Nicola Walker discusses tying the knot with husband Barnaby Kay after 20 year romance

‘I’m not a great advocate of marriage in real life’: Nicola Walker discusses her reservations over tying the knot with husband Barnaby Kay after 20-year romance – ahead of starring as Sean Bean’s wife in new BBC drama

Nicola Walker has said she is not an advocate for tying the knot, ahead of her starring turn in new drama Marriage with Sean Bean.

The actress, 52, remarked on her marriage to Barnaby Kay, 53, who she wed in 2006 after a 20 year relationship, as she promoted the series in a new interview,

The Spooks star told the Radio Times: ‘Me and my husband, because we both lost a parent young, we thought, after we had a child, we ought to get married, in case one of us dies, so that the legalities are clear.

Screen star:  Nicola Walker has said she is not an advocate for tying the knot, ahead of her starring turn in new drama Marriage with Sean Bean (pictured in ITV's Unforgotten)

Screen star:  Nicola Walker has said she is not an advocate for tying the knot, ahead of her starring turn in new drama Marriage with Sean Bean (pictured in ITV’s Unforgotten)

‘Which is not the most romantic reason to get married but is probably the only thing that would have got me to sign a piece of paper.

‘I’m not a great advocate of marriage in real life.’

 As she prepares for her role in the BBC drama alongside veteran actor Sean Bean, 63, to air, she pondered her co-star’s five marriages.

‘I’ve only got one, so Sean brings up the average [between the duo],’ the stalwart of screen said.

New drama: In the BBC drama which airs on Sunday August 14, Walker and Bean look at the pitfalls of a long relationship between characters Emma and Ian - who are bonded by a terrible event that they seldom refer to

New drama: In the BBC drama which airs on Sunday August 14, Walker and Bean look at the pitfalls of a long relationship between characters Emma and Ian – who are bonded by a terrible event that they seldom refer to

Husband: The actress, 52, remarked on her marriage to Barnaby Kay, 53, who she wed in 2006 after a 20 year relationship, as she promoted the series in a new interview (pictured 2016)

Husband: The actress, 52, remarked on her marriage to Barnaby Kay, 53, who she wed in 2006 after a 20 year relationship, as she promoted the series in a new interview (pictured 2016)

Nicola added that she considered it to be impolite to ask Game of Thrones star Sean what it was like to marry so many times.

In the BBC drama which airs on Sunday August 14, Walker and Bean look at the pitfalls of a long relationship between characters Emma and Ian – who are bonded by a terrible event that they seldom refer to. 

Walked mused: ‘Their daughter keeps saying, ‘We need to talk’, and they just won’t. Because most people don’t.

The full interview with Nicola Walker can be found in this week's edition of Radio Times

The full interview with Nicola Walker can be found in this week’s edition of Radio Times

‘We don’t carry the past blazing around in the present because we couldn’t get up and make our breakfast if it was in the forefront of our mind all the time. Emma can’t talk about this thing that has happened because it’s too big.

‘When she lets even a squeak out of it, it’s followed by a complete emotional breakdown. It’s embedded in their relationship, but they can’t talk about it.’

Remarking on the loss of her parent which spurred her on to marry her partner of 27 years, Nicola added: ‘I feel that about grief. When I lost my mum – a long time ago now – there was a month or six-week period when I felt that someone had pulled back the curtain in The Wizard of Oz and I really felt I saw the world for what it was: a very frightening place.

‘Then, slowly, the curtain comes across again because you can’t live at the sharp end of grief. And that’s what Ian and Emma have had to achieve.’

During the filming, Nicola found that an old piece of advice was particularly helpful.

After being told by director Ivo van Hove to ‘do what you would do in your kitchen’ when acting, Nicola found herself filming many scenes for Marriage in a kitchen.

But this naturalistic setting came with notoriously meticulous director Stefan Golazewski.

Nicola recounted: ‘Stefan had to really calm me down early on, because he said he did a lot of takes and suspected I wasn’t used to that. 

‘In all the telly I’ve done, if you’re not hitting the scene within three takes, you know you’re doing it wrong and wasting time.

She added: ‘With Stefan, 12, 13, 14, 16 takes is not unusual.’

Remarking on her most famous role in Spooks, she revealed that the BBC drama is still what she is recognised for, saying: ‘In terms of the public, Spooks was the one, and still is, as it’s streamed a lot. But the Spooks audience is so witty.

‘The first time I realised, I was in my local supermarket and someone sidled up and said, ‘The condor has landed; the geese fly tonight’, and wandered off down frozen foods. It was never just a run-of-the-mill ‘I love the show’.’

‘After Marriage, will people come up to her at the fresh fruit and tell her how awful their spouse is? ‘I hope they do.’ She’s sure, though, there won’t be a sequel called Divorce. ‘Ian and Emma would never split up. That’s the point.’

Marriage is a four-part drama on the BBC which begins airing this Sunday.

The full interview with Nicola Walker can be found in this week’s edition of Radio Times 

Career-forming: Nicola got her start on the popular long-running BBC drama Spooks

Career-forming: Nicola got her start on the popular long-running BBC drama Spooks

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