Nichola Burley is no stranger to period dramas having appeared in Wuthering Heights.
Now, however, she has just finished filming the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey to be screened early next year.
“It was wonderful and yet quite daunting,” says 28-year-old Nichola.
“It feels like you are stepping into a real family, but everyone was so welcoming and it was amazing to be involved in the final series of something so iconic as Downton Abbey.”
Nichola can’t tell us much about her character and what happens to her other than to say she causes a bit of a stir both below and above stairs.
“She is a fantastic character and has an effect on a lot of people’s lives. I feel very fortunate to have got the part,” she said.
As if filming one of the UK’s most successful series both here and in America, Nichola from Harehills, Leeds, had her 18 month old son Isaac with her.
“I’m not sure he was all that impressed,” she says. “If he wanted feeding then he didn’t mind who he screamed at but I think it is good for him to see that acting isn’t all about glamour and excitement.”
Nichola, who also appeared in Street Dance 3D and a number of other movies, never really intended to be an actress. “I wanted to be a contemporary dancer and attended Nothern Contemporary Dance School and was part of Phoenix Dance, and that was what I wanted to do.
“But I attended Intake School and the drama teachers there were great and from time to time they would get casting agents down to the school. On one such occasion I got spotted and chosen for a film called Love and Hate. But even after that I went back to dance.”
The success of her drama and dance classes in Birmingham have led Nichola to set up Inca Arts in Leeds. It will open at the John Smeaton School initially on Mondays from September 14.
She added: “It is exhausting have an 18 month old, working and travelling to London for auditions, but I love it and it works for me. ”