Nicola King is in for a series of shocks in the coming weeks after Jimmy (Nick Miles) lands himself in hospital.
After taking on yet more driving work, Jimmy finds himself battling tiredness and crashing his van. But after Nicola rushes to the hospital to find out the extent of her husband’s injuries, it soon transpires that she’s in for a further surprise:
"Jimmy tells her he’s had enough and that the marriage is over,” says Nicola Wheeler, who plays Nicola. “But in her mind, the only thing that happened is just that one kiss with Steve. So she thinks that Jimmy’s overreacting. Nicola can understand Jimmy being annoyed with her, but she was the one who stopped it from going any further.”
The Kings’ current woes stem from the £10,000 loan that Steve handed to Nicola, a sum of money that eventually turned out to have several strings attached.
But when Jimmy paid Steve back, he ended up taking money from the business and has been working around the clock ever since in order to recover the cash. So does Nicola feel guilty for getting them into such a mess in the first place?
“She feels completely responsible. She was stupid because she should have borrowed the money legitimately. Going behind Jimmy’s back meant that when the truth came out, it was always going to seem seedier than it actually was.”
Now the recriminations are set to continue after it turns out that, at the time of his accident, Jimmy was over his legal driving hours limit. Charity (Emma Atkins) wants to stop the crash from dropping the business in it and tells Nicola to inform the police that Jimmy was with her, asleep, the day before he ended up in hospital.
The trouble is that Jimmy refuses to lie and comes clean to the police. “In telling the truth, Jimmy incriminates Nicola because she’s said he was at home with her. She feels that she could be in trouble and that Jimmy could potentially go to prison,” says Wheeler.
And it isn’t long before PC Swirling is on Nicola’s case, telling her that the statement she made doesn’t add up. Quickly speaking up, Charity spares no detail in explaining to Swirling about Nicola’s recent problems, with the result being that Jimmy must go on a re-training course.
But in the meantime, Nicola is faced with the prospect of doing deliveries for Charity. But can she handle the pressure of driving the van?
“Charity gives her a lesson and Nicola nearly kills them both. Emma Atkins and I always have such a laugh because our characters are so hilarious together. At one point, Nicola drives into the Woolpack bench and all she can say is that at least there wasn’t anyone sitting there at the time.”
And will Nicola’s efforts do enough to win back Jimmy? “She needs to prove that she’s not a snob and that she’s going to work and put in the time and effort to pay the bills off. I think Jimmy is impressed by the truck driving because she’s keeping the business going while he can’t.
“I think they’re very well suited and work well together. And viewers should keep watching because something big will happen to make Jimmy realise that he doesn’t know what he’s got until it’s gone.”