In addition to her ongoing role in Emmerdale, she also starred in the 2000 comedy film Purely Belter, and won the best actress award at the Monte Carlo International Television Festival in 1998 for her role in the film The Scar, about aCounty Durham pit community in crisis. She also starred as Sian in Byker Grove. Played the part of Mrs Castellino in the BBC Radio 4 production "The Little World of Don Camillo", and Our Mam in "My Uncle Freddie", both alongside fellow Emmerdale actor Shaun Prendergast (Greg Dolland). In 2007 Hardwick was an occasional contributor on Grumpy Old Women. For her role on Emmerdale Hardwick has been nominated 6 times at the British Soap Awards, winning in 2006 for Best Comedy Performance.
Hardwick is a fan of Newcastle United, holding a season ticket at St. James' Park, before starting work in Emmerdale, which meant spending lengthy periods of time away from Tyneside. She is also a keen smoker and prefers roll up cigarettes to ready-rolled cigarettes. In a 2009 interview with the New York Times she stated her favourite food as being strawberries and apricot.
- British Soap Awards 2005 - Best Newcomer - nominated
- British Soap Awards 2005 - Best On-Screen Partnership (with Elizabeth Estensen) - nominated
- British Soap Awards 2006 - Best Comedy Performance - won
- British Soap Awards 2007 - Best Comedy Performance - nominated
- British Soap Awards 2008 - Best Comedy Performance - nominated
- British Soap Awards 2011 - Best Comedy Performance - nominated