When she’s not learning her lines, Kimberly, who owns the fashion company Hart-Work, creates beautiful clothes for her cast mates and breathes life back into people’s cast-offs

Stepping back on to the ­Corrie cobbles after a two-year break was a no-brainer for Kimberly Hart-Simpson.

And she loves that her character Nicky Wheatley has grown from a single-mum sex worker trying to make ends meet to an outreach worker helping vulnerable women. Speaking for the first time since returning to the show, Kimberly, who previously appeared in Hollyoaks, says: “She’s a powerful woman. I respect her immensely.

“She’s unapologetically herself and owns her history. To a degree, it’s celebrated. It’s not this negative thing that she was a sex worker. How amazing for a soap to portray a woman from a sex worker to an outreach worker, empowering her rather than someone who should be looked down upon.”

Nicky’s back in Weatherfield to help out pal Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard) (
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ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Kimberly says Nicky was brought back without a habit, such as being an alcoholic. “She just had the sole purpose of trying to look after a daughter. I think that really resonates with people in this industry as well.” Landing a part on Coronation Street in 2020 after 10 years of trying was more than a dream come true for Kimberly, now 36.

It also meant she had fulfilled the 2007 dying wish of her Corrie super-fan father Kevin, 63. He had cancer and his last words to her were: “Just do me a favour and get in Corrie, love.” Kimberly, who grew up watching the soap, said: “I was determined to get on because of what it meant to my dad and his request.”

She says: “It’s been a long slog to get on the show, I went for so many parts over the years – like shopper number two. When you’re rejected for something you really want, it lays heavy. So when I was asked to come back it was an easy yes.” Nicky’s back in Weatherfield to help out pal Daniel Osbourne (Rob Mallard), who is under suspicion over the disappearance of Lauren Bolton (Cait Fitton).

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Kimberly says Nicky was brought back without a habit
Daniel thinks Nicky may be able to help uncover information about Lauren from the girls she supports on the streets. Kimberly’s character disappeared from Corrie in 2022. She says: “When Nicky last was in, there wasn’t an exit story line, she was just dropped off in a taxi at home. So I’m presuming she’d gone to have a brew. Corrie was never done in my head, it was just a dot dot dot. So when they asked me to come back with this storyline I was always going to say yes.”

Recalling the moment her life changed for ever, Kimberly was making costumes for a production of Cinderella in St Helens, Merseyside, in 2020 when she got the call to say she had the part. In 2022 she was back there, playing Cinders. She compares her reaction to that of two X Factor stars. She says: “It was a mixture between Rylan Clark, when he got through to judges’ houses, and Leona Lewis’s Bleeding Love when she cries down the wall in the video.

“It had been a long road and I had arrived. I’ll just never forget that feeling of knowing I did it. It was all worth it in the end. I said it out loud to my dad then rang my mum, Gill. She was beside herself.” Life-long Corrie fan Kimberly was understandably star-struck on set in the early days. David Nielsen (Roy Cropper) showing you where you get your lunch. It’s not normal. You sort of have to chill out or else you might come across as a weirdo.”

Kimberley with her lookalike mum (
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INSTAGRAM)

Kimberley confessed she wore a ‘random woman’s knickers’ while on the run with EasEnders’ Danielle Harold (
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kimberly_h_s/Instagram)
When she’s not learning her lines, Kimberly, who owns the fashion company Hart-Work, creates beautiful clothes for her cast mates and breathes life back into people’s cast-offs. Kimberly, from Rhyl, Denbighshire, reveals to us she wants to be the next Jay Blades, star of BBC ’s The Repair Shop.

She says: “I see something that’s dead, that’s destined for landfill, and I feel the urge to bring it back to life. I feel sorry for objects, like they’ve got feelings and heartbeats. It’s a bit chaotic in my home because of that. My studio is like Jay Blades’ Repair Shop – but not as good. I adore him and would love to work together. I’m finding a lot of joy and pleasure in uploading my videos of upcycling on to Instagram and I love it. I’ve got this new thing of turning clothing into interiors. It’s an unexplored area.”

Kimberly has also turned friends’ possessions from lost loved ones into keepsakes. “I turn things like old clothing into keepsakes, such as pillows so they live within their home.” During her break from Corrie, Kimberly tried to find love on Celebs Go Dating and revealed she was pansexual, attracted to people regardless of their gender identity.

She is currently single, happy and “open to love at all times”. She was also partnered with ex-EastEnders actress Danielle Harold for a forthcoming series of Channel 4 ’s Celebrity Hunted. She says it is comedy gold: “I can’t wait until it’s out. It’s quite the Chuckle Brother vibe. No one knows where they are. Danielle thought she was in Liverpool for the entire thing. We had been in the car for six hours.” The show is in aid of Stand Up To Cancer, a cause close to Kimberly’s heart following the death of her dad, who was cared for by Macmillan nurses.

In March she lost her aunt Patricia to cancer. Kimberly remains coy about how long she will be back on Corrie. With dreams of presenting, she would love to front a TV show. She says: “We’re talking about doing a Jay Blades kind of thing. But if the rest of my life was me being on Coronation Street, that would be a very beautiful life.”