A COLNE actress at the centre of one of soapland’s most riveting storylines is in line for a top TV prize.

Former Park High student Natalie Gumede, who plays Kirsty Soames in Coronation Street, is one of four nominees for the Best Newcomer Award at tonight’s National Television Awards.

The 28-year-old won the same category in last year’s National Soap Awards.

Her scenes with screen partner Tyrone Dobbs, played by Alan Halsall, focused on the issue of domestic violence against men.

And Alan has thrown his weight behind Natalie’s bid for the best newcomer crown.

Last night he said on Twitter: “I hope you can all see past the Kirsty’s nastiness and vote for the sheer brilliance (of) @nataliegumede (for the) best newcomer at the national TV awards.”

Natalie, who started her acting career as a member of Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre, is also being supported by Lancashire actress Jennie McAlpine, who plays Fiz.

Her London agents Sainou, jointly run by West End-based David Marsden and Tony Martin, are also championing the East Lancashire star’s awards campaign.

They said: “Her terrific performance as Kirsty in Coronation Street has captivated the public and has become one of the most closely followed story-lines of the year.”

The results of the awards will be broadcast tonight on ITV1 from 7.30pm, with voting closing at noon today.

Natalie is up against Emmerdale’s Liam Fox, EastEnders’ David Whitts and Hollyoaks’s Joseph Thompson for the coveted gong.

Natalie has previously been a regular in the Johnny Vegas comedy ‘Ideal’ and starred in ‘The Persuasionists’, ‘Wire In The Blood’ and ‘Clubbed’.