Sarah Jayne Dunn – Then
Sarah Jane Dunn played Mandy Richardson turned Hutchinson. During her time on Hollyoaks, she had married Tony, and the couple had a baby together. However, this storyline took a turn for the worst when their daughter, Grace, died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Sarah Jayne Dunn – Now
Although Dunn originally left the soap opera following the story of her on-screen daughter’s death in 2006, she reprised the role of Mandy five times over the years. In 2017 it was announced that Mandy would be returning to the Village, and she has become one of the leading characters once again. However, during her time away from the show, Sarah had a brief role in the 2008 film, The Dark Knight, and appeared on the stage production of When Harry Met Sally, playing the role of Sally.
Nick Pickard – Then
Tony Hutchinson first appeared in the Hollyoaks village in 1995 and is still on the show, making him one of the only original cast members to remain. As well as being married to Mandy, he was also married to her stepsister, Cindy Cunningham, and had an affair with Helen Cunningham at one point. Tony also discovered he had a long-lost son named Harry and had an affair with his step-daughter, Sinead, making his time in the Village over the years extremely scandalous.
Nick Pickard – Now
Nick is the longest-serving cast member on Hollyoaks and, in 2017, he won the British Soap Award for Outstanding Achievement after playing Tony for 22 years. This was the first time an actor from Hollyoaks won the award in this category. Nick also joined the 2009 pantomime of Cinderella, which resulted in a short break from Hollyoaks. However, this was planned and written into the show. Pickard’s younger brother, John, joined him on the soap opera in 2005, and worked alongside him playing Dom for five years.
Helen Pearson – Then
Playing Frankie Osborne from 2002, Helen became the longest-serving female character having played the character for 15 years by the time she left in 2017 after being killed on-screen. She was married to pub owner, Jack Osborne after divorcing her first husband when he left the Village with his pregnant girlfriend. Frankie lived with Jack above their pub, The Dog in the Pond, which was destroyed after an explosion. Many people died in the explosion, but all their children survived even after being trapped inside during the fire.
Helen Pearson – Now
Helen had appeared on rival soap operas Eastenders and Emmerdale before moving to Hollyoaks, and this was her longest-serving role when she took on the character of Frankie in 2002. When her character was killed on the show on Halloween in 2017, this saw the departure of Helen from Hollyoaks, but she was a prominent figure throughout her time on the show. She got married in 2013 and had done no other work while she was on the soap opera over the 15 years.
Ellis Hollins – Then
Ellis Hollins may only be 19 years old, but he made his debut on Hollyoaks in 2003 when he was just four years old. He captured the hearts of the nation with his role as Tom Cunningham, who went through many storylines during his time in Hollyoaks. Tom lost both his parents in a car crash and his sister Mandy became his legal guardian. Soon after, his half-brother Max became his guardian and, Max and his best friend “OB,” raise Tom in their apartment.
Ellis Hollins – Now
Having starred in Hollyoaks for so many years, Ellis has won eight awards for his portrayal as Tom in the soap, while being nominated for many more. Since he is still in his teens, he has a whole future ahead of him but, as of now, Ellis had remained on Hollyoaks. The nation has watched while Tom has grown up in the village into a teenager and the new storylines he has taken on. He also played the role of Nathan in the production, Alpha Male.
Claire Cooper – Then
She was the fierce and feisty Jacqui McQueen, playing the role from 2006 to 2013. Jacqui came from a large family, and she felt the need to protect her siblings and mother. Jacqui would not let anyone come in between the McQueen family, but she was also known for being involved in criminal activity. She embarked on a relationship with Tony Hutchinson, but the breakdown of their relationship came when she was focused on having a baby and dealing with finding a surrogate mother.
Claire Cooper – Now
When Claire left the show, her character was seen leaving to live in Spain and has not returned since 2013. She did, however, appear on the spin-off series’, Hollyoaks Later and Hollyoaks: King of Hearts, while on the show. Since leaving the show, Cooper has played the part of Claire in the 2016 series of In the Club and also co-owns a clothing rental boutique alongside two of her Hollyoaks co-stars called, The Closet, which is based in Liverpool.
Jimmy McKenna – Then
With a history as a cop, it is no surprise that pub landlord, Jack Osborne takes no nonsense. Played by Jimmy Mckenna, Jack is the second-longest running character in Hollyoaks, who has enjoyed dishing some of his own nonsense throughout his time in the Village. He is the father of Darren, who definitely did not make things easy for him while growing up, nor when Jack decided to embark on a relationship with Frankie who had three children of her own.
Jimmy McKenna – Now
As well as Hollyoaks, McKenna has appeared as Sgt. Don Brady in A Touch of Frost, which he appeared in up until 2010. He was also a former football player for Sheffield F.C. until he injured his back and could no longer play, making a transition to acting for a career. He is married and has four children, and is still playing the role of Jack who had been married three times and just recently lost his on-screen wife on Halloween 2017 to a stroke.
Ashley Slanina-Davies – Then
Playing the role of Amy Barnes, Slanina-Davies was involved in several big storylines including underage pregnancy, family breakdown, and domestic abuse. Amy Barnes is most probably remembered for giving birth to Leah and her erratic behaviour during her relationship with Ste, which was at the same time as her parent’s divorce. While she lived with her mother following the birth of her daughter, she later moved in with Ste where viewers watched their relationship worsen over time with Ste becoming abusive.
Ashley Slanina-Davies – Now
In 2012, Amy left the show, and it was written in the show that she left to take up a course in Manchester. Her break from the show lasted until 2016 when the returned for the role of Amy Barnes. However, in 2017, after a “dark” and “devastating” storyline in which Barnes was involved in, she was eventually murdered and written out of the show. She continued to make appearances in flashbacks from before her murder, but her final appearance was in September 2017.
Gary Lucy – Then
Gary Lucy was the eye candy on the soap during his time on the show between 1999 to 2002. While playing Lucas “Luke” Morgan, he was involved in very dramatic storylines, one of which was the first to be shown in a British soap. Although this was a “groundbreaking” storyline with Lucy at the helm, things took a turn for the worse for his character Luke, and he fell into deep depression. This resulted in Luke attempting to commit suicide and leaving the Village in 2002.
Gary Lucy – Now
Following his departure from Hollyoaks, Lucy starred in three seasons of Footballers’ Wives and appeared in the ITV drama, She’s Gone. From 2005 to 2010, he played DC Will Fletcher in the police drama, The Bill but departed to explore different projects at that time. He was a contestant on Dancing on Ice and finished as runner-up, and then went onto appear as a regular on Eastenders for two years. In 2017 it was announced that Lucy would once again be returning to Hollyoaks and reprising his role as Luke.
Jessica Fox – Then
Nancy appeared in the Hollyoaks village when she came unannounced to visit her sister Becca in 2005. Appearing to be very different from her sister, things between the siblings were not easy at first, but they soon developed a close bond. This was torn apart when Becca was killed while in prison, and Nancy was left to look after her baby. Meanwhile, Nancy became romantically involved with Becca’s ex-husband, Jake, and the two eventually got married. Similarly to Becca, Nancy did not have a good marriage with Jake.
Jessica Fox – Now
Jessica Fox has been playing Nancy since 2005 and is currently married to Darren on the show. This storyline came out of nowhere, but the fans seemed to like it, in which case it became a long-term relationship. Other than Hollyoaks, Fox is no stranger to television and has appeared in television series such as Crossroads, The Bill, May and June, and Powers. She also had the leading role of Anthea in the 1997 BBC adaptation of The Phoenix and the Carpet.
Jim Millea – Then
The small businessman of Hollyoaks was Neville Ashworth, the husband of Suzanne and doting father of Rhys, Hannah, and Josh. While he was the classic grumpy old man, he did bring a lot of ‘coming relief’ to the episodes and was involved in storylines about eating disorders, incest, and addiction. He discovered 20 years later that his wife had had an affair with his brother, Noel, and that his eldest son Rhys was actually his nephew. Jim Millea played this role from 2005 until 2010, when he was axed from the show.
Jim Millea – Now
Before his role on Hollyoaks, Millea starred in the soap opera rival, Emmerdale from 1989, and then had a recurring role in the children’s drama, Children’s Ward from 1993. Millea has also appeared in an episode of Eastenders, Crimewatch, Heartbeat, and A Touch of Frost. With a history of soap operas, it is no surprise that Millea appeared in Coronation Street, playing the role of Carl Armstrong in 1994 and 2013. Aside from television, Millea has also worked on stage productions, including playing Levi in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Ben Hull – Then
As one of the original characters, Ben Hull played Lewis Richardson from 1995. He endured six years in the Village before his character committed suicide in 2001, and Hull was written out of the drama. When he first appeared on screen, Richardson was considered one of the good guys, but he soon developed similar tendencies to his abusive father, Dennis Richardson. Hull decided to quit the show because he found it exhausting playing such a depressed character, although he questioned if he had made the right choice when he finally left.
Ben Hull – Now
Following his departure from Hollyoaks, Hull continued to work in television. He went onto star in another Channel 4 soap called Brookside and, although he appeared as Dr. Gary Parr when he joined in 2002, he had previously starred on the show’s spin-off show as the character, Syd Watts. Hull also starred in Casualty, Family Affairs, and Doctors over the years. Since 2012, Hull has had a recurring role on the series, Holby City, where he has played Derwood Thompson.
Loui Batley – Then
When you think of Sarah Barnes, you cannot forget that troubling scene in which her parachute fails to open while skydiving and she falls to her death! After a jealous Lydia purposely broke her parachute, there was no luck for Sarah who came from the same troubled family as Amy Barnes. Played by Loui Batley, she starred in Hollyoaks from 2005 until her untimely death in 2009. During her time in the Village, she was known to be “man-crazy” while growing up.
Loui Batley – Now
As well as acting, Loui is also a singer and model. Following her departure from Hollyoaks, she has focused on her singing career and is in a band called Verity and Violet alongside her friend, Jessica Dolman. On the band’s Twitter account, it was also announced that Loui had married Simon Lawson in 2013, who played Simon Crosby in Hollyoaks. The pair also opened an acting workshop for up and coming talent together in Princess Victoria on London’s Earls Court Road.
James Redmond – Then
Rory “Finn” Finnegan was the “cheeky chancer” and “heart-throb” during his time in the Hollyoaks Village. He first appeared in 1997 and remained on the show for five years until 2002. He was first discovered by Tony when he stumbled across Rory sleeping in a shed. With his mother dead, and his father in prison, Rory often found himself going from place to place. Fortunately, Tony became one of his good friends after finding him, and he no longer felt the need to move on.
James Redmond – Now
Redmond chose to quit Hollyoaks in 2002 to join Cat Deeley in hosting SMTV Live and CD:UK. His stint as a presenter only lasted three months, however, after producers did not believe he suited the role. He resumed his acting career and was given the leading role in Sky1’s drama, Mile High. It was then in 2003 that he won a recurring role in the hit drama, Casualty, where he remained for a further five years. In December 2017 it was confirmed Redmond would be rejoining Hollyoaks until March 2018.
Gemma Bissix – Then
Clare Devine was one of the worst villains on the show; her attempt at murdering her husband Max did not go unnoticed by his brother Tom, and, fortunately, Max survived. As for Clare, however, her fate was so not fortunate, and she was eventually killed in 2013 after Mercedes pushed her in front of a car. Meanwhile, Gemma won three British Soap Awards for her portrayal of Clare and was also named one of the best British soap opera characters after her four years on the show.
Gemma Bissix – Now
Following her end in Hollyoaks, Gemma reprised her former role as Clare Bates in Eastenders in 2007. She had last played Clare Bates ten years prior and returned in February 2008 only to leave the summer of that same year. She returned briefly to Hollyoaks in 2013. Since 2009, Bissix has been a regular panelist on the Channel 5 talk show, The Wright Stuff where she contributes to a newspaper review and topical debate. She has also appeared in several pantomimes productions such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
Jeremy Edwards – Then
Things were not made easy for Kurt Benson, played by Jeremy Edwards, in Hollyoaks. Although he was described as having “two passions in life – his motorbike and his music,” the drama followed him wherever he went. When he chose the girl he wanted to make his girlfriend, she died; he then almost killed a man when he fell for another woman, which resulted in him almost getting sent down for murder. He escaped to Hull when he felt like his wife did not believe his innocence.
Jeremy Edwards – Now
Following his departure from Hollyoaks in 1999, he moved onto another television drama, Holby City. He played Danny Shaughnessy on the medical show until 2003, and then went onto appear on Celebrity Big Brother where he finished in fourth place. In 2007, Edwards joined his former on-screen wife from Hollyoaks in co-presenting Coronation Street/Emmerdale Confidential on ITV. That same year, he also began presenting a cookery show, Cooking the Books, on Five. In 2013, he returned to Hollyoaks Later as a guardian angel for his old friend, Tony.
Terri Dwyer – Then
Dwyer was first introduced to Hollyoaks as part of the Osborne family in 1995 and played the role of Ruth Osborne. Ruth appeared in the series until 2001 and made more appearances in 2003 and 2008. She had relationships with Kurt Benson, Tony Hutchinson, and Lewis Richardson. Lewis beat up Ruth and left her dead, but she woke up in the hospital badly hurt. Meanwhile, Lewis had died from an overdose, and Ruth eventually leaves to start a life in London. She returned for her fathers “funeral,” which was all just an insurance scam.
Terri Dwyer – Now
After her brief return to Hollyoaks in 2003, Terri became a regular presenter on Loose Women until 2006. In 2005, she was also cast to play the part of a school teacher in Grange Hill and, in 2006, she helped ITV Play launch a new show – Rovers Return Quiz Night. She then left ITV Play to become the main presenter on ITV’s 60 Minute Makeover but left as part of a cost-cutting exercise by ITV. She has also made regular appearances on ITV’s daily show, This Morning from 2010 to 2012.
Will Mellor – Then
Jambo Bolton was very much “the happy-go-lucky jack-the-lad with an eye for the ladies”. He was good friends with Kurt and Tony, but when they were both in relationships, Jambo was left on the sidelines and found it hard to act on his feelings for Dawn Cunningham. However, when they finally admitted that they had feelings for one another, Dawn was diagnosed with leukemia and died, leaving Jambo completely heartbroken. He felt he needed to move on from Hollyoaks because too much reminded him of Dawn.
Will Mellor – Now
Aside from Hollyoaks, Mellor is well known for playing Jack Vincent in Casualty and Gaz Wilkinson in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, a role in which he played for ten years. In more recent years he appeared in White Van Man and as Steve Connolly in Broadchurch. Aside from acting, Mellor has modelled for Topman, and also released a cover of Leo Sayer’s “When I Need You”, which reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart,
Stephanie Davis – Then
When Stephanie Davis joined the Hollyoaks cast in 2010, she was considered as the fresh-faced girl-next-door. Playing the role of Sinead O’Connor, viewers watched her involved in several car accidents and having a baby who is believed to be Rhys’. Rhys had died in a car crash, and Sinead decided to raise the baby with Bart. Meanwhile, she later embarks on an affair with a married and older Tony Hutchinson, of which his wife later discovers when she finds Sinead’s clothing.
Stephanie Davis – Now
Stephanie’s girl-next-door image did not last long, and her time on Hollyoaks lasted five years before she was eventually axed from the show. Due to her behaviour and turning up late to work, producers felt that it was time to let Stephanie go, and wrote her out of the show. She has since appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, which saw her and fellow contestant, Jeremy McConnell embark on a romance, even though she was in a relationship. The couple have a baby together.
Kieron Richardson – Then
One of the more troubled characters in Hollyoaks was Ste Hay. Having started a relationship with Amy Barnes, the two had a child together, but their relationship turned tumultuous. He had come from a broken home where he had a bad childhood and had a violent father. Ste then developed these traits and acted in similar ways to how he admitted his father had with him. Amy stuck by Ste for some time, and in later years, Ste was seen to be a changed person.
Kieron Richardson – Now
On the show, Kieron’s character was seen to be romantically experimenting with other guys, and this also prompted Kieron to publically come out the closet when he was 20-years-old. He has since married his long-term partner Carl Hyland, and the couple welcomed twins in 2017. This saw Kieron take time away from Hollyoaks when he was on paternity leave, but he returned full-time in December 2017. He also took part in the 2010 series of Dancing on Ice, where he came in third place.
Ashley Taylor Dawson – Then
Ashley Taylor Dawson has been playing former bad boy Darren Osborne since 1999, having had some breaks in between. His top-rated storyline was about a gambling addiction, but he soon changed his ways, and he is currently married to Nancy. While viewers have grown to adore the on-screen couple, just recently, they watched Darren cheat on Nancy when he kissed Mandy. He also helped his father fake his own death so that they could get money from an insurance scam, and is the father of twins from Suzanne Ashworth.
Ashley Taylor Dawson – Now
Dawson is one of the longest-serving cast members on Hollyoaks having joined when he was 17-years-old in 1999. However, during his time on the show, he has embarked on other projects. He left Hollyoaks in 2000 to join the pop band, allSTARS* but following their break-up, he returned to the soap opera. He also appeared in the stage production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, and was voted out in the quarter-finals.
Stephanie Waring – Then
Waring joined the cast of Hollyoaks as Cindy Cunningham (now Savage), the daughter of Gordon and Angela Cunningham, and sister of Max and Tom. Her major storylines have included her marriage to Tony Hutchinson, coping with the deaths of many family members, having a secret teenage son, and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She also got pregnant at 16 and showed the struggles she faced with being a teenage and single mother. Stephanie has been nominated for many awards for her portrayal of Cindy
Stephanie Waring – Now
Stephanie is no stranger to television and soap operas for that matter since she has had roles in Coronation Street, Doctors, and Holby City. She has also appeared in Crash Palace, Nice Guy Eddie and Merseybeat. Although she left Hollyoaks several times, she returned full-time in 2008 when producers felt they needed well-established characters to join. She has remained a prominent character on the daytime soap opera ever since, with a brief leave in 2010 for maternity leave, but returned once more in 2011.
Jennifer Metcalfe – Then
Everyone can remember the feisty and fabulous Mercedes McQueen since, being part of the McQueen family, they let everyone know when they were around. Her storylines revolved around her many relationships and contracting HIV. However, Metcalfe decided to quit the soap in 2014 having been there since 2006 and her character was stabbed to death. Meanwhile, she made a surprise return a year later, with it being revealed that she had actually been living in Nice, France, all that time. This was when Mercedes made a return to Hollyoaks.
Jennifer Metcalfe – Now
Although Metcalfe originally quit Hollyoaks in 2014, she returned just four months later, and it was revealed in May 2015 that she would be rejoining the show. Metcalfe is in a relationship with the reality star, Greg Lake, of whom she shares a baby with. The actress took a break from Hollyoaks during her pregnancy in 2017. However, it has been announced that Metcalfe will be making a full-time return in June 2018. She has also been a contestant on Dancing on Ice and was the seventh star to be eliminated.
Emma Rigby – Then
She was the pretty blonde on the show, and Emma Rigby had quite the ordeal with playing Hannah Ashworth. While Hannah was seen as the young beauty in the village, she suffered from her own insecurities and became anorexic. Viewers watched as Hannah dealt with her condition and the struggles and dangers of anorexia. She started on the show as an innocent school girl who was close friends with Nancy and Sarah, but over the five years on the show, her storylines became more scandalous.
Emma Rigby – Now
After her departure from the soap opera in 2010, Rigby starred in the BBC One drama series, Prisoner’s Wives as Gemma Roscoe. She later moved to the other side of the pond to make a name for herself in the States and won the leading role as the Red Queen in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. After a three year hiatus from British television, Rigby returned once again with a guest appearance on Death in Paradise. She then returned to America and starred in several U.S. films.