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Who is Nicola Coughlan dating?

It’s a question that’s on the minds of many Bridgerton fans as the beloved Netflix series prepares to return for its third season.

While Nicola appeared in the first two seasons, this time around, her character, Lady Penelope Featherington, will be the show’s central focus.

Nicola Coughlan attends the "Bridgerton" Season 3 launch on the grounds of Milton Park Country House on April 21, 2024 in Bowral, Australia.
Nicola Coughlan attends the “Bridgerton” Season 3 launch on the grounds of Milton Park Country House on April 21, 2024 in Bowral, Australia. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images for Netflix)

Specifically, the story will zero in on Penelope and her relationship with Colin Bridgerton.

So it’s not hard to see why fans of the show might be feeling curious about Nicola’s real-life relationship status.

Who Is Nicola Coughlan Dating?

There have been reports that Nicola is dating her costar, Luke Newton.

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan attend the "Bridgerton" Season 3 launch on the grounds of Milton Park Country House on April 21, 2024 in Bowral, Australia.
Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan attend the “Bridgerton” Season 3 launch on the grounds of Milton Park Country House on April 21, 2024 in Bowral, Australia. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images for Netflix)

Those rumors gained steam after Nicola and Luke were spotted holding hands during a recent premiere event in Australia.

But despite the hopeful speculation from Bridgerton fans, it seems that Nicola and Luke are just close friends.

In a recent interview with Marie Claire Australia, Nicola opened up about the challenges of modern dating.

She said that while she’s drawn to the romance of the Regency era, she thinks life is easier for single people in the 21st century.

Nicola Coughlan attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City.
Nicola Coughlan attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Nicola Coughlan on Modern Dating

“I think nowadays they smell better. That’s what I always think about the past…we think of it as so romantic and lovely, but then there was no personal hygiene,” she told the outlet.

“[It’s] good because we have a choice now, but then there’s that thing of the paradox of choice. We have too much choice, it’s not good. So, there’s probably good and bad things for both,” Nicola added.

She went on to joke about the grim realities of dating in the early 19th century.

Nicola Coughlan attends Netflix's Bridgerton ATAS Official at Raleigh Studios Hollywood on May 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Nicola Coughlan attends Netflix’s Bridgerton ATAS Official at Raleigh Studios Hollywood on May 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

“I think we probably only see the romantic versions [of the regency era]. But in reality, it was like, you’re probably getting traded for a goat, or something, or some land,” she said.

“So you’re probably better off now when at least we can make the call ourselves.”

As for the rumors of a romance with Luke, Nicola has stated that she and her costar are just friends.

Luke Newton, Nicola Coughlan and Jess Brownell attend the "Bridgerton" Season 3 launch on the grounds of Milton Park Country House on April 21, 2024 in Bowral, Australia.
Luke Newton, Nicola Coughlan and Jess Brownell attend the “Bridgerton” Season 3 launch on the grounds of Milton Park Country House on April 21, 2024 in Bowral, Australia. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images for Netflix)

“There was one day where we had to do a beautifully written romantic scene, and we were just peeing ourselves with laughter because you have to look into each other’s eyes,” Nicola recently told Entertainment Tonight, adding:

“We were like, ‘Oh god.'”

Thankfully, it seems that the occasional awkward moment didn’t prevent these two from portraying a believable romance on screen.

Nicola Coughlan Is Happily Single

Nicola Coughlan departs The Mark Hotel for 2022 Met Gala on May 02, 2022 in New York City.
Nicola Coughlan departs The Mark Hotel for 2022 Met Gala on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Mark)

It sounds like Nicola is in no hurry to settle down. And given how much she’s got on her plate these days, we don’t blame her.

In addition to her role on Bridgerton, Nicola recently starred in the acclaimed Irish sitcom Derry Girls, and she played Diplomat Barbie in last year’s Barbie movie.

Nicola is currently busy promoting Bridgerton Season 3, which is scheduled to drop on Netflix on May 16.

She also be appearing in this year’s Dr. Who Christmas special, making her part of a beloved annual tradition in the UK.

In other words, she’s probably too busy for dating at the moment — but when you’re doing what you love, that’s a good problem to have!