Alison King

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Alison King
Born (1973-03-03) 3 March 1973 (age 43)
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Nationality English
Education Groby Community College
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present
Television Dream Team (1998–2003, 2005–07)
Coronation Street (2006–16)
Children 1
Parent(s) Alex and June King
Awards Full list

Alison Rosamund King (born 3 March 1973) is an English actress and model. She has had such major television roles as Lynda Block in the Sky One drama series Dream Team, and as Carla Connor in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street (2006–16). 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 Leicester Royal Infirmary to Alex and June King, who were both nurses at the hospital. She was their fourth child and third daughter. 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]

Actress[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 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. For these scenes, she had to be tied to a chair with her hands tied behind her back and have her mouth gagged with gaffer tape.[11][12] Of filming the scenes, she said "We were tied up and gagged for a week and a half. My wrist was sore at the end! It was a different experience anyway, acting for two weeks with your hands tied behind your back on a chair."[11][13]

In 2011, King's character was raped by her boyfriend.[14] This storyline had a massive public impact and saw a high rise in reported rapes across the United Kingdom.[15] 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.[16] 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."[17] In May 2015, it was announced she would be taking an extended break from Coronation Street to pursue other projects.[18][19][20] 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, whch I can’t do while I’m on Coronation Street. So, those are the reasons, really."[21] She departed on 26 May 2016 and in an interview said that she would be looking for new types of roles and projects. The cast of the show tweeted their sadness at her departure on her last day of filming.[22] King said of leaving "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."[23] The cast threw her a leaving party at Salford Quays after her departure.[24]

King confessed in an interview 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."[25] She will greet guests in a virtual reality video when Coronation Street goes on tour in late 2016/early 2017, beginning in Glasgow.[26] 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."[27] Her co-star and friend Kym Marsh told how she misses King since she left the show.[28] King has praised Marsh's acting in the soap since her departure.[29] In September 2016, while attending a Cirque Du Soleil show after just returning from a holiday in France, King admitted that since quitting Coronation Street, she has not picked up any acting work and she has no projects lined up, joking that she may join the circus.[30][31][32] She stated she is still enjoying her time off but suggested she may quit acting.[33] She quipped: "Yeah, I'll maybe have a go tonight and see how it pans out."[34]

King admitted that she feels she cannot act unless she has a photograph of actor Anthony Hopkins by her side. She said "I have an old black and white picture of him that I put up on my wall everywhere I work, otherwise I feel like I fail as an actor. I'd love to take him for a drink."[35]

King has turned down offers to appear on Strictly Come Dancing due to nervousness about the publicity.[32]

Other activities[edit]

King was the face of Boddingtons beer in 2004.[36] She made appearances in a series of recurring television adverts for Daz.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 2014, it was reported that King 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.[37][38][39][40]

She had a five-year relationship with former Coronation Street actor Philip Middlemiss (who played Des Barnes).[41]

In 2006, King 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 star Louis Emerick following the split.[citation needed]

She dated Adam Huckett, a Coronation Street sound technician from April 2007. In 2008, it was announced she was expecting her first child.[42] She gave birth to their daughter, Daisy Mae, on 11 February 2009, in a Manchester hospital. The baby weighed 6lbs 7oz. A Coronation Street spokeswoman said "No name has been decided on yet but mum and baby are doing well. Everyone at Coronation Street sends Alison and her partner Adam Huckett their best wishes on the birth of their daughter."[43] King has also stated that she wishes to have more children in the future,[44][45] and loves being a mother.[46] She 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. In 2016, she was forced to deny that she was romantically involved with her Coronation Street co-star Ryan Thomas after they were pictured on holiday together.[47] Since 2016, she has been dating Hollyoaks assistant director Paul Slavin.[48][49] The relationship was revealed after they were photographed by the press and there was speculation as to his identity.[50] 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."[47]

King is a keen football fan and a supporter of English Premier League football side Liverpool F.C.[51]

King is a smoker, although she gave up while pregnant with her child.[52][53][54]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Result
2009 Coronation Street British Soap Awards Best Actress Nominated
2011 Sexiest Female Nominated
2012 National Television Awards Best Serial Drama Performance Nominated[55]
British Soap Awards Best Actress Won[56]
British Soap Awards Best Dramatic Performance Nominated
TV Quick Awards Best Soap Actress Nominated
2014 Royal Television Society North West Awards Best Performance in a Continuing Drama Won
2015 British Soap Awards Best Actress Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best Soap Actress Won
Inside Soap Awards Best Actress Won
2016 National Television Awards Best Serial Drama Performance Nominated
British Soap Awards Best Actress Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "British Soap Awards: Full list of nominations". Somerset Live. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  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. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Coronation Street star Alison King: I'm back but blobbier". Mirror. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Alison King improves her smile". Dentistry.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  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", Creative Artist Management. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Submerged (2005) Movie Review". Beyond Hollywood. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Green, Kris (16 February 2004). "Soap bosses 'sex up' Jason Grimshaw", Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
  11. ^ a b Alison King (Carla Connor, Corrie) – Coronation Street Interview – Soaps. Digital Spy (25 May 2010).
  12. ^ "Another Cobbles Comeback?". The Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  13. ^ "UNDIE SIEGE; Carla fights for her life in knicker factory.". The Mirror (courtesy of thefreelibrary.com). Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  14. ^ Daniels, Colin (5 June 2011). "Corrie's Carla Connor 'to suffer brutal attack'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Alison King reveals her top five favourite moments on Coronation Street". Mirror. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Alison King: 8 reasons Carla Connor owned the cobbles". ITV. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  17. ^ "Coronation Street bombshell Alison King reveals Carla's 'throwaway' proposal". Daily Express. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  18. ^ "Reveal Magazine - Celebrity, fashion, debates and real life - Reveal". 
  19. ^ Mark Jefferies (1 May 2015). "Coronation Street's Alison King QUITS: Carla Connor actress set to leave after nine years on the cobbles". mirror. 
  20. ^ "Alison King quits Coronation Street after nine years". Mail Online. 2 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "Alison King on her Coronation Street exit - "It's not a sabbatical. I'm leaving"". RadioTimes. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  22. ^ "Coronation Street cast tweet sadness as Alison King bows out of Weatherfield after 10 years on soap". OK. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  23. ^ "Alison King". Coronation Street Blog Interview. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  24. ^ "Coronation Street stars turn out to say ta-ra chuck to Carla Connor actress Alison King". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  25. ^ "Alison King: 'Coronation Street ruined my body'". Female First. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "Alison King returns to Coronation Street just two months after leaving". OK. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Alison King says doing Coronation Street on Tour was 'surreal'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  28. ^ "'I miss Alison King': Kym Marsh reveals she's 'adjusting' to life at Coronation Street without her BFF". The Sun. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  29. ^ "Alison King praises Kym Marsh over Coronation Street pregnancy plot as she returns to the cobbles". Mirror. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  30. ^ "Alison King might join the circus after failing to secure post-Coronation Street work". Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  31. ^ "Alison King reveals she's struggling to find acting work after Corrie". WhatsOnTV. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  32. ^ a b "Coronation Street's Alison King reveals she's 'leaving' soap behind for a surprising 'new career'". OK. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  33. ^ "Ex-Coronation Street star Alison King says she may QUIT acting". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  34. ^ "Coronation Street cast join other soap stars at Cirque du Soleil Amaluna premiere". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  35. ^ "Alison King inspired by Hopkins". Female First. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  36. ^ "Last chance for Corrie's Carla? An interview with Alison King". Sunday Express. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  37. ^ Sun, The. "Corrie Carla's female stalker terror". The Sun. Laura Armstrong. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 
  38. ^ Fay Strang (26 August 2014). "Coronation Street's Alison King 'pleads for extra security amid stalker hell'". mirror. 
  39. ^ "'Coronation Street' Star Alison King 'Asks Bosses For Extra Security' After Stalker Hell". The Huffington Post UK. 26 August 2014. 
  40. ^ http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/503482/Coronation-Street-s-Alison-King-asks-bosses-for-extra-security-due-to-female-stalker
  41. ^ Mahoney, John (11 November 2006). "I'm the WAG of Weatherfield", Daily Star (archived at AccessMyLibrary). Retrieved 20 December 2006.
  42. ^ "'Thrilled' Coronation Street star Alison King pregnant with her first child". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  43. ^ "It's a girl: Coronation Street star Alison King gives birth to her first child". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  44. ^ retrieved on 26 Feb 2009. Itv.com (27 May 2011).
  45. ^ Corrie star King expecting first child – Coronation Street News – Showbiz. Digital Spy (10 August 2008).
  46. ^ "Alison King: I'm Nothing Like Carla!". Soap Squawk. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  47. ^ a b "Alison King Addresses Ryan Thomas Romance Rumours". OK. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  48. ^ "Alison has Holly-Bloke: Corrie star's new fella revealed as the assistant director for rival soap Hollyoaks". The Sun. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  49. ^ "Alison King is dating". Female First. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  50. ^ "Coronation Street star Alison King shares a passionate kiss with a mystery male companion... after filming final soap scenes". Daily Mail. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  51. ^ "Reveal Magazine - Celebrity, fashion, debates and real life - Reveal". 
  52. ^ "Exclusive: Coronation Street's pregnant Alison King is ordered to smoke". Mirror. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  53. ^ "Coronation Street asks pregnant star to smoke". CelebsNow. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  54. ^ "Alison King's smoking shock". FemaleFirst. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  55. ^ The British Soap Awards 2012 nominations are announced to be shown on ITV1 in May – Mirror Online. Mirror.co.uk (5 April 2012).
  56. ^ British Soap Awards 2012: Full viewer and panel shortlist revealed – Soaps News. Digital Spy (5 April 2012).

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