Hollyoaks‘ Tony and Diane Hutchinson have survived storm week, but their family will never be the same again as daughter Dee Dee’s biological mother Tegan Lomax was killed in the disaster, and Tony’s son Harry Thompson’s marriage to Ste Hay is in ruins after the revelation of his affair with James Nightingale.
In a new interview with RadioTimes.com, the soap stalwarts revealed behind the scenes secrets of filming the epic disaster which has been running all week, depicting the catastrophic effects of Storm Belinda on the Cheshire village which involved gruelling night shoots for the cast.
“It’s always dead exciting doing the stunts,” says Alex Fletcher, aka Diane. “We had a week of night shoots but I was pretty lucky, I only had to do one whereas Nick drew the short straw!”
“Yes, I did five or six,” grins Pickard, who has played Tony since the first episode exactly 23 years ago (the show celebrated its birthday on 23 October). “We did 5 in the evening til 5 in the morning. It was great, we had a full special effects crew in addition to our regular crew.
“Night shoots are hard, having to go for another cold shower at 4 in the morning with a wet suit on under your clothes, but being cold and wet in the middle of the night is all worth it when you see the fruits of our labour on screen. I’m so proud of everyone, the crew, the director the cast, they all worked so hard. It looked amazing.”
Storm week saw the departure of Jessica Ellis after five years as Tegan Lomax, bringing to an end an emotional, long-running storyline involving a hospital baby swap mix-up of Tegan and Diane’s daughters, Rose and Dee Dee, that developed into a tug of love for the children, with the added aspect of Dee Dee fighting a life-threatening illness which she’s now recovering from.
“Those last scenes with Jess when all the family were together, they were genuine tears because you get close to people in the cast and don’t want anyone to leave,” says Fletcher. “But Jess will go on and smash it, I know she will.”
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