If you watch Coronation Street, you’ll know (spoiler alert!) that Nick Tilsley returned to the show last night, Friday, to be at the hospital bedside of his ex-wife, Leanne Battersby.
He came back to the cobbles from Nottingham, where he had been living and running a business.
But why Nottingham? Die-hard fans will know that he already had a link with the city, having lived there previously after he returned from Canada. Still, why Nottingham rather than York, or Birmingham, or Dibden Purlieu for that matter?
That got us thinking about other random appearances by Nottingham in television and in books.
Here’s our pick of the places where you really wouldn’t expect to find our city.
Harry Potter (2003)
JK Rowling’s series was Nottingham-free for the first four books. But in the fifth, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it finally gets a look-in.
Arthur Weasley is talking with Bill Weasley and Remus Lupin, and discussing whether the goblin community would side with Voldemort in any upcoming conflict.
He says: “I’m sure they’d never go over to You-Know-Who. They’ve suffered losses too. Remember that goblin family he murdered last time, somewhere near Nottingham?”
Why? We have no idea.
James Bond (1961)
This is an odd one.
In Thunderball (the book, not the film) Bond girl Domino Vitali is telling 007 about her ideal man – or, as she describes him, “My one true love! The man of my dreams.”
It’s the early 60s, remember, so who could she be talking about? Charlton Heston? Paul Newman?
Nope, it’s the bloke on a packet of fags made in Nottingham. “The sailor on the front of the packet of Player’s,” she says. “You have never thought about him as I have.”
So true. But even more bizarrely, she then goes on to describe the picture of Nottingham Castle on the Player’s packs, or as she puts it: “A doll’s house swimming in chocolate fudge with Nottingham Castle written underneath”.
Star Trek (1991)
Qpid, the 20th episode of the fourth series of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ took the crew back to medieval England, where Captain Picard became Robin Hood and the bridge crew were the Merry Men.
As such, you might expect a few references to Nottingham chucked in there.
But it’s still a shock when Robin, while dueling with Sir Guy of Gisbourne, shouts out: “There’s something you should know. I am NOT from Nottingham!”
William Shakespeare (1597)
Nottingham doesn’t get any mentions in Shakespeare – but the River Trent does. In fact, in Henry IV, Part 1, it gets referenced no less than four times.
The most well-known of these is when Henry Hotspur is talking about dividing up thew kingdom, and diverting the Trent in order to get a larger share, and says:
‘Smug and silver’? Seem a bit harsh.
After the death of Saskia Duncan (murder weapon: ashtray) in 1999, Matthew Rose and Teresa Di Marco head off to Nottingham with Steve Owen’s bank card.
They are chased to Nottingham by Gianni Di Marco and Steve. Keeping up?
Eventually, after plenty of hiding in hotels, fisticuffs, and misplaced plane tickets to Naples, Matthew is arrested for Saskia’s murder.
Graham Greene (1936)
In his novel ‘A Gun For Sale’, published two years before ‘Brighton Rock’, much of the action takes place in a city called Nottwich.
But Greene admitted that this was in fact Nottingham, a city he had lived in briefly while working as a trainee reporter on the Nottingham Journal. In the book he even name-checked All Saints Terrace near The Arboretum, the street he lived on in the city.
He later wrote of the city: “I don’t know why a certain wry love of Nottingham lodged in my imagination. It was the furthest north I had ever been, the first strange city in which I had made a home, alone, without friends.”