I recently trekked to Liverpool and dropped in on the lovely guys at Hollyoaks to have a nose around at filming and catch up with the soap's leading lady Lucy Allan. In a very candid chat, Lucy told me all about her favourite ep and scene of the year, her proudest moment and the real reason behind the programme's über teen summer.
> Click here to read Lucy's Producer Perspective
Here, though, are a hoard of teasers hinting at what's to come for your favourite characters in the New Year. Don't forget to leave me your thoughts and the end of this entry!
What happened to the Roys - they seemed to just disintegrate...
"For me, I struggled with them as a unit. I don't know that there was enough cohesive family story to drive them forward. The thing with Ash was that in the short time he was here, he worked well and did what he needed to do. Had he carried on, the creation of that character was somewhat pantomime and would only have become more panto. Sometimes short and sweet is best."
Will we be seeing Eli again?
"You can never say never with that one, can you?! Eli's a great character, but as storylines currently stand, there's nothing planned.
"The big story for next year is Cain and Able with Rhys and Josh - younger brother versus older brother. That's going to kick off in a big way and it's about how one lie can spiral out of control..."
"A bombshell will arrive into the students' household... That and Hayley will become pregnant, as we're writing Kellie-Marie Stewart's pregnancy into the show. How will a bunch of party-going student lunatics deal with her situation? Then there's an incident from the pregnancy that changes Zak's life forever... "
"There's a lot going on with the McQueens. Calvin's having an affair with Mercedes at the minute, but we'll be toying with Calvin and Carmel's romance once again - could they reunite? I believe that they've always been in love and have never stopped loving each other. I've had conversations with Ricky and Gemma and we've talked about the fact that Calvin and Carmel should always give each other loving looks and always be on the lookout for each other. Mercedes is the devil on Calvin's shoulder, while Carmel's the angel. Does he deserve the angel? Or will he stick with the devil?
"For the rest of the family, though, something will come up in terms of the household which will reunite them as a family..."
Malachy and Mercedes
"Their relationship will be a struggle. How much will Malachy put up with and where will he vent his frustration after learning of Calvin and Mercedes's affair?"
Duncan and Ricky
"Ahh, Duncan and Ricky! I love them. If you look at who Max and O.B. were when they were teenagers... They had an innocence and a naïvety to them that the show was lacking at the time. I actually wrote Max and O.B.'s storylines when they were youngsters and they spent about six months trying to get Chloe into bed in a burger van! There's a joy in Ricky and Duncan that shouldn't be ignored. They're just trying to get laid - Duncan in particular, by whatever means necessary. Even if that means suggesting that his sexuality isn't what it is. And Ricky has a secret, so we'll meet elements of his family..."
Newt and Rae
"The battle continues between real and imaginative. There's clearly a growing bond between them but when you throw Ste into the mix, who knows what happens..."
"Lauren will be getting herself into all sorts of trouble. She's quite easily led, a rebel without a cause if you like. And when she meets another rebel without a cause, we'll see where Bonnie and Clyde end up..."
"The Osbornes are in the big house! They were very excited about moving in there. The family suffered at the start of the year by not having somewhere to live, so the fact they're in the bigger house means we can play out more stories with them. They're invaluable to the show. The war between the Osbornes and the Ashworths rumbles on - who'll end up with The Dog? And Darren's battle to win his father around continues, too. Steph has all manner of love life traumas to get through, while Jake and Loretta's future is in jeopardy as secrets are revealed."
"The need for Nancy to have some kind of control over her life results in a form of behaviour perpetuating... Elliot has a rough old year ahead, too. The expectations for him to become a supersonic physicist may become too much for him - and could result in border-illegal behaviour..."
Ste and Amy
"Amy will finally get to grips with her life and start smiling! She'll make some good decisions and she'll meet a new love, too..."
"Sasha will become 18 - and stop being a 45-year-old running a nightclub. There's an incident that happens to Sasha one night that changes her life forever."
Cindy and Tony
"Cindy gets a new business and that'll throw quandary on her marriage to Tony. And there's the most shocking story in that family that results in Cindy's need to re-evaluate her behaviour across the board - and maybe finally grow up."
"He'll get a job in school that'll make him address his clothing. He'll also learn a secret about his brother that he struggles to deal with."
Will we be getting any new characters?
"Yeah, a few. To tease one... there's a new female that turns up in Hollyoaks who's a threat to Steph and Cheryl..."
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