Hollyoaks’ school stunt claimed it’s first casualty in tonight’s E4 episode when Neeta Kaur’s death was confirmed. Fans gasped last night when they saw the teacher trapped with jealous boyfriend Mac Nightingale in the burning building following a furious row over her fling with pupil Hunter McQueen.
The floor collapsed beneath the pair after Mac caused the chaos by smashing a gas pipe in a fit of rage before setting fire to Hunter’s sketch of his crush. Holding on for dear life, cruel Mac let Neeta fall when she cried out for Hunter, and tonight Myra broke the news she had died to the devastated teen. As for Mac, he sneaked out of the school and is pretending he wasn’t even there, feigning shock when daughter Ellie told him about the explosion…
Now Neeta is no more, we chatted to Amrit Maghera about leaving the show after two eventful years which has seen her character suffer violent abuse the hands of on/off fiancé Mac, and embark on a forbidden affair with her 16-year old pupil during a steamy summer in Ibiza.
How long have you know you were being killed off?
Since July. I already knew I was leaving in the autumn but didn’t know how. I’d got very emotionally attached to Neeta so part of me was sad when they told me she was going to die, but then they described how it would happen and the build-up and I thought it sounded really good.
Is it a badge of honour to be killed off during stunt week?
Yes! Being part of the stunt which is this huge deal every year was so exciting and great to film.
Was it hard to it keep the secret?
It was. I come from a big family and a lot of them have big mouths so I kept quiet! Some of them don’t even know I’ve moved back to London from Liverpool where Hollyoaks is filmed because word would have spread I’d left the show. In the last few weeks I’ve been recognised out and about in London and asked why I’m there, and I’ve had to pretend I’m just visiting! My family in London will be shocked now it’s out in the open, and wondering why I haven’t been round to visit since I’ve been back!
You were heavily involved in the stunt, what was it like filming those scenes?
Really exciting. They built another section of the school just to blow it up! I was on a harness for the scene where the floor collapses which was quite a challenge and a great way to finish my Hollyoaks experience! I’d never done any stunt work as big as this. The stunt co-ordinators had just worked on Game of Thrones and with Pink, where she had done exactly the same stunt on the harness but from much higher up.
Was it difficult to film such an emotional final scene as well as the physical aspect?
The entire build-up has been very emotional. Mac has got more and more abusive, locking Neeta in the toilets, spying on her, being very controlling to the point of slapping her and reporting her and Hunter’s relationship to the police. I feel lucky to have been given such dramatic storylines with lots of different angles.
What’s the reaction been like to Neeta and Hunter’s relationship?
Lots of fans loved them together but equally many people are saying it shouldn’t be allowed, so it’s provoked a real mix of opinions. Debating the ethics of it, obviously there’s the age gap but she was his teacher at the end of the day. You can’t help who you fall in love with and it’s caused a lot of interesting conversations among the audience.
How will the village cope without Neeta?
Hunter is going to be extremely heartbroken. Theo Graham who plays him does such an amazing job, he’s so talented and been such a pleasure to work with. I think him and Sally will be the most affected.
Who will you miss the most from the cast?
I’m very close to Rachel Adedeji (Lisa Loveday), Amy Conachan (Courtney Campbell) and Krupa Pattani (Farrah Maalik) who I actually went to university with. It was so funny when she got the role and we saw each other in the make-up room, we couldn’t believe it!
What have been your Hollyoaks highlights?
I was very lucky to go to Ibiza as the show hadn’t filmed abroad for years, and the storyline with Neeta and Hunter was brilliant. And being on that harness for my exit was a different kind of challenge. It’s also generally been nice playing a good, pure-hearted character – which is pretty rare in a soap!
What would you like to do next?
I feel like doing this big stunt planted a seed because now I’d love to go and do an action film! I’d love to get into all the fighting choreography and do the daring stuff…
Hollyoaks continues weeknights on E4 at 7pm and on Channel 4 at 6.30pm.