May 25, 2022 8.30 pm

Lincolnshire Coronation Street actress proud of NTA nomination

You can vote for Harriet Bibby now!

Lincolnshire actress Harriet Bibby has spent more than a year-and-a-half on the iconic Coronation Street cobbles and now her portrayal of teenager Summer Spellman has been recognised with a nomination at the upcoming National Television Awards.

The 24-year-old, who attended De Aston School in her home town of Market Rasen, got her big break in Coronation Street in September 2020 and after several big story lines, including a hate crime centred around Seb and Nina, played by Harry Visinoni and Mollie Gallagher.

More recently, Summer is preparing for her A-Level exams as she aims for Oxford University, but she is also struggling with type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder, something Harriet has found eye-opening in playing her character.

Harriet has now been nominated for an NTA award for best serial drama performance, where she is up against 23 other nominees, finding out via social media she was in the running for the gong. Voting is open until June 6 and then a final shortlist will be decided.

Vote for Harriet here

Summer after a collapse relating to her type 1 diabetes. | Photo: ITV

Reflecting on the nomination, Harriet -who lives with her sister Nancy and their friend in Manchester – told The Lincolnite: “I found out yesterday [May 24] on social media via my sister Nancy as people had already started voting. I was a bit shocked but also chuffed.

“I am really proud as in the grand scheme of things it has been quite a short time on the show, so to be recognised for the stories I’ve been in is lovely.

“To see your name in a list with actors such as Maureen Lipman feels mad, but I also feel very privileged. Honestly, I am just pleased to be on there, to see my face on there is fabulous. It is definitely an honour to be one of the names in the hat.

“Other actors in the category are fantastic, so to be alongside them is amazing. My family are so excited and trying to tell everyone to vote. My mum works at De Aston School and my dad works at the University of Lincoln so they are drumming up support. If anyone can vote for me it would mean the world to me.

“I’m proud of myself. Growing up in Market Rasen there is not much going on in this industry so to get myself in and push myself through the right doors makes me feel proud.

“When I go home it’s really lovely. The people who already knew me from home, their reaction is the same as me, still buzzing that I’m here and doing it. There’s also a lot of people who know there is someone from Market Rasen in Corrie and I now get stopped more when I go to shops when I’m back home.”

Harriet Bibby as Summer Spellman, with fellow cast members Liam Scholes, Maximus Evans, Mollie Gallagher, and Harry Visinoni during the hate crime story line. | Photo: ITV

Last year Harriet was nominated for best newcomer at the Inside Soap Awards, which was won by one of her Corrie colleagues Jude Riordan, who plays Sam Blakeman. In last year’s Inside Soap Awards best storyline was awarded to Nina and Seb’s hate crime horror, which Summer was very much involved in.

Harriet added: “Due to COVID, there was not a huge ceremony for the Inside Soap Awards. It felt really lovely to be recognised, the same as it does for the NTAs. Jude is a little star, he’s fabulous and it was really nice to see it go to him.

“That [the Nina and Seb hate crime] was one of the storylines where a huge portion of the cast were involved and it felt lovely to be included in that and help tell that story.”

Harriet Bibby as Summer Spellman, with her on-screen dad Billy Mayhew (played by Daniel Brocklebank) after Todd Grimshaw’s misdemeanours become common knowledge. | Photo: ITV

So what’s next for Summer Spellman?

Harriet said: “At the moment we are seeing Summer struggle with her type 1 diabetes and not managing her medication very well. She has also developed an eating disorder and seeing her struggle through this mismanagement of medication and being very conscious of her body image.

“She’s taking her A-Levels and this week is not looking great for her. I didn’t know much about it [diabetes] at all before and [now] I’ve done a lot of work with Diabetes UK. I’ve also spoken to people they have worked with who have been through a similar thing to Summer.

“I’ve learnt a lot about the management of diabetes, but also that being hand in hand with an eating disorder and how difficult that is. It has definitely been eye opening for me and I hope it has been for viewers as well.

“Right now, we are still seeing Summer aim for Oxford University, revising and worrying about exams, but over the next few weeks we may see her dream crumble a little bit.”

And the future for Harriet? She added: “I am happy on the cobbles and seeing what’s to come for Summer.

“I think there’s always growth that comes with playing a character. You learn something new about yourself and I have grown in the past a few years. I think with an actor normally they are short-term jobs, but with a character on a soap you are with them all the way through and you don’t necessarily know where they’ll end up.

“There are definitely people who I am friends with now such as Elle Mulvaney [Amy Barlow] and I sometimes think ‘wow, I”m out with Amy Barlow’. I think [being star struck] will always kind of happen having grown up watching the show.”

Harriet at her graduation at Westminster Cathedral in 2019 with her dad Stewart, sister Nancy and mum Emma.

Harriet’s mum Emma said: “We are over the moon with Harriet’s achievements since leaving drama school, especially since she has had no contacts or knowledge of the industry before embarking on her career. Harriet has made all this happen and all of her family are so proud that she is doing what she loves.”

Her dad Stewart added: “We are all incredibly proud of Harriet and her achievements in portraying a character who is struggling with coming to terms with her issues. Watching her on screen is so amazing and the nomination for a NTA just incredible!”