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'Hollyoaks' Ricky Whittle on 'flashforward' ep

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'Hollyoaks' Ricky Whittle on 'flashforward' ep
Ricky Whittle is to bow out of Hollyoaks in May when his character is dramatically shot on his wedding day to his blushing bride and the love of his life Carmel McQueen (Gemma Merna). Viewers, however, have the opportunity to take a look into the future as the Channel 4 serial makes history by airing soapland's first 'flashforward' episode, screening scenes from May 2010 five months early. Digital Spy recently caught up with Ricky to discuss why he decided to leave Hollyoaks, what happens in the 'flashforward' and filming his death scenes half a year before he departs.

How did you reach the decision to leave Hollyoaks?
"To be honest I was always looking to leave next year. It'll be four years next year when I eventually leave. Everyone has ambition. I could stay on this show for the rest of my life because I love it up here - it's a wicked little family and we're all really close. However, I don't want to spend all that time here for a big movie director or producer to come across to England when I'm in my 30s and say, 'If you'd come over when you were in your 20s, you'd've made it really big'. I'd rather go over to the States, go do the movie thing, the drama thing, or even fail - I'd rather go over and fail and have them say, 'You're not good enough, your accent's not right or your look's not right' - at least then I'd know and I'd have it out of my head. I always believe you regret the things you don't do. I don't want what-ifs hanging over me."

How was the 'flashforward' explained to you?
"They told me that there's only one character they could do it with - and that's Calvin. It's that shock that they wanted and it'll work out for both parties - I'll be able to move on and I still have another six months of fantastic story to throw myself into, and the show has an amazing storyline which will be a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns - it'll have the nation hooked. It's a very clever idea - it's the first of its kind that I know of. Hollyoaks doesn't think inside the box - and I think this is just another example and why I'm proud to be part of it."

What happens in the episode?
"In a nutshell, it's a 'flashforward' to Calvin and Carmel's wedding - that in itself will shock people straight away because they're not together in the current episode - and he's having an affair with her sister Mercedes. The whole episode is the wedding preparations and the wedding itself and basically, everyone's conflicting with Calvin. Some are characters that he might not have interacted with before - most people are acting out of character for one reason or another. The reasons why will unravel in the next six months. It's going to absolutely flip viewers' heads upside down. They're not going to know what's going on!"

Does Calvin truly love Carmel?
"Calvin's completely besotted with Carmel. She's the one he's always wanted - she's always been his true love since they first started seeing each other and everyone's always wanted them to get back together, which has been nice. I think it's a very good example of fan power. The producers weren't going to put these two together ever again because everyone wanted them together. It was a Ross and Rachel situation - they're meant to be together but something would always happen for it not to quite work out. I think Calvin and Carmel fans will be happy that they're back together in the episode - it'll just pull a few heartstrings when Calvin's shot at the end."

Is there any difference in the way it's filmed?
"Yeah, as soon as the episode starts the whole look and feel is going to be completely different because it's shot in a different way - it has a silky look to it rather than the regular look it has at the moment. There's more of a drama feel to it."

Apparently you got whiplash filming your death scene.
"Yeah! I absolutely threw myself on the floor because I wanted it to look as real as possible. I'd rather a scene look real and take a few bumps and bruises, so I wanted to hit the deck as you would in the situation."

What was it like filming your death, to know that you'd still be at work for the next five months?
"It was strange actually. I've always wanted to do a death scene but at the same time you don't want to because it usually means that you can't go back! I'm quite lucky that I've had the death scene and I still have five months' work to go!"

Do you know who shot Calvin?
"No, no-one knows… There are 23 characters in the episode, so there are so many suspects. There are people who aren't in the episode that could become suspects, too."

> Click here to read more from Ricky Whittle about the 'flashforward' episode and his decision to leave Hollyoaks in Soap Scoop Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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