Swanage star charged extra to take home Best Actress award

Swanage actress Nicole Faraday has picked up the biggest award of her life at an international film festival – and was promptly charged excess baggage fees to bring it back to Dorset!

Nicole was presented with the cut glass trophy for Best Actress at the Marbella International Film Festival in Spain for her role in the black comedy movie Not By The Book.

Nicole Faraday won Best Actress award at the Marbella Film Festival

Nicole Faraday won Best Actress award at the Marbella Film Festival

Trophy tipped baggage allowance over limit

But the prestigious – and heavy – award tipped her baggage allowance over the limit when she flew back with Ryanair and check-in staff made her pay an extra 22 Euros to take it onboard with her.

Nicole, whose latest film Future TX with comedian Griff Rhys Jones will be released nationally at cinemas from Friday 21st October 2022, said the award was totally unexpected, but one of the proudest moments of her life.

She shared the limelight with Kevin McNally, best known as Jack Sparrow’s First Mate Joshamee Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, who won the Best Actor award for Musketeer.


Nicole shared the limelight with Best Actor winner Kevin McNally

Winning film was delayed by lockdown

Nicole, who grew up in Swanage and has since returned to live in her home town, said:

“Not By The Book was filmed before Covid and delayed by the lockdown – it’s now due for general release in January 2023, but was submitted for the 17th Marbella film festival and made the final 30 in the feature films category out of about 300.

“I was invited to attend the festival and jumped at the chance to soak up some late summer sun, but it was only when I was over there that I learned I was in the final three for the Best Actress award.”


Nicole got the chance to soak up some late summer sun in Marbella

Ryanair staff charged her an extra 22 Euros

Nicole added:

“It was an honour and a thrill to win it, but it was a big, heavy glass award and because I took a last minute decision to go to Marbella I was on a budget flight with a weight limit on luggage.

“It took my bag 2.2 pounds over the limit, and although the Ryanair staff were very nice and congratulated me when I dug the award out of my bag and showed them, I was still charged an extra 22 Euros to take it onto the plane with me!”

Nicole is best known for her role as Snowball Merriman in Bad Girls

Nicole is hoping for a return as bad girl Veronica in Emmerdale

Far cry from plays at The Mowlem

The award will now take pride of place in her Swanage home along with a similar TMA theatre award for Best Supporting Role in a musical which she won for Bad Girls: The Musical in 2007.

She had earlier played the role of Snowball Merriman – an ‘evil, murdering druggie ex pornstar’ in two series of Bad Girls and went on to land the role of Dr Heather Lincoln in the BBC drama Casualty, who misdiagnosed patients, bedded colleagues and was sacked for malpractice.

Nicole is also fondly remembered as bad girl Veronica from Emmerdale and is hoping to be invited back for the soap’s 50th anniversary year.

It seems a far cry from appearing at The Mowlem for seasons with the Swanage Rep, but Nicole says she enjoys theatre just as much as her film and television work, and also has a singing and cabaret career, describing herself as a jack of all trades.

She’s behind you! Nicole is looking forward to being the baddie in Aladdin at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone

Only female Abanazar in UK pantos

Nicole said:

“I’m looking forward to another panto season in Aladdin this Christmas as the evil vizir. I’m the only female Abanazar in the country – I think I may have a little bit of a reputation for playing wicked roles because of my TV roles as bad girls!

“It will mean another Christmas in another town – Folkestone this year – but although I tour a lot it is always lovely coming back to the town I grew up in.

“When I am not on the telly for a while, people assume I have given up acting, so it is always brilliant when I can come back to Swanage and work in the county I love.

“I was in Soul Sisters The Musical in Weymouth and Poole this year, and Future TX was filmed in and around Bournemouth with a number of extras from Purbeck, so people watching the film may well see some places and faces they recognise!”

Future TX stars Griff Rhys Jones and Nicole

Black comedy Not By The Book is in cinemas in January 2023

Touring Murder Mystery Theatre shows

Aladdin is running at the Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone from Friday 9th to Saturday 31st December 2022. Future TX is out in Odeon cinemas across the country from Friday 21st October 2022 and Not By The Book will be released nationally in the second week of January 2023.

And with appearances in touring Murder Mystery Theatre shows and an adult pantomime in Bournemouth still to come, Nicole says she is looking forward to the chance to take a holiday and put her feet up at some point in 2023!

Nicole Faraday on the red carpet at the Marbella Film Festival

Nicole on the red carpet at Marbella Film Festival

Further information

  • Full lists of winners and awards are on the Marbella Film Festival website:
  • All the latest news from Nicole Faraday is on her official website:

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