Harrogate’s own soap star to join Coronation Street

TIS Theater Fashion Show 08. Claire King who compered the show. Picture : Adrian Murray. AM2901081a
TIS Theater Fashion Show 08. Claire King who compered the show. Picture : Adrian Murray. AM2901081a

Harrogate’s own actress Claire King is set to reach new heights of soap stardom as she joins the cast of Coronation Street this coming Christmas time.

The 51-year-old former Emmerdale actress, born and brought up in the town, still lives in the area.

She made national newspaper headlines earlier this year after joining the cast of Celebrity Big Brother.

And now it’s been revealed that she is to start work this month on the cobbles of Coronation Street, as a festive new love interest for Nick Tilsley this December.

“I am beyond thrilled to be joining the cast of Coronation Street playing the funny and feisty Erika who looks certain to ruffle a few feathers once her high heels hit those world famous cobbles!” she said this week.

“A stint in Corrie is one of those ticks on most actor’s bucket list of jobs you dream of doing, so I can’t wait to start filming in a few weeks time!”

Claire King, born Claire Seed, is a former student at Harrogate Ladies College in the town.

She changed her name to King as there was already an actress of that name, citing her love of Elvis Presley and horseracing - “the sport of kings” - for her choice.

She is well known around the Harrogate area, often attending local events and supporting charity fundraisers including Age UK.

The Harrogate actress shot to fame in the 1970s after joining Emmerdale, where she is best known for her role as Kim Tate.

She went on to play tough governor Karen Betts in Bad Girls and has been nominated for Villain of The Year and Sexiest Female at the British Soap Awards before scooping the Best Exit award.

Now, after a stint in the Big Brother House this summer, she is back in the limelight with her new role as barmaid Erika.

Coronation Street bosses say she will play a ‘sexy newcomer’, arriving in Weatherfield this December to catch up with old friend Liz McDonald and embarking on a fling with Coronation Street favourite Nick Tilsley.

She starts filming this month, ITV have said, and will be on screen for a few weeks in December before ‘jetting off back to Spain at the end of the year’.

Producer Stuart Blackburn said: “Erika is a woman who lives life to the full, Nick doesn’t stand a chance once she has set her sights on him, but he’s not complaining!

“We are delighted to have Claire on board to play Erika, she is a fabulous actress who will be a great addition to the cast.”