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'Hollyoaks' Lucy Dixon teases Tilly fire drama - interview

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Tilly Evans - played by Lucy Dixon

© Lime Pictures

Hollyoaks teen Tilly Evans finds herself in danger next week when a fire is started at the sixth form college.

The story begins as Tilly gets close to a new love interest named Jen (Amy Downham) in the coming days, blissfully unaware that the fun-loving brunette has just joined the college as a new teacher.

When a shocked Tilly eventually discovers the truth, she's mortified and later hides in a store cupboard at college to avoid coming face-to-face with Jen again.

At the same time, however, rebellious Phoebe (Mandip Gill) has lit a fire in the building in a misguided attempt to help George (Steven Roberts) avoid a presentation. As Tilly is trapped in the cupboard with smoke pouring in, she faces a frantic battle to escape…

Digital Spy recently chatted to Lucy Dixon, who plays Tilly, to hear about the dramatic chain of events in store.

How does Tilly meet Jen?
"They meet at a College Coffee art event, which has been organised by Tilly. Jen is one of several people in the village who come along. You'll see that Neil tries to flirt with Jen and chat her up, but she says, 'You're not my type'. Tilly's watching from the background thinking, 'I like this girl - I want to find out more about her'."

What happens next?
"Tilly ends up chatting to Jen, and they go around looking at the various art displays. They eventually get to a picture that Tilly has done, which is modelled on the Anthony Gormley statues at Crosby Beach in Merseyside.

"Jen is an art teacher, so she gives her blunt opinion on what she thinks of the piece. Much to Tilly's horror, she's not that fond of it - she thinks that it's very simple and boring. So really, before Tilly and Jen have even got to know each other, they've got off to a bad start."

How do they get on better terms?
"They see each other again in the village, when Jen is planning to pay a visit to the beach. After they bump into each other, Jen invites Tilly along, so Tilly agrees to put her books aside and give up revision for a few hours to go with her.

"Tilly has never really been the daring kind - she doesn't often do anything wild or rebellious. So Jen is the person who shows her a different side to things, and that's what Tilly really likes about her. She's quite adventurous, and that draws Tilly in."

Tilly is swept off her feet by Jen.
What happens at the beach?
"They head to Crosby Beach, and they have an amazing day. They see the Anthony Gormley statues together, and Tilly's just in awe of Jen. She's so free and she's so full of life, and that's what Tilly ends up falling in love with. They end up sharing a really tender kiss, which is a brilliant moment for Tilly - she's on cloud nine."

There's a sting in the tail, though…
"Yes, Jen has the wrong impression about Tilly - she thinks that she's a uni student, rather than a sixth form college student. So when Jen brings Tilly back to the village, she drops her off outside the SU Bar. That's when Tilly realises that Jen may have got the wrong end of the stick here!

"But Tilly goes along with it, because she doesn't want Jen to know that she's a sixth former - it would burst the bubble that she's created. Later on that day, Tilly sees Jen with the headmistress of the college and puts two and two together. Tilly's absolutely gutted and she's speechless!"

What happens at college the next day?
"All Tilly has got in her head is that she's got to dodge this teacher, because Jen can't know that she goes to college. Suddenly, a fire alarm goes off and everyone is escorted out of the building. Tilly is making her way out, but then Jen comes out of a door opposite her. Tilly knows that she has to hide, so she darts into a store cupboard and a caretaker locks the door behind her, not realising that she's in there."

Tilly finds herself in a dangerous situation.
Does Tilly panic about being trapped?
"Well, she tries to ring Maddie, but at this point Tilly is just seeing the whole thing as an inconvenience. As far as they're concerned, it's just a fire drill, not a real fire! But as Tilly makes the phone call to Maddie, she sees smoke coming through the bottom of the cupboard door and starts to panic. Tilly leaves a voicemail on Maddie's phone, but she has no idea whether it'll be listened to in time."

Is there any other way she can escape?
"Tilly sees a little window right at the top of the store cupboard. She thinks that if she gets up there, maybe she can smash the window and get out. But as she's climbing up, she falls and ends up lying motionless on the floor. So you're left to wonder what happens - will she get out and will Maddie get to her on time? It's quite an exciting, action-packed week for Tilly!"

Tilly lies unconscious.
What was it like to film such dramatic scenes?
"I have to say, it was a lot of fun. I'd worked with the director, Tim Hopewell, previously on Waterloo Road. Funnily enough, on Waterloo Road, he directed a story where my character got drunk, fell, and ended up motionless on the floor, so it was a bit like déjà vu! But I loved working with Tim and I trust him completely.

"It took a whole afternoon to film the scenes, and by the end of the day, I felt sore and I was shattered! My head was hurting from the amount of times I had to hit it on the stunt crash mat. But I was really, really proud of it. The crew were amazing, and Tim was pushing me to get more and more out of it, which is exactly what you want from a director. I can't wait to see the scenes for myself."

If Tilly makes it out alive, would she be tempted to continue her romance with Jen?
"Well, Tilly is someone who has never really pushed the boundaries. She goes along with what's expected of her, rather than what she wants to do and what her passions are.

"Tilly and Jen are not meant to be together, as student-teacher relationships are forbidden. I think that would be interesting for the audience to watch - would Tilly rule with her heart first, or her head?"

What are your thoughts on the Tilly and Esther relationship?
"After kissing Esther a couple of months back, Tilly realises that she's been giving her mixed signals. I don't think Tilly realised how much she'd hurt Esther. As the audience know, Tilly is such a lovely person and she doesn't have a malicious side to her at all. That's what I love about Tilly.

"Tilly really likes Esther as a person and she doesn't want to jeopardise their friendship. At the moment, they're really good friends and they're comfortable around each other now, which is nice."

As Tilly is a nice person, would you ever like to see her stand up to Maddie when she's being mean?
"I'd like to see that, and I think the audience would like to see that too! Nobody at the sixth form has ever stood up to Maddie, and I think Tilly is the only person who could put Maddie straight when she's being nasty and out of order.

"Maddie gets a bit too carried away with things sometimes - she gets an idea and she'll go running with it, so I do think that sometimes Tilly needs to step in. Hopefully there will be a day where Maddie does something and Tilly just won't stand for it anymore. I think that'd be a good side to see of Tilly."

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> Read more 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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