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'Hollyoaks': Rob Norbury on Riley, Mercedes, Lynsey and more

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Riley Costello from Hollyoaks

© Lime Pictures

After a year on Hollyoaks, naïve footballer Riley Costello is currently one of the soap's most central characters thanks to his family's ownership of The Dog In The Pond and his engagement to love cheat Mercedes McQueen, who has betrayed him in the most humiliating way possible by enjoying an on-off fling with his dad Carl. On set at the Hollyoaks Music Show, Digital Spy recently caught up with Rob Norbury, who plays Riley, for his thoughts on his current storylines.

How have you found your time at Hollyoaks so far?
"It's been brilliant. The first few months were a bit tough because we did the late-night episodes, which took us away from set for about three months, and then after that things went quite quiet for a bit. So the first six months flew by without me feeling like I was here! But then the last six months have been brilliant. I've really been enjoying the stuff with Jen Metcalfe that I've been doing over the past six or seven months - it's all been brilliant. And now it's onwards and upwards - it's summertime and we're doing Hollyoaks Later again! You've got plenty of shocks coming, I can tell you that!"

Do you think Riley is the type of character who would forgive Mercedes even if he found out what she's been up to?
"I hope not! I hope that when the truth comes out, he'll man up. When he finds out what's going on, it's going to be on a whole new level from anything else that we've done. What Mercedes has done isn't a one-night stand or something that could be forgiven as a mistake - it's been an ongoing thing, it's the ultimate betrayal and the fact that other people know means that it's total humiliation. I hoping that we see how Riley copes away from Mercedes, rather than them sticking together."

3071: Riley
We've never seen Riley play football on screen - do you have any skills in real life?
"I'm actually alright - I can hold my own. I play some charity football games with the lads here and I'm alright, but I don't think I was ever going pro! I reckon I could blag it if I needed to for a Hollyoaks scene."

A while back, Riley started to suspect that something was amiss with his killer grandfather Silas! Have his suspicions gone now?
"I don't think they'd ever completely go! I think everything that happened shook him up a bit, so in the end, he apologised to appease the situation. Now it's probably at the back of his mind, because obviously there's the baby to think about, he's engaged to be married, and he's also concentrating on his football career. It hasn't affected him recently, but I don't think those suspicions will ever fully go away."

Out of the new families that have come into Hollyoaks in the past year, the Costellos have probably been the most successful. What do you think is the secret behind that?
"I think it's been a good mix. Obviously Paul [Opacic] and Kim [Tiddy] have been there, done it and got all the T-shirts - they're amazing. Victoria [Atkin] has nailed it with her big storyline and done really well, and then I think me and Miles [Higson] bring a bit of northern humour to it! Well, we try! Miles isn't a bad-looking boy either and I think he's got a few fans out there. It can take a while in soaps for viewers to start liking new characters, but I think we've got quite a nice family set-up and we came in with a bang as we had a proper story."

3093: Doug, Riley and Ethan
We've seen quite a lot of Riley at the lads' flat recently, so are you enjoying that different dynamic?
"Yeah! I was speaking to our producer Gareth recently and I told him that I'd love to do more of that. PJ Brennan, who plays Doug, is unbelievable - it's like watching film when you watch his scenes back. Craig Vye, who plays Ethan, also holds his own with a bit of southern banter! I've also done some good stuff with Sunny, who plays Jamil. I think it's a good dynamic - when we see Riley with characters like Mercedes and Warren, it's almost like they're above him, but he likes to think he's the top dog with the lads!"

Would you like to do more comedy scenes?
"Yeah, I would. I was gutted when I heard that Alex Carter was leaving - I've worked here for a year and I've only ever done one scene with him. It would have been great to have done more with Alex. But I think there's enough characters there for him to have a laugh and be a bit more daft with. I certainly don't mind looking stupid!"

We also noticed a little spark between Riley and Lynsey during the Silas week - could that be explored further?
"Well, Riley has got a lot of big storylines coming up as he's engaged, so I went up to talk to Gareth recently about the wedding. But we did also speak about how there was a connection with Lynsey! The stuff I did with Karen Hassan was amazing and I loved it. I spent three weeks working with Karen and Jeff, who plays Silas, and it was unbelievable. You can learn everything from Jeff - he's been there, done it and he knows everyone! I'm hoping there's some more stuff coming up with Riley and Lynsey, even if it's not in a romantic storyline. I've still only worked with a limited number of people, so it's always great to work with somebody new."

> Read our Hollyoaks spoilers and news

The Hollyoaks Music Show continues on Saturday at 9.25am on Channel 4. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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