stage she played the role of Peter Pan in a musical version of the J.M. Barrie novel, which she then toured the UK alongside actors Terence Donovan and Laurence Mark Wythe who later become a composer and lyricist in musical theatre.
In 1998, she was cast in Channel 4's successful Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star. She played Joe Nardone, a sex-mad guitarist in a Scottish band, which goes from playing pubs to netting a record deal via a string of wild parties.
In 2002, Stapleton guest starred in her first of two roles of ITV1's cop show The Bill, She played tough talking young mum Tina Pope, who eventually becomes the second victim of the Sun Hill Serial Killer.
Stapleton is more recently known for playing the prisoner Janine Nebeski in the seventh and eighth series of ITV prison drama Bad Girls (2005–06). In the final series, her character embarked on a romance with male prison officer, Donny Kimber who was played by her ex-EastEnders co-star, Sid Owen.
On 4 November 2006, the Stapleton family appeared on Celebrity Family Fortunes, headed by Nicola and that same month, Stapleton guest-starred in the ITV police drama The Bill; her second role in the programme to date. She acted alongside Birds of a Feather star Linda Robson, to form a drug-addicted mother-daughter duo. She played the role of Louise Parker in the 2007 Lynda La Plante televised mini-series, The Commander: The Devil You Know, and appeared in BBC's The Last Enemy in 2008.
On stage, Stapleton has appeared in Cockroach Who at The National Theatre; Of Mice and Men, which toured the UK; Scissor Happy at the Duchess Theatre (1997); Essex Girls, Corner Boys and Four Star Hotel, which were all shown at the Royal Court Theatre. Nicola also appeared on a TV Goodies/Baddies special of Weakest Link. She was the 6th one voted off.
In August 2008, it was announced that she would play the role of Eli Dingle's friend Danielle Hutch on the soap opera Emmerdale; her first scene aired in September 2008. Stapleton said of her role: "Danielle is such an intriguing character because there's more to her than meets the eye. I'm really looking forward to starting filming and I think viewers can expect some interesting encounters as we explore the relationship between Danielle and Eli." Emmerdale series producer Anita Turner added: "I'm so pleased to welcome an actress with Nicola's calibre to the show. Eli likes to manipulate people, but Danielle is a different proposition and she'll definitely get under his skin."
In October 2009, Nicola appeared in the UK Film Council funded short film Hands Solo, a mockumentary about the world's most famous deaf porn star.
In October 2001, Stapleton's father was jailed for his part in an £11million VAT computer-chip fraud. Her brother was also fined £10,000, for helping in the fraudulent business, which involved importing VAT-exempt microchips from EU countries and selling them to firms with added VAT, before claiming money back from Customs and Excise. Nicola Stapleton provided the £125,000 bail for her brother during the trial. Mr Stapleton was eventually told by the Court of Appeal in September 2005 to pay a confiscation order of £1.6 million. In July 2008, Nicola Stapleton battled against the Customs Prosecution Office at the High Court in order to keep her property in South Norwood, which she had purchased from her father for £175,000 before his imprisonment for fraud. The prosecution claimed that the house had originally been purchased from "ill-gotten gains", and wanted to seize the property as part of the confiscation order. Stapleton maintains that she bought the property out of her earnings as an actress in 2000. The court found in favour of Nicola Stapleton. In the early part of 2014 Nicola gave birth to her first child, a baby boy. 
|1983||Octopussy||Little Girl at Circus (uncredited)|
|1987||Snow White||Young Snow White|
|1987||Hansel and Gretel||Gretel|
|1995||Fistful of Fingers, AA Fistful of Fingers||Floozy|
|1998||Ladies & Gentlemen||Short film|
|1998||Urban Ghost Story||Kerrie|
|1999||Dead on Time||Briana||Short film|
|1999||Killing Zone, TheThe Killing Zone||Kerry Wyman|
|2000||It Was an Accident||Kelly|
|2001||Goodbye Charlie Bright||Julie|
|2001||South West 9||Sal|
|2009||Hands Solo||Bunny Comeley||Short film|
|2009||Magic Hour, TheThe Magic Hour||Bunny Cummings|
|1985||Dempsey and Makepeace||Debbie||Episode: "Hors de Combat"|
|1987–1988||Simon and the Witch||Sally||11 episodes|
|1988||Hannay||Betty||Episode: "Act of riot"|
|1992–1994||EastEnders||Mandy Salter||116 episodes|
|1993||Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time||Mandy Salter||TV short|
|1995||Thin Blue Line, TheThe Thin Blue Line||Natalie||Episode: "Kids Today"|
|1997||Harry Enfield and Chums||Sam||Episode: "2.6"|
|1998||Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star, TheThe Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star||Joe Nardone||TV series|
|1999||Casualty||Kay Larcombe||Episode: "Love Over Gold: Part 1"
Episode: "Love Over Gold: Part 2"
|2000||Audrey and Friends||Audrey||TV series|
|2003||Secret History||Kathy Meacock||Episode: "Brinks Mat: The Greatest Heist - Part 2"|
|2004||Gaby & the Girls||Donna||TV series|
|2004||Casualty||Shirley Smith||Episode: "Casualty @ Holby City: Part 1"|
|2004||Holby City||Shirley Smith||Episode: "Casualty @ Holby City: Part 2"|
|2005–2006||Bad Girls||Janine Nebeski||24 episodes|
|2006||Jane Hall||Steph||Episode: "1.4"|
|2007||Commander: The Devil You Know, TheThe Commander: The Devil You Know||Louise Parker||TV movie|
|2008||Last Enemy, TheThe Last Enemy||Caroline Scott||Episode: "1.3"|
|2008–2009||Emmerdale||Danielle Hutch||14 episodes|
|2009||Hollyoaks Later||Savannah Madeiros||5 episodes|
|2011–2012||EastEnders||Mandy Salter||48-60 episodes|
- Time Hops (BBC, 1994) (5 episodes) [Science Fiction, rerun on BBC Radio 4Extra, 2012]
- "Search 1837 to 2006 – Birth, Marriage and Death indexes". Findmypast.com. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- "The first time I...". The Mirror. 5 December 1998. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
- "I've Waited 10 Years to Kiss Sid Again". Sunday Mail. 9 July 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
- "Cheeky returns to the chalk face". TheLondonpaper. 20 December 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
- "Nicola Stapleton's CV at PDF", PDF. URL last accessed on 22 February 2007.
- "Stapleton; Bad Girls Star Puckers up for EastEnder", Sunday Mail; Glasgow. URL last accessed on 22 February 2007.
- "We'd love to share a TV lesbian kiss.. we could practise at home". Sunday Mirror. 19 June 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
- "EastEnders' wild child Mandy Salter to return - Scotsman.com News". The Scotsman. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (4 April 2012). "'EastEnders' Mandy Salter to leave Walford". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "Gaffney, Robson and Stapleton to guest on 'The Bill'", Digital Spy. URL last accessed on 25 September 2006.
- "Nicola Stapleton joins 'Emmerdale'". Digital Spy. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
- "Hollyoaks". Channel 4. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "The Official Website of International Sign Star Hands Solo". Hands-Solo.com. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Cannabis shock in VAT fraud swoop". The Independent. 13 July 2003. Retrieved 20 June 2007.[dead link]
- "EastEnders actress fights to keep South Norwood house". Croydon Today. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
- "Ex-EastEnders star wins home battle". The Press Association. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.[dead link]