My Celebrity Life

Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan didn’t know Penelope was Lady Whistledown when she got the role

*** Warning: This article features spoilers for season one of Bridgerton on Netflix ***

Bridgerton fans were left clutching their pearls when it was revealed that Nicola Coughlan’s character Penelope Featherington is the one and only Lady Whistledown.

Yep, sweet little Pen is actually the author of the scathing gossip sheet (voiced by Dame Julie Andrews) and we haven’t been this excited about a reveal since the days of Gossip Girl.

It turns out Nicola had no clue Penelope was actually the mystery writer until after she had landed the coveted role.

Speaking to, the Irish actress explained: ‘Getting the part was so unexpected because I had just been on a run of really bad auditions. I just wasn’t getting anything.

‘When my agent said Shonda Rhimes was doing a show with Netflix, I was actually scared it was going to be another painful process that led to disappoint. I went to the first audition and the casting director was really impressed but I didn’t think anything of it.’

My Celebrity Life –
The actress didn’t actually know about her character’s connection to Lady Whistledown until after she got the part (Picture: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

She continued: ‘Then I got a call from them two weeks later offering me the role. I was genuinely so shocked. I hadn’t even met a single person from Shondaland or Netflix so I couldn’t believe it. I started to read the books after that.’

It was only then the Derry Girls star turned to the best-selling Julia Quinn novels in order to learn more about the character – and discovered that she was actually playing Lady Whistledown.

Nicola recalled: ‘I realized how important Penelope was to the stories and also, how much the fans of the books really love her and connect with her. It made me understand just how much they had entrusted me with this role. I’m very honored that they did choose me.’

My Celebrity Life –
Nicola is excited to see how her character grows on the show (Picture: NETFLIX)

Her sneaky character might have some things in common with Gossip Girl’s Dan Humphrey but Nicola wouldn’t know because she’s never actually watched the popular series.

She laughed: ‘It’s become very evident to me that I’m one of the few who’ve never seen Gossip Girl… I’ve been excited to see what people are going to make of the reveal. I know what happened with the Gossip Girl reveal but the Bridgerton one is quite different.’

My Celebrity Life –
Time will tell what other secrets get revealed in Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers (Picture: Netflix)

She added: ‘It’s funny because the Bridgerton books pre-dated Gossip Girl and those scandal sheets were such a big thing at the time.

‘There’s always been an appetite for gossip. We’re nosy creatures, we like to know things about people. That’s partly why reality TV is so huge because we want to delve into other people’s lives.’

Penelope might be the queen of secrets in the world of Bridgerton but Nicola isn’t quite as good at keeping secrets.

The Harlots star admitted: ‘I definitely don’t think I’m a good secret keeper. If I have something good happening, I get too excited about it.

‘I’ll usually tell my sister and my best friend, but I probably won’t tell the world. Obviously, Penelope can keep secrets very, very well and so much better than me.’

Thankfully, this secret is out in the open now.

Bridgerton is available to stream now on Netflix.


Credit: Original article published here.

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