Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
79

Soaps News

'Hollyoaks': Claire Cooper leaving Jacqui McQueen role

By
Hollyoaks star Claire Cooper has decided to leave the soap after six years playing Jacqui McQueen, Digital Spy can confirm.

The actress is bowing out to pursue new projects and her final scenes will air in April.

Claire Cooper plays Jacqui McQueen

© Lime Pictures

Claire Cooper



Speaking of her decision to move on, Cooper explained: "I have had the most incredible and unforgettable time at Hollyoaks. Jacqui McQueen has been a fascinating part to play and I have nothing but gratitude to Channel 4 and Hollyoaks for giving me the opportunity.

"I would especially like to thank [executive producer] Bryan Kirkwood, whom I adore and have nothing but respect and praise for.

"It's sad that I'm leaving when Hollyoaks is at such a high-point, especially with Bryan back at the helm, but it's the right time for me personally to explore other avenues and see what other stories I can tell.

"To my family, friends, colleagues and fans, thank you for your support - it's been one hell of a ride for Miss McQueen and an inspirational one for me."

The McQueens listen to Bart's news.

© Lime Pictures

Jacqui with on-screen sisters Carmel and Mercedes.



Bryan Kirkwood added: "Claire Cooper has created an unforgettable soap character in the indomitable Jacqui McQueen. I feel very protective and proud of Claire's wonderful, tough, sexy, funny creation and she has struck a perfect balance of portraying Jacqui's 'hard as nails' exterior, as well as her crushing vulnerability.

"I'm devastated to be losing Jacqui, but after six years of her wearing those thigh-high PVC boots, I respect Claire's need to explore other roles. I wish her the best of luck - not that she'll need it."

While little is known about exactly how Jacqui leaves the village, show bosses have teased that her departure involves "a dramatic effort to bring her family back together".

A show statement teased: "Jacqui's departure comes shortly after the arrival of her former cell-mate, Trudy Ryan, with whom she shares a dark secret. Could she be behind Jacqui's exit from the village?"

Jacqui confronts Trudy.

© Lime Pictures

Jacqui with Theresa and Trudy.



Cooper first appeared on Hollyoaks in September 2006 and has established Jacqui as one of the show's most popular characters.

Jacqui's major storylines have often revolved around her fierce loyalty towards the rest of the McQueen clan. The tough character will also be remembered for her relationships with Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard) and Rhys Ashworth (Andrew Moss).

A hard-hitting rape storyline for Jacqui in 2011 earned Cooper nominations for 'Best Actress' and 'Best Dramatic Performance' at the British Soap Awards.

She also featured prominently in last year's 'Enjoy the Ride' wedding crash episodes, which led to Rhys's death.

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video - watch Amie Parker-Williams reveal the biggest storylines on the way in EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks next week.

Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

You May Like

Comments

Loading...