Leela Lomax’s stalker drama ramps up in next week’s Hollyoaks as a slew of suspects are put in the frame – including Leela’s own daughter Peri and her serial killer husband Cameron, who she learns has escaped from prison.
As the twisted tormentor’s campaign of terror continues, frightened Leela gets a nasty text message and a threatening note pushed through the door – having already received creepy pictures of her sleeping taken from someone inside the house. “At first Leela thought all this was a joke,” says Kirsty-Leigh Porter who plays the freaked-out fire fighter. “But then it gets a bit more worrying when she feels like someone is in her house and she keeps hearing strange noises. It all becomes too much.”
When local copper DS Armstrong takes on the case, he brings Leela a new piece of evidence which could potentially unmask her persecutor – leading to a shock discovery…
“Armstrong has traced the mobile number linked to the stalker,” continues Porter. “Leela insists they ring it and find out who is doing this and when they do, they hear the phone ring in the house! Leela is totally creeped out. They realise it’s in her daughter Peri’s bag, which leads them to think Peri is involved.”
Being stalked by your own daughter is certainly a surprising – and very Hollyoaks – twist, but does Porter really think teenager Peri is behind this? “It would be mortifying for Leela if she were. Peri is going through a tough time with her dad Cameron being put away and not knowing who baby Daniel’s father is, so Leela can kind of see why she’d act out. But at the same time, you’d never expect your daughter to do something like that.”
Of course when it comes to soap stalkers the golden rule is: the more suspects the better, and the finger of suspicion isn’t just pointing at Peri.
Nick Savage is in the spotlight after it’s revealed he raped Ellie Nightingale, and Zack Loveday is also looking guilty when even his own sister Lisa expresses concern that her he’s getting too attached to Leela.
But more chilling news from Armstrong suggests another possibility as to who’s masterminding the horrible hounding – he reveals there’s been a riot at the prison and Cameron, Leela’s serial killer husband, has escaped…
“Leela is out of her mind with worry and thinks Cameron is back to get them. Her instinct is now that it’s more likely to be Cameron because he’d be after revenge – maybe it’s someone he knows in prison who he’s sent out to do these things to mess with Leela’s head?”
Another golden stalker plot rule is that things will get much worse before they get better, and Porter confirms this storyline is set to become even more intense in the coming weeks.
“You’re going to be in for a massive shock when it’s revealed who the stalker actually is and who’s involved,” she teases. “The levels that they go to are pretty terrifying. But it touches on things going on at the minute. I’ve read about stuff like this in the news, it’s happening for real so hopefully it will give people an incentive to get help if they are being targeted.”
In addition to this creepy mystery, Leela is also adapting to life as a single mum to baby Daniel – and sitting on the ticking timebomb of the secret that happily married Louis Loveday is his father, which would have big consequences if it were to be revealed…
“They both agreed it was best for everyone for it to be kept secret and she’s happy for it to stay that way. Leela is more than capable of looking after Daniel on her own and doesn’t want that to change. So if Louis suddenly decided he wanted to be part of his son’s life there’d be uproar!”
And how would stern Simone Loveday react to her husband’s betrayal? “Simone and Leela don’t really see eye to eye as it is, and Simone can put up a good fight. If Simone found out I think it would be good to see them come to blows but it would be awful for Leela because she is actually in the wrong…”
Sounds like Leela needs some fun – and perhaps a new love interest. But who? “I don’t think anyone would be able to handle her,” laughs Porter. “She’s a bit wild in her own little way. Maybe it could be Zack? They’ve developed a really good friendship – it’s just a terrible shame that his dad is her baby’s father… that’s a bit awkward!”
Porter has one last word of advice for how her cursed character could be happier. “I think she needs to fall in love with somebody that’s not a serial killer for a start!”
Hollyoaks airs the dramatic developments in Leela's stalker story from tonight at 7pm on E4 and from Monday at 6.30pm on Channel 4.