Nicholas Phelps is the Personal Assistant to Sir Peter Cheveley at Dale Breweries. He arrived in The Woolpack to look over the place following construction work and showed an interest in David Reece's paintings. He paid for two sample paintings from him and covered his travel expenses to Wales so David could pick up more of his paintings for him to see. When David returns, Phelps says he can make David a household name as an artist. Phelps made David sign a contract. Phelps manages to get art critic Angus Seddon interested in viewing David's paintings and tells David if they impress Seddon, they will strike a deal to keep buying his paintings. Seddon arrives, however, to view the paintings and dismisses David as talentless. Seddon is annoyed at Phelps for a wasted journey, saying he should have sent him one of David's paintings to London first for him to view. Seddon told Phelps he wanted to return to London right now. This also meant that David's dreams were in tatters. Jack Sugden found that in the contract, Phelps had first refusal to the money, meaning he would get the money for David's paintings, not David. Jack told David that Phelps was using him to meet his own ends. A dejected David then returned to Wales.