Nicola Walker's close bond with The Split co-star revealed

The Split welcomed back Nicola Walker as successful lawyer Hannah Defoe this week thanks to series three landing on the BBC. And, true to style, Hannah's divorce has got even more complicated thanks to the addition of her husband Nathan's (Stephen Mangan) new girlfriend, Kate Pencastle.

MORE: BBC’s The Pact confirms future - will it be back for season two?

But while Hannah and Kate are arch-enemies on the show, it seems Nicola and Lara Pulver, the actress portraying Kate, have a close bond that couldn't be further from their friction on screen.

WATCH: The Split returns for emotional third series

The stars go way back having both had roles in the popular spy drama, Spooks, and their history together made playing on-screen rivals all the more enjoyable. Speaking to HELLO! and other press at the recent launch for series three of The Split Nicola opened up about their friendship.

"It was brilliant that it was Lara. Because we know each other and we really love each other, it meant that we could really explore those early parts of their relationship which are, on Hannah's side, full of… you know… I hate her!" she began.

The star then went on to discuss Hannah and Kate's first meeting in episode one. "It's incredibly embarrassing that first meeting, it's one of the best dinner scenes I've ever read on the page because you feel so humiliated as Hannah in that moment and it was fantastic to film."

MORE: Nicola Walker drops big hint about The Split series three finale

MORE: The Split creator reveals why major character was killed off in dramatic first episode


Lara Pulver plays Kate in The Split

Nicola continued: "And the fact that I knew Lara meant that we could really go there, knowing at the same time that we actually really love each other off camera. It meant that you can push it a bit harder actually than with an actor you didn't know."

In Spooks, which ran from 2002 to 2011 and also starred Keeley Hawes and Matthew Macfadyen, Nicola played Ruth Evershed in the show while Lara played Erin Watts. However, in The Split, the pair portray Hannah and Kate who lock horns when Hannah's ex Nathan announces he is in a relationship with psychologist Kate.


The pair are firm friends in real life

Across the six new episodes, Hannah and Nathan attempt to navigate their divorce with Kate in the middle. Elsewhere, the other Defoe sisters aren't short of their tricky situations. Nina continues her affair with her boss' husband, Tyler, while Rose's life is turned upside down after a tragic accident.

The Split continues on Monday on BBC One at 9pm. The entire boxset of series three is available on BBC iPlayer now.

Like this story? Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.