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Claire Cooper (Jacqui McQueen, 'Hollyoaks')

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Claire Cooper as Jacqui McQueen

© Lime Pictures

After a six-month wait, Hollyoaks' 'Who Shot Calvin?' mystery reaches its surprising climax next week as we finally arrive at the point foretold by the titular event at the end of last year. All five of next week's episodes cover the events of Calvin and Carmel's second wedding day, which culminates in Calvin's murder. But which member of the wedding party - or, indeed, any other village resident - could muster the guts to pull the trigger as the happy couple share their first dance? Digital Spy recently caught up with Jacqui McQueen actress Claire Cooper to discuss wedding week, Ricky Whittle, Calvin's death and who she thinks the murderer is.

What's Jacqui's state of mind in the run up to the wedding?
"Everything's quite positive until she finds out about Mercedes's seedy affair with Calvin. Jacqui's genuinely very excited and has been very supportive of the whole wedding process with Carmel. Jacqui likes to pull the family together. Mercedes pulls Jacqui aside and says, 'I've been having an affair with Calvin', and that's enough for Jacqui to want to speak to Calvin and iron out a few things and find out what's been going on - although the way Jacqui deals with things isn't too diplomatic! She later finds out that Theresa has complications with Calvin. That tops it for Jacqui - it's enough to make her a suspect..."

What does she find out about Theresa during wedding week?
"That she's pregnant by Calvin. Just the thought that this guy's been through all her sisters and there's Carmel who is genuinely and utterly in love with this guy and he's done that?"

Does she feel left out?
"Yeah - she's probably a bit jealous - she wanted her turn with him as well! (Laughs) No. It's all about family for Jacqui and she's never cheated on any of her sisters, touch wood. She's got morals and this isn't good enough. With Mercedes, the whole aspect of what she did to Tony and Jacqui rears its ugly head a little bit. Jacqui's got a lot of venom towards Mercedes."

It's interesting that Jacqui's the one with morals...
"I know, and the audience still think she's a bitch - it's really strange!"

What's the ultimatum at the end of the week?
"She says to Mercedes she wants her out of the house - and Malachy as well I think. She doesn't want to see them ever again. She says, 'You don't want to be in the house when mum finds out about this; I want you to pack your bags and go'. So she gives that ultimatum but also, with the whole process of the wedding, Jacqui goes to Calvin's house and she picks up the gun in the process of all the meetings they've had. So Jacqui is the one with the gun for most of the episodes and it's been passed between different people but always seems to come back to Jacqui."

Is she capable of murder?
"Right, I don't think she's capable of cold-blooded murder but I think she is capable of protecting her family. If that was someone running at her with the gun she would pull the trigger first but I don't think she would actively pull the trigger on someone. She's brighter than that and she's a bit more clued up, it doesn't matter what someone's done to her. I think she'd rather be more torturous to them."

Are the original scenes from the flashforward used?
"We've done all the ones in between that add up to those ones, all the ones that were missed out are going to be slotted in. We didn't have to refilm any, thank God! Although one of the scenes I really wanted to refilm because I looked awful outside - my mum actually phoned me up and said: 'Claire, what is wrong with your face? You look bad on the show but you looked ill!'"

Did you have to watch the episode back to remember how you played the scenes?
"We did - we had an idea where we were placed but we all kept it quite fresh in our minds anyway and we had the original scripts so it was all as one. All the scenes that we had shot were in the scripts like any other script so we could follow it."

Are you disappointed to see Ricky Whittle leave?
"I really like the character and I think he's going to be sorely missed. Not only is Ricky a great actor but he's got a massive following and he's sexy on screen so people will miss him. He's very popular within the cast as well. I do wish him all the best and success in the future."

Who did you want to be the killer?
"I don't think she'd like it to be any of her family. She's kind of pushing Malachy to do it so - if anyone - maybe him. I don't think she wants him dead. Genuinely, if she could choose she wouldn't pick anybody. She just wants somebody to put the fear of God into him."

What's the atmosphere like on set now that Paul's in charge?
"Excellent. It's so lifted. I'm buzzing - I'm really enjoying myself. It's mainly because I'm working and I'm getting some fantastic scripts through and I can get my teeth into it. I'm really lucky to be here and playing Jacqui."

> Click here to read more from Claire Cooper about Jacqui's future, Paul Marquess, former boss Bryan Kirkwood and whether she'd ever join EastEnders

Additional reporting by Philippa Warr. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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