BRADFORD actress Nikki Patel has landed the lead role in a new play at London's Old Vic theatre, opposite comic actor Rob Brydon.

Nikki is best known for playing Amber Kalirai, Dev Alahan's feisty teenage daughter, in Coronation Street, her first TV role.

In comedy drama Future Conditional at the Old Vic, she plays Alia, a young Pakistani refugee who is the newest member of Britain’s Education Research Board with a radical solution for schools - to restore the nation’s place in the world education league.

But she faces the challenge of convincing the system to take lessons from a schoolgirl.

Nikki, 25, of Holme Wood studied drama at Idle theatre school Stage 84 and started her acting career in Coronation Street ten years ago. She leads a significant new phase for the Old Vic, with award-winning director Matthew Warchus taking on the role of artistic director from Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey.

“I am honoured to be cast in a production directed by Matthew Warchus,” said Nikki. “I hope that through this production we will raise the awareness of equality of education for women around the world.”

The play, which also stars actor and comedian Rob Brydon, tackles the conundrum of British schooling through a myriad of characters. It opens on September 1.

Nikki, a former pupil of Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton, landed her Coronation Street role aged 15, at her first audition.

A week later she was given a role in BBC drama Waterloo Road and the following year she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the National Television Awards.

She went on to take a degree in drama and film at Manchester University, graduating in 2013.

A supporter of diversity in the arts, she said support from prestigious theatres like the Old Vic in staging productions such as Future Conditional provide a platform for encouraging new work and inspiring stories centred round Asian characters.

Nikki is also due to star in new TV drama The Five, airing on Sky Living later this year.