Bad Girls star Nicole Faraday talks to Roxy Bourdillon about bombshells and bisexuality.
TEN SIX EIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
For Nicole Faraday, Bad Girls was life-changing, and not just because her role as Snowball Merriman in the iconic ITV prison drama was her “big break”. “When I was growing up, I didn’t feel like it was a possibility to be in a lesbian relationship, even though I was attracted to women and I fell in love with women,” she tells me when we meet for a waterside coffee on a glorious sunny day in London’s St Katharine Docks. “Being in Bad Girls – a few of the cast are gay and there’s lots of gay storylines – made me feel like, ‘Actually this is a possibility. I could live my life like this.’”
As a Larkhall superfan, I’m thrilled to be spending time with Nicole and she doesn’t disappoint, looking every inch the glamourpuss with her flowing maxi dress and trademark blonde locks. She has the deep but dulcet tones of someone trained in the art of musical theatre, and a delightfully filthy laugh. She’s also strikingly honest, describing her adolescence growing up in a “sleepy seaside town” with a “very middle-class” family. “I didn’t really know anyone that was gay. In my head I always thought, ‘One day I’ll meet a nice man, get married, have kids and live in a nice house’”. But like so many of us, myself included, Bad Girls, with its abundance of sapphic storylines, was a defining moment in her coming out journey.
After she left the show in 2003, Nicole had a three-year relationship with a woman, followed by a succession of romances with both women and men. She’s currently coupled up and “slowly but surely moving in” with her new partner, Lauren. “Now I’m fine about saying, ‘I’m in a lesbian relationship and I’m bisexual’. It doesn’t faze me a jot, the idea that I might spend the rest of my life with a woman. But in the past I was always worried what my family and friends would think. But they’ve been so supportive and they really, really love Lauren – Lolly, I call her.” Was Lauren a Bad Girls devotee before they got together? “No, she’s Australian,” explains Nicole, before admitting, “I forced her to watch it! I think she thought Snowball was... yeah, sexy. It’s always sexy being a baddie,” she chuckles knowingly.
She confesses that this is the first interview in which she’s opened up about her bisexuality. “Not for any reason other than no one’s ever asked! I think it’s all very fluid. Your souls meet.”
Find out what challenges Nicole's faced being bi and read the full interview in the October issue of DIVA, available now at divadigital.co.uk.
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