Ex Corrie star Nikki Sanderson tormented by BULLIES when she started in soap

Actress Nikki Sanderson has told how she suffered horrific physical and verbal attacks by bullies after joining Coronation Street , aged 15.

Nikki, now 34, joined Corrie as Candice Stowe almost 20 years ago.

She says: “I got a lot of nastiness and negativity. It was before social media so I used to get it in the street instead. It was when I first started at Corrie.

“It was all different types of things. I had my hair set on fire, I’ve been punched, kicked, pushed over, had drinks thrown over me, and been called every name under the sun.”

The most terrifying attack happened in her late teens when she was in a nightclub toilet.

‘I had my hair set on fire, I’ve been punched, kicked, pushed over,’ says Nicky
(Image: Tim Merry)

She recalled: “I was stood at the mirror and could smell something burning. I turned around and this girl was there with a lighter, setting fire to the bottom of my hair.”

Speaking for the first time about the bullying, Nikki praised her ITV colleagues, including co-stars Samia Ghadie and Tina O’Brien, for their support.

She says: “I have to say that everyone at Coronation Street and all the people around me were just so wonderful and supportive, which I’m truly grateful for.”

Nikki left Corrie in 2005 after six years. She joined Hollyoaks on Channel 4 almost seven years ago, playing Maxine Minniver, and has been at the centre of some of the soap’s biggest storylines.

Nikki praised her ITV colleagues, including co-stars Samia Ghadie and Tina O’Brien, for their support
(Image: Jeany Savage/Daily Star)

Now, in a soap first, viewers will see her suffering from Munchausen syndrome, a mental disorder that causes her to lie about her health.

She said: “When I first found out I was doing this storyline I was excited.

“We decided to announce it as some of the things Maxine will be faking are pretty big. It’s quite a sad storyline. The more outlandish the lies, the harder it becomes for her to get out of it.”

Nikki also revealed that she and businessman boyfriend Greg Whitehurst have been talking about marriage.

“We talk about marriage, but there’s no pressure, we live together and just really enjoy each other’s company.

Nikki, right, in her early days on the Street
(Image: Granada Television)

“We’re a happy couple and marriage is definitely on the cards. We bounce off each other. We drive each other mad but we love each other so much, it’s the perfect combination.”

Nikki surprised Greg with a trip to Dublin last weekend for his 30th birthday.

She says: “He had no idea until I woke him up at 4am to say we’d be catching a flight. We had such a lovely weekend.”

Her plans for Valentine’s Day are more low key. She says: “Honestly, I’d be happy with just a card and a night in.”

  • Hollyoaks, tonight, 6.30pm, Channel 4, with the First Look E4 episode at 7pm.

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