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Inside Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton's friendship ahead of 'sauciest' season of Bridgerton

The 'Polin' stars have been close friends for four years

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan pose together at Annabel's in London© Shutterstock
Megan Bull
TV Writer
April 4, 2024
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Dearest reader, it's almost Polin season! Ahead of Bridgerton's third outing, Lady Penelope herself – aka Nicola Coughlan – has teased the spiciest episodes yet, declaring that she and Luke Newton have officially "won the sauciness battle" on This Morning.  

Bridgerton releases new Penelope and Colin scene from season 3

Abuzz with anticipation, our perennial wallflower is set to fan the flames of love with one Colin Bridgerton this time around, a storyline that has presented its challenges. Initially 'terrified' about filming the intimate scenes, Nicola and Luke – who have been close friends for four years – were able to lean on one another for support, sharing a laugh between takes. 

Penelope and Colin in season three of Bridgerton© Netflix
Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton have filmed their sauciest scenes yet

And clearly their hard work paid off – these two exude chemistry in the teaser clips released so far! Ahead of Bridgerton's grand return on May 16, we're taking a closer look at the duo's enduring friendship over the years. Here's what Nicola and Luke have said about each other…

Reflecting on their Bridgerton journey, in 2023, Nicola told Entertainment Tonight: "Luke and I read the books at the beginning of season 1, and it was funny to us. We were like, 'Imagine if we have to kiss and do this.'

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan on the set of Bridgerton© Instagram
The pair have been close friends for four years

"And then season 3 came on and we were like, 'Oh god.' And then it's like, it's my friend. I have to kiss my friend," she continued. "You can't pretend to kiss someone, you have to really kiss them. It's a spicy one. It's a lot of the stuff from the books that the fans expect has made it into the show."

Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton in costume on the set of Bridgerton© Instagram
Nicola and Luke were nervous about filming intimate scenes but made each other feel more at ease

While Penelope and Colin's changing dynamic meant filming more risqué scenes than they're used to, Luke has credited Nicola with making him feel perfectly at ease. "I feel like there's always that question being asked of, is it easier to do the intimacy scenes or the more romantic scenes with someone who is your friend of four years or someone you just met for one day?" he explained to Entertainment Tonight in February. 

"I can safely say it's easier with a friend. There really is that sort of support. It's scary going in, but then, thankfully, we have a really good relationship, so we can talk about it, and we can laugh about it when we need to. It made it scary, but a lot better."

Nicola supported Luke during his stint in The Shape of Things© Instagram
Nicola supported Luke during his stint in The Shape of Things

Away from the set of Bridgerton, Nicola and Luke have continued to support one another too, championing each other's projects. 

Back in June, the actress shared a photo of her co-star, congratulating him on his latest performance in The Shape of Things. "Smashing it up on the London stage and I'm so proud, you're the best @lukenewtonuk," she penned in the caption. 

View post on Instagram

Luke has returned the favour too, and after Nicola designed a T-shirt for charity, he was among the first to wear it. Grateful for the gesture, the TV star posted a photo of Luke on Instagram, writing: "Thank you Luke for being the best and supporting this incredible charity who are supporting refugees in great need the world over." 

There's no doubt about it, these two are the definition of friendship goals! 

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