I refused to diet to be a model hit.
She's the ex-model who plays a retired clothes-horse in Neighbours ...
And she hated life on the catwalk.
Nicola, 27, clambered up modelling's greasy pole to become the Oil of Ulay girl, but confessed: "Nothing would upset me more to think I'd ever go back to it.
"I was a model for seven years and I was happy to leave it behind. It's awful - not creative, boring, stressful and soul-destroying.
"From the outside looking in, it must seem glamorous and alluring, but it's not."
English-born Nicola is a willowy brunette with a perfect figure, but she endured constant carping about her weight.
She said: "I was always nagged to go on a diet - agents said I was too big."
But Nicola reckons there are too many emaciated models in the glam game already and said: "I was slim, not skinny, but normal. In the modelling world, that wasn't good enough.
"But I refused to give in. I couldn't have lived with myself if I'd promoted an unhealthy body image which was going to influence young girls."
So, disillusioned with her career choice, Nicola was on the brink of taking a job with the RSPCA.
Nicola, who has a dog called Boo, said: "Animals are my first love. I did an O- level in rural science because the course involved farm visits. Once I was standing behind a cow when it relieved itself and a massive cowpat landed on my shoes!"
The animal world's loss became soap' gain when Nicola followed boyfriend Scott Michaelson, an ex- Erinsborough hunk, to Oz.
A drama coach suggested she try out for Neighbours. The producers were so impressed they created the role of Sarah especially for her.
Nicola is pleased with the way her character has turned out. Now medical receptionist Sarah is on the brink of her first Ramsay Street romance. But it hasn't been a smooth transition from model to actress. At first, the newcomer struggled to be accepted.
Nicola said: "Neighbours is a bit of a sausage factory and I didn't fit in.
"I was seen as an ex-modeland no one expected I'd be able to act.
"But I knew I could do it and I think I shocked them all. Soon after I joined, the script editor told me he thought I could handle any storyline he threw at me, which was a huge compliment."
If things don't work out for Nicola, she says there's always the RSPCA.
She laughed: "You'll probably find me grooming some old flea-bag of a cat!"
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Feb 7, 1998|
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