The much-hyped reunion between Hollyoaks golden couple Luke Morgan and Mandy Richardson is finally upon us, as Gary Lucy makes his on-screen return in tonight’s E4 episode and Sarah Jayne Dunn appears next week.
It’s the first time the pair have been on screen together for 15 years, with Lucy having last played Luke in 2002 and Dunn’s most recent stint ending in 2011 (not counting her appearance in a dream sequence in 2013’s Hollyoaks Later).
Speculation has been rife as to whether the old flames would be together or not, but Dunn confirms that the characters are indeed an item when they return – however, all is not as it seems.
Luke has clearly fallen on hard times as he steals from old pal Darren Osborne when he bumps into him, and Mandy will be forced to turn to her old friends in the village after a shocking turn of events. So Mandy and Luke haven’t exactly got their happy ever after…
Ahead of their highly-anticipated Hollyoaks comeback, Lucy and Dunn reveal what we can expect from this next chapter in their characters’ lives, and share some memories from back in the day…
What can you reveal about Luke and Mandy’s return over the next week?
Gary: Luke turns up and bumps into Darren in the Duke Street Social bar, and feeds Darren a story that he is working as an estate agent in Manchester. But he has in fact just lost his job. He is basically now struggling to pay his way, so ends up stealing Darren’s money…
Sarah: Mandy arrives back in the village and we’ll realise that Mandy and Luke have got back together off screen some time ago. However, their relationship is very complicated, and we’ll learn more about why over the summer.
Do you have fond memories of your time previously on Hollyoaks?
G: The whole time was great and working with Sarah was amazing. It was a massive part of my life. Once we were on a boat in Chester filming a scene where Luke takes Mandy on a date and feeds her fish and chips, which I’ll always remember. But there are so many lovely memories.
S: We all went to Abersoch in North Wales to shoot the Hollyoaks calendar, which was such a great day! But the same as Gary, there’s loads of memories like that. It’s such a nice place to work and it’s so lovely to all be back together.
How has Sarah changed, Gary?
G: She’s still beautiful – inside and out! She has a little baby now, so I think that’s the biggest change.
What about Gary, Sarah?
S: Gary is now a dad, also. We’ve just grown up, but maybe not at the same time!? I don’t really think Gary has changed and I mean that in the nicest way possible. He’s still great to work with, lovely and genuine.
What’s it been like being reunited with the Hollyoaks ‘originals’ for the recent photo shoot with the veteran cast?
S: Amazing. I am really proud of that shoot, from everyone involved and not just us. It really tells a story and it’s lovely we are all reunited in the village. It’s exciting for us and the fans.
What is your favourite scene that you filmed together?
G: All the kissing!
S: The material we’ve been filming since we got back is really heavy and is some great stuff, so that I am really excited for everyone to see.
G: Obviously, the storyline years ago when Luke and Mandy separated because Luke wouldn’t open up about what he’d been through was really good to film as well.
So you’re back in Hollyoaks, but if you could pick one cast member you’d love to return, who would it be?
S: Ali Bastian – who played Mandy’s best friend, Becca Hayton. I’d have her back in a heartbeat. But she got stabbed to death in prison! And Jodi Albert, who played Debbie Dean – I love her!
Hollyoaks continues weeknights on E4 at 7pm and on Channel 4 at 6.30pm.