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'Hollyoaks' Jessica Fox interview: 'Nancy's mum will be vindictive'

By
Nancy Hayton - played by Jessica Fox

© Lime Pictures

Hollyoaks' Nancy Hayton is left reeling next week as her mother Margaret returns from Canada for a surprise visit.

Keen to mend bridges with her daughter, Margaret (Darryl Fishwick) suggests that Nancy should leave the village behind and join her abroad - promising a bright future working for a big newspaper.

However, Margaret's gestures of goodwill don't extend to Nancy's fiancé Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) and she quickly embarks on a nasty scheme to split the couple up. With an oblivious Darren busy plotting his secret wedding to Nancy, is he in danger of losing her altogether due to Margaret's interference?

Here, Jessica Fox - who plays Nancy - chats to Digital Spy about what's to come.

For the benefit of newer viewers, can you remind us of Nancy's relationship with her mother?
"Well, Nancy is the younger daughter and her older sister Becca was always the apple of Margaret's eye - while Nancy never quite lived up to any of Margaret's expectations. Nancy was a bit like the black sheep of the family, so her relationship with her mum is quite strained and difficult.

"The last time we saw Margaret, she arrived all of a sudden and walked in on Nancy in bed with Jake - who was obviously Becca's ex-husband. Margaret thought that was an absolute disgrace and told Nancy that she never wanted to see her again. After that, Margaret went off to Canada. Nancy and Charlie have been out there to see her since, but I don't think it's something Nancy particularly looks forward to!"

What brings Margaret back to the village?
"Margaret arrives back in the village with an agenda - but Nancy doesn't know what that is. Nancy just thinks that Margaret has come back to see her, but it takes her completely off-guard."

What happens next?
"Because of the difficult mother-daughter relationship they've had, Margaret wants Nancy to leave Hollyoaks and move to Canada. That way, she thinks she can mend everything, get Nancy working for an amazing newspaper, and Charlie will have a better upbringing.

"But, of course, Darren is in the picture too. Because Darren is a bit of a loveable fool, Margaret turns her nose up at him and thinks that he's not good enough for Nancy. So she starts trying to split them up."

3001: Darren and Nancy
How does she go about it?
"What Margaret does is quite vindictive, actually! You'll see her try to make Nancy doubt her relationship with Darren. It's underhand and cruel, because she plays on Nancy's insecurities and self-doubt. Margaret starts making Nancy feel very insecure in the relationship, and she also starts to feel quite unsure about her future in Hollyoaks."

Cindy is involved in the situation too…
"Yes, Margaret is secretly trying to push Cindy and Darren together. She's constantly stirring and it's evil! She's stirring that relationship up, and there's some scenes where Nancy and Cindy have to compete over who knows Darren better. Cindy comes out on top, so Margaret's attitude is very much, 'There you go - maybe Cindy and Darren should be together'."

Nancy also sees Darren and Cindy in a compromising embrace, doesn't she?
"She does indeed, and that just fuels the suspicions that Nancy already has. Darren isn't cheating on her, but he has been behaving a bit strangely recently as he's been planning the secret wedding. So Nancy has struggled to pin him down and get hold of him.

"When Nancy sees Darren and Cindy together, it just confirms everything that she thought. To Nancy, it seems that everything her mum is saying is true - that Darren doesn't love her and he has been having an affair."

Hollyoaks 3262: Cindy and Darren
Does Nancy confront Darren and Cindy?
"Well, I would have expected Nancy to go in there like a bull in a china shop - kicking, screaming, throwing things and ready to rip Cindy's hair off!

"But I think what's really interesting is that, unusually for Nancy, she can't bring herself to do it. She almost goes into shutdown mode, and you see that this relationship has meant more to Nancy than any other. She's deeply, deeply hurt.

"Nancy then starts sneaking around and asking people in the village if they know what's going on. But they think that she's talking about the secret wedding, and their reactions and shifty looks fuel her suspicions even further…"

Can Nancy and Darren get through this?
"I hope so! Myself and Ash have had an awful lot of fun working together, so I'd love to see a 'happily ever after'. Well, as much as it can be happy in soapland!"

Ashley Taylor Dawson & Jessica Fox (Darren and Nancy, Hollyoaks)
Did you ever expect the Nancy and Darren pairing to prove so popular?
"Not at all! I think when we first read that they were putting our characters together, we were surprised but we thought, 'Okay - we'll see how that goes'. It was only ever intended to be quite a short-term thing.

"But then it just seemed to work really well, and they both bring out a really good side in each other's characters. For example, Darren makes Nancy a bit more fun and not quite so uptight, while Nancy brings out a more mature and caring side in Darren. I think that's really fun to see."

If Nancy found out about the secret wedding, would she appreciate the gesture or would she be horrified?
"I think she'd be horrified if I'm perfectly honest, because she is a control freak. Nancy has very definite ideas of what she wants and what she doesn't, and I think for her, half the fun would probably have been in planning the wedding! I don't know if it's Darren's wisest move, but I think Nancy would also see that he has good intentions."

What is Nancy's idea of a dream wedding?
"I think for Nancy, it would be something simple but also quite elegant and a bit vintage, as she likes her vintage style. I think she'd love the complete opposite of Mercedes and Riley's wedding!"

Nancy's fans on our forum are keen to see more of her on the show. Is there a big year ahead storyline-wise?
"It's always hard to judge 100%, but at the moment I've got some really exciting storylines that we're working on. You're going to see a lot more of Nancy this year."

3229: Mitzeee, Nancy and Brendan
Will we see more of Nancy's friendship with Mitzeee?
"I hope so, because it's such fun! I think the whole girl group worked really well when we did the Hangover episode, and I know we're all really keen to see more of that. But within that group, Nancy and Mitzeee are definitely best friends."

Would you like to see her make friends with any of the newer characters?
"I'd like Nancy and Barney to be friends! I think they'd be really funny together. They're both a bit posh and stiff, but when they've had a few drinks, they get really wild - so I think that could be quite a fun friendship."

How's life at Hollyoaks in general at the moment?
"I think there's a tremendous amount of excitement in the building at the moment. It's a really good sign when all of the actors are running upstairs to check their drawers and see if any new scripts have come out. We can't wait to see what's going to happen next, so there's a great atmosphere at the moment and we're all very excited."

> Read all the latest Hollyoaks spoilers and news

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4 with a first look screening at 7pm on E4. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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