Emmerdale actress Nicola Wheeler has revealed she is expecting her first child – and is already nearing the end of her pregnancy. The 40-year-old actress, who plays Nicola King on the ITV soap, confirmed the happy news on Twitter this week.
"Thanks for all your congratulations," she wrote. "Still got a couple of weeks until baby arrives. Unless he/she gets impatient."
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Nicola Wheeler has revealed she is due to give birth in just 'a couple of weeks'
Nicola's pregnancy had to be well hidden on screen. Her character has recently been dealing with the devastating news that she is going through the menopause, meaning she is unable to have a baby. It is not known whether it will be this storyline that leads to Nicola's exit from the show.
An Emmerdale source told the Sun, "Everyone is very happy for Nicola, it is wonderful news for her and her partner.
"But hiding her bump has presented a real challenge and the team have had to be very clever in keeping it under wraps.
"They also needed to explain Nicola's absence in a way that was in keeping with her character's story – which is the complete opposite to hers. But the bosses are happy with the storyline the writers have come up with and hope viewers feel the same.
The Emmerdale actress announced her happy news on Twitter
"Nicola is leaving in the next few weeks but her exit won't be aired for a while."
Nicola is second cast member to reveal a pregnancy this year; in January, Emma Atkins, who plays Charity Dingle, announced she was eight months pregnant, and would be taking a break from the soap.
Her pregnancy gave script writers the "perfect opportunity" to send her character to jail, and viewers subsequently saw Charity handed a two-year prison sentence for fraud.
"I do have a mixture of emotions going around because obviously I'm leaving for a while," the 39-year-old star said in a special video message.
Emma Atkins recently revealed her surprise pregnancy
"I am leaving. Probably for about a year because I'm leaving to have a baby which is really exciting," she added.
"I will miss Emmerdale so much but it is a new little journey in my life that I'm taking on now. Argh! I can't wait to come back - hopefully within a year."