Alison King

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Alison King
Born (1973-03-03) 3 March 1973 (age 46)
Leicester, England
NationalityEnglish
EducationGroby Community College
OccupationActress, model
Years active1995–present
Known forDream Team
Coronation Street
Children1
Parent(s)Alex and June King
AwardsFull list

Alison Rosamund King (born 3 March 1973) is an English actress and model. She has had television roles as Lynda Block in the Sky One drama series Dream Team, and in Coronation Street as Mrs. Fanshaw and later as Carla Connor. She won Best Actress at the 2012 British Soap Awards.[1]

King is considered by the press as a British sex symbol.[2][3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Alison King was born at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. She is the youngest of three daughters and a son born to Alex and June King, who were both nurses at the hospital. She was raised in the family home first in Ratby Lane, Markfield, Leicestershire where she went to Markfield Mercenfeld Primary School and was taught by Tracey Lee, mother of Sammy Lee, and Gillian Sykes, then in Kirby Muxloe. She attended South Charnwood High School, where she first took an interest in acting. She continued to act while attending Groby Community College, where a teacher would offer drama and dance classes to students in their free time. Alison was raised as a Christadelphian and attended the Christadelphian Church at Westleigh, Leicester, where she was baptised as a teenager. At the age of 18, King moved to Newquay, Cornwall, where she worked at Fat Willys Surf Shack. She surfed in her spare time, and spent four years as a dental nurse.[5] When she was 22, she enrolled at the North Cheshire Theatre School. While at drama school, she underwent cosmetic surgery at a London dental practice to improve her smile, stating her teeth had been ruined by sucking her thumb as a child, and later had more surgery in 2015.[6] During her time there she got her first television role, playing Helen, a hair salon crimper, in two episodes of Brookside. Before the conclusion of her three-year diploma, she was cast in the major role of Lynda Block in Sky One's Dream Team.[7][8]

Career[edit]

King appeared on Dream Team as Lynda Block for three years and left when the character was sent to prison. She reprised the role some years later.[8] During her break from working on Dream Team, she worked on several projects abroad including a role as an extra in the American feature film Shanghai Knights — appearing in a scene as a prostitute alongside Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson — supporting major roles such as BBC comedy-drama Help, as well as video film Submerged (2005) and feature film Final Contract: Death on Delivery, both action films. She said of working on Submerged: "The first one was with Steven Seagal, which was filmed in Bulgaria. He's a member of the American military and I'm Dimita – the best field op in the business. I'm an action girl with a high pony-tail doing lots of stunts. The stunt guy had worked with Angelina Jolie on Tomb Raider and he showed me how to hang upside down from things, how to jump down into dams and how to strangle people with my knees. It was great fun." She said of Final Contract: "In that one I was armed with a crossbow and chasing round in speedboats and fighting".[5] Her work in Submerged was complimented as an impression of Angelina Jolie.[9]

She made a guest appearance in the final episode of Mile High, playing the wife of Captain Nigel Croker's, and was featured in Coupling in the episode "The Man with Two Legs", as Chrissy with whom Jeff Murdock becomes infatuated on his morning train ride. She appeared in Holby City as the distressed wife of a hospital patient, and made a brief appearance as a receptionist in the film Fat Slags. She played prominent roles for two independent films, Save Angel Hope (2006) and Back in Business (2007).[7] In 2000, she appeared in an episode of Cold Feet as "Girlpower", a seductive internet avatar. King also appeared in the second episode of the fourth series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet in 2004.

In 2018, King appeared in four episodes of Sky One programme Sick Note as Superintendent Henchy which marked her first appearance in a Sky One production since the end of Dream Team.

Coronation Street[edit]

In 2006, she was cast as Carla Connor in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street. She made her first appearance in the role in the episode broadcast on 1 December 2006.[7] She had previously appeared in the soap in 2004 as an unrelated character named Mrs. Fanshaw. Her one-episode role was part of a larger storyline to "sex up" Ryan Thomas's character, builder Jason Grimshaw.[10] She went on maternity leave in 2009. King's role in the soap involved high-profile storylines. In 2010, she was involved in the death of Tony Gordon storyline, in which she had to be kidnapped in the Underworld factory.[11]

In 2011, King's character was raped by her boyfriend, Frank Foster.[12] This storyline had a massive public impact and saw a high rise in reported rapes across the United Kingdom.[13] King spoke of how there was an 800% increase in calls to support organisations after the storyline had aired, and that people had contacted her about their real-life experiences, some of whom she has kept in communication with.[14] Her performance in the rape storyline led to a Best Actress award at the 2012 British Soap Awards.

In July 2013, King spoke of her future on Coronation Street, saying "I don't know whether I'll be here forever - I'd love to have a go at different things, like an action drama or love story. But as long as I'm happy in the role and the producers will have me, I'll be staying put for now."[15] In May 2015, it was announced she would be taking an extended break from Coronation Street to pursue other projects.[16][17] However, in January 2016, it was confirmed that the departure would be permanent. She spoke to RadioTimes of her reason to leave: "I've probably only ever done about 20 pick-ups or drop-offs in all the time my daughter's been at school, which is quite sad. And creatively, I miss being other people. It's what I went to drama school for. I love playing diverse characters and meeting new people. And, truthfully, I also want to be able to get my voiceover career going again. There's all sorts of things that I used to do, which I can't do while I'm on Coronation Street. So, those are the reasons, really."[18] Her departure aired on 26 May 2016. Of her leaving she said: "These are my best friends and I love them very much. I'll miss them all and being with them, you know, the cast and crew and production, they're my family."[19] She later confessed that she blames Coronation Street for "destroying her feet and shattering her vocal chords", regretting that she agreed to portray Carla Connor for 10 years with a gravelly voice and high heels. She said "Coronation Street ruined my body."[20]

In late 2016/early 2017, the actress greeted fans in a virtual reality video during Coronation Street tour.[21] She spoke of filming the video for the tour: "It is surreal because is the original set and I know how many scenes I've filmed in there. But as an actress, no matter how long you have off, being back on set you still feel like you've never left. This is obviously a bit different because I'm being Ali and not Carla. I keep looking round for them to shout action. It has been my home for 10 years so I am quite at home being on set."[22]

In August 2017, it was announced that King would reprise her role as Carla in December that year. Her return aired on 22 December 2017. Since her return, King has been nominated for a British Soap Award for 'Best Female' and has won praise for her portrayal of Carla's psychosis storyline in May 2019.

Other activities[edit]

King was the face of Boddingtons beer in 2004.[23] She made appearances in a series of recurring television adverts for Daz titled "Cleaner Close", a parody of soap operas.[7] In the late 1990s, King appeared in various modelling shoots.

Personal life[edit]

In 2014, it was reported that the actress had requested extra security from ITV bosses after it emerged she had a female stalker. Despite formal requests to stay away after being found lurking outside of her house, the woman approached her at a public event, Southport Flower Show, resulting in a distressed King fleeing the event earlier than intended.[24][25][26]

King is a supporter of Liverpool FC.[27]

Relationships[edit]

King had a five-year relationship with former Coronation Street actor Philip Middlemiss (who played Des Barnes).[28]

In 2006, she became engaged to fellow actor Jim Alexander who co-starred in several series of Dream Team with her, as well as the Daz adverts. However, the pair split in early 2007. She briefly dated fellow soap actor Louis Emerick following the split.[citation needed]

The actress dated Adam Huckett, a Coronation Street sound technician from April 2007. She gave birth to their daughter on 11 February 2009. King became engaged to Huckett in September 2011 while on a trip to Paris, however, on 16 October 2012 it was reported that the engagement was off as they had split up.[citation needed]

In 2016, King had been dating Hollyoaks assistant director Paul Slavin.[29] She said of the relationship: "I'm seeing somebody. It's very early days so I don't want to say anything more, but I'm happy." However, in November 2018, she was pictured with a new 'mystery' man and in August 2019, it was reported that they were engaged. In an OK Magazine cover and interview in September, King posed for photos with her new fiancé, IT consultant David Stuckley and announced their engagement.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2000 Scooter Mum Imelda Short film
2003 Shanghai Knights Prostitute
2004 Fat Slags Receptionist
2005 Submerged Damita Direct-to-video
2006 Final Contract: Death on Delivery Lara
2007 Back in Business Covington
Save Angel Hope Jacqui Lydon
2008 All Day Breakfast Short film
Last Chance Helen TV film
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Brookside Helen Episode: "Noisy Stuff"
1998–2002,
2003,
2005–2006,
2007
Dream Team Lynda Block Series regular (234 episodes)
2000 Cold Feet Girlpower Season 3, Episode 5
2001 Urban Gothic Stella McDonald Episode: "The End"
Coupling Chrissie Episode: "The Man with Two Legs"
2002 Cutting It Georgie Cates Season 1, Episode 2
Celeb Zoe Episode: "The Infatuation"
2003 Holby City Becky Roper Episode: "...As the Day is Long"
Murphy's Law Ang Episode: "Reunion"
Doctors Lisa Durrel Episode: "Survival of the Fittest"
2004 Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Erica Trasker Episode: "Our Men in Havana"
Coronation Street Mrs. Fanshaw Episode 5718
2005 Help Rebecca Main cast (5 episodes)
Mile High Denise Croker Season 2, Episode 26
2006– Coronation Street Carla Connor Series regular
2018 Sick Note Chief Superintendent Christine Henchy 4 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Category Nominated for Result Ref.
All About Soap Awards 2012 Best Actress Coronation Street Nominated [30]
British Soap Awards 2007 Sexiest Female Nominated [31]
2011 Sexiest Female Nominated [32]
2012 Best Actress Won [33]
Best Dramatic Performance Nominated [33]
2015 Best Actress Nominated [34]
2016 Best Actress Nominated [35]
2019 Best Actress Nominated [36]
Daily Star Soaper Star Awards 2008 Best Bitch Won [37]
Digital Spy Reader Awards 2011 Best Soap Actress Third [38]
2012 Best Female Soap Actor Fifth [39]
2014 Best Female Soap Actor Second [40]
2015 Best Soap Actor Fourth [41]
Digital Spy Soap Awards 2008 Sexiest Female Nominated [42]
Inside Soap Awards 2008 Best Bitch Won [43]
2009 Best Bitch Nominated [44]
2010 Best Dramatic Performance Nominated [45]
Sexiest Female Nominated [45]
2015 Best Actress Won [46]
2019 Best Actress Nominated [47]
National Television Awards 2012 Best Serial Drama Performance Nominated [48]
2016 Best Serial Drama Performance Nominated [49]
RTS North West Awards 2014 Best Performance in a Continuing Drama Won [50]
TV Choice Awards 2012 Best Soap Actress Nominated [51]
2015 Best Soap Actress Won [52]
2019 Best Soap Actress Won [53]
TVTimes Awards 2019 Favourite Soap Star Nominated [54]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Me sexy? But I'm 35; CORRIE STAR AWARD JOY". The Mirror (courtesy of thefreelibrary.com). Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Alison King happy to be sex symbol". Press Association. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Corrie star pleased by sex symbol status". Digital Spy. December 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Coronation Street star Alison King: I'm back but blobbier". Daily Mirror. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
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  7. ^ a b c d Staff (15 February 2007). "You can't imagine how nerve-wracking it was – filming in the Rovers", Leicester Mercury (archived at AccessMyLibrary). Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  8. ^ a b "Alison King CV Archived 2 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine", Creative Artist Management. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Submerged (2005) Movie Review". Beyond Hollywood. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  10. ^ Green, Kris (16 February 2004). "Soap bosses 'sex up' Jason Grimshaw", Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  11. ^ Alison King (Carla Connor, Corrie) – Coronation Street Interview – Soaps. Digital Spy (25 May 2010).
  12. ^ Daniels, Colin (5 June 2011). "Corrie's Carla Connor 'to suffer brutal attack'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
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  14. ^ "Alison King: 8 reasons Carla Connor owned the cobbles". ITV. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Coronation Street bombshell Alison King reveals Carla's 'throwaway' proposal". Daily Express. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Reveal Magazine - Celebrity, fashion, debates and real life - Reveal".[permanent dead link]
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  24. ^ Fay Strang (26 August 2014). "Coronation Street's Alison King 'pleads for extra security amid stalker hell'". Daily Mirror.
  25. ^ "'Coronation Street' Star Alison King 'Asks Bosses For Extra Security' After Stalker Hell". The Huffington Post UK. 26 August 2014.
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  27. ^ "Alison King Addresses Ryan Thomas Romance Rumours". OK. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  28. ^ Mahoney, John (11 November 2006). "I'm the WAG of Weatherfield", Daily Star (archived at AccessMyLibrary). Retrieved 20 December 2006.
  29. ^ "Alison King is dating". Female First. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
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