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'Hollyoaks': More chat from producer Emma Smithwick

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Digital Spy recently had a chat with Hollyoaks' series producer Emma Smithwick to hear what the future holds for the Channel 4 soap.

To read the first part of our Q&A, head over to the main piece in the Interviews section.

Here in Soap Scoop, Emma chats further about a number of the show's characters…

What are your future plans for Brendan and Ste?
"2012 is going to be a big year for Brendan, and it's going to be a big year for Ste. Now, I know exactly what the fans are wanting and I've had a lot of people tweet me directly to ask me what's happening with Brendan and Ste! What I think is that if Ste was to get back with Brendan, then Brendan has to change, because he's no angel. Something has to dramatically change for those two to get back together. But, as I said, it's going to be a big year for Brendan - and a big year for Ste. I'll leave it at that, but I think they can never be a 'normal, regular' couple."

Will the pair of them still be in each other's lives even if they're not a couple?
"Again, they're living in the same village, and someone like Brendan likes to meddle, so he's not going to let go of Ste completely - ever. They will run into each other from time to time, I'm sure of that."

Ste Hay - played by Kieron Richardson
Does this mean that you're planning to explore Ste more in his own right?
"Yes. I think we've done this quite successfully with Brendan's character - Brendan is a dad, he's a brother, he's got a past and he's got his own moral code. We've seen Ste with Amy and as a dad - quite a young dad. But he's also got career aspirations and he wants to do well. I don't think we've explored that as much as possible, and I'd quite like to see Ste wanting to be a successful human being. I think that involves a lot more than Brendan right now, so there will definitely be more for Ste."

Is it true that you're planning to explore the Brady family in more depth in 2012? Fans have wondered whether we'll meet Brendan's dad eventually.
"I'm really excited about something coming up in early January, where we really get to know Brendan Brady a little bit more. He's such an interesting character, so what makes that man tick? Brendan is like an enigma wrapped in a riddle, so we kick off the year by exploring that. Watch this space - there's more to this man than meets the eye. In order to do that successfully, you have to explore his family a bit."

Brendan often works well with someone who he can go toe-to-toe with. Now that Warren is leaving, will he have a new rival or will he rule the roost in the village for a while?
"I think the two aren't mutually exclusive. He will come back as kingpin a little bit, but in reality he doesn't have that much - he only has half a nightclub! So somebody might just point that out to him and Brendan's aspirations might grow. He's absolutely at his best when he's working against someone else, so we'll certainly put someone in his path for him to do that."

Cheryl Brady - played by Bronagh Waugh
Bronagh Waugh always does well in dramatic storylines but Cheryl has never really taken centre stage in her own right. Will that change anytime soon?
"There's a couple of things that I have planned for her. I'd very much like Cheryl to have a nice man at some point! I agree that Bronagh delivers really good performances, so that's definitely on my mind."

Where do Rhys and Jacqui go next?
"Their storyline this year was so big, heavy and dark - and they did it such justice. When I read the three-hander script and saw them deliver some of those lines on screen, it was obvious how much love there was between those two. We'll put them in quite a nice place after the Gilly storyline and they try to put it all behind them. What I'd like to do is explore them separately a little bit, but also have them working together as a unit. We'll be exploring the different sides to Rhys and Jacqui."

Nancy Hayton - played by Jessica Fox

Jessica Fox

Nancy fans were sad this year when talk of a big storyline for her never came to pass. Does she have anything on the way?
"I think Jess Fox is brilliant - I'm so entertained by her when she's on screen. I really want to see more of Nancy - and Nancy and Darren will have a big year ahead of them in 2012. I love those two, and Nancy's fans definitely won't be disappointed next year."

Do you have any plans for Amy Barnes?
"Yes, I do - I really want to give that girl some fun! I looked at Ste and Amy - they live in the council flat, they've got two kids and Ste's had a really tough time. So I looked at those two and thought about what's next for them. They both need a bit of fun - whether it's romantic fun, or fun with friends who they can have a laugh with. Amy will have some good stuff to do next year."

The fresher and sixth former storylines have mainly focused on romance, but will they get more dramatic material?
"Yes, definitely. They're primed and ready now for meatier storylines. I'm excited about what's coming up for both sets of characters. The tension between Annalise, Rob and Scott will come to a head. Neil and Jono will have their own storylines, we've got a big storyline for George and big plans for Tilly."

There's been some discussion on screen about Ash and Callum's home life. Will we meet their family at any point?
"Ash and Callum both really interest me. They're quite reserved and they keep themselves to themselves, so I think we have to explore where they come from and their family life in order to understand why they are the way they are. We'll be exploring them a lot more."

Cindy Longford - played by Stephanie Waring
Cindy has been used mainly as a comedy character this year, but does she have any more serious material ahead? And would you consider bringing back her daughter Holly?
"We've talked about Holly, but again, there have been a lot of new characters coming in and we'd quite like to keep the cast a bit more stable. I think Steph Waring is such a capable actress and there's some stuff coming up - which isn't too far off - where we start to see a different side of Cindy.

"I agree that she's been used mainly as a comedy device at times this year, so I think we need to start seeing different sides of her. Once we deliver a fuller character for Cindy, then the question of Holly would come into play."

Would you ever revisit the Silas storyline or is he gone for good now?
"Never say never, but if we brought Silas back, I'd be a bit afraid of not having any cast left with a serial killer let loose! (Laughs) We have no specific plans, but the fact he's still alive and still in prison is a handy thing to have up our sleeves."

What are your plans for Lynsey? Could she embark on a romance with Doug?
"I love Lynsey. I think Karen Hassan did such a sterling job on the Silas storyline. With regards to Lynsey and Doug, there may be romance but not necessarily between those two. I'll leave it at that - it could be one of them or both of them! But we'll definitely do more with Lynsey."

Ruby Button - played by Anna Shaffer
As we no longer see Hollyoaks High on screen, we see Ruby, Esther and Tom less frequently. Do they still have roles on the show?
"Very definitely. While we don't see them as much because we don't see them in a school setting, we'll certainly see a lot more of them when school breaks up and even around the other characters, because Ruby is still friends with Sinead. I think for Ruby, the fact that they're geographically separated is kind of heartbreaking for her. I think Ruby's determined not to let that get in the way of her friendships - but inevitably it's going to at some point.

"I really like Anna Shaffer and I want to give her good stuff, but I want to write a character for her that is more full and not two-dimensional. She should have emotion and drama to really sink her teeth into."

How about Tony?
"Tony also certainly has a role to play on the show. He's running the new coffee shop, so we'll keep seeing Tony for sure."

What does the future hold for the McQueens?
"It's going to be a big year for the McQueens, as I think every year must be! Bart's going to have a big storyline next year, as will Mercedes. The Mercedes and Riley story has not been concluded, so there's going to be a lot more where that came from. That means that the family will be brought closer at times, but they'll also be splintered at times. They'll all be involved, for sure."

What about Michaela now that she's back?
"I've loved seeing Michaela with Daytona Lights and I think she has such charisma and energy on screen. I want to see more of her with Amy. I really like her character - I love the way she says things before she thinks about them! She'll be quite sparky and quite fun in the stuff that's coming up with the rest of the McQueens and with Amy."

Joel
Are Kelly and Joel staying in the show?
"I think Joel is great and so dynamic - I'm really enjoying watching him on screen. He's going to be involved heavily in Warren's departure, so I can't give too much away and the viewers will have to wait and see with that one. With Kelly, we don't necessarily have any plans at the moment but I really like Danielle Malone - she's great on screen, really sparky and adds a great energy. If the story's right to bring her back in, we will."

With so much focus on the new freshers, do you still have plans for Texas and Leanne?
"Definitely. It falls in with our plans to cross people over. Texas and Leanne won't just stay in their second year university group -we'll break them out and have them interacting with others. There'll be a lot of stuff with Texas and Leanne."

Ricky Campbell - played by Ashley Margolis
What are the plans for Ricky now that he's staying in the show?
"It was originally planned that Ricky was going to leave with Duncan, but I felt that he had a real place in the village. He's got the history with his dad, he's doing his A-Levels - and I'd actually like to see him do them. I want to see Ricky work hard for his exams. I think he's a good actor, a good character and I want to see more of him."

Would you revisit the carer storyline with Ricky's dad?
"We're not abandoning the idea of it, but we don't have any plans at the moment. I want to bring Ricky more into the village and involve him with existing characters. He goes to the same school as the sixth formers, he has history with Ruby and we'll definitely see more of him."

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