Hollyoaks has bucked the trend of soap serial killer cliches by introducing their first murdering grandmother in the shape of Breda McQueen (Moya Brady), introduced as the village’s very own kooky Mary Poppins before being revealed as a multiple murderess.
Viewers were let in on Breda’s sinister spree last month when she bludgeoned cheating Russ Owen to death on his wedding day to her cousin Mercedes, with flashbacks confirming her as being behind the hitherto-unsolved murders of Glenn Donovan and Carl Costello. Her MO is bumping off bad dads, with Russ forcing her daughter Goldie to abort their baby conceived during a one-night stand being the last straw.
In the first of three hour-long specials showing over the festive period, Thursday 20 December’s E4 instalment focuses on Christmas Day with the McQueens – but a flashback to 1986 delves into the child minder’s past and reveals the identity of Breda’s first victim, leading to a shock revelation for son Sylver about his mum… Is it time for some remorse from the murderer?
“Breda perhaps feels a tinge of guilt here and there over her victims, but she is clear about her mission to rid Hollyoaks of bad dads,” Brady tells RadioTimes.com, “ensuring a village full of happy, fulfilled children, raised by strong independent mothers. That is her vision and she is committed to it.”
Although her motivation springs from a desire to protect innocent children let down by the sins of their fathers, can Brady defend her character’s position of playing God and deciding who lives or dies? “Breda is a very humble woman, and God is making all of those decisions. She believes she is just following orders!”
What happens at the McQueens’ Christmas dinner?
The flashback features against the backdrop of a typically raucous McQueen Christmas dinner, which Mercedes is forced to host for the entire feisty family leading to all sorts of tension. “Christmas Day with the McQueens has its ups and downs,” smirks Brady. “Breda loves Christmas. She is a stickler tradition and this one is extra special, because she has both her kids at the table as Sylver was in prison for so long. Breda believes with all her heart that every child deserves a magic Christmas.”
Breda’s killer twist had jaws dropping when it aired a few weeks back, but Brady is loving playing the unconventional villainess. “I was thrilled when they told me she was a killer! The storyline is a fantastic opportunity to explore such complex territory in acting. People ask if I’m anything like my character, but to be honest I’m not that different – other than the murdering! I’m untidier and not as respectable!”
As well as next week’s double helping, which also features an arrest, a proposition and a confession, Hollyoaks airs two further hour-long editions: Thursday 27 December at 7.00pm on E4 (Friday 28 December at 6.00pm on Channel 4) in which Louis Loveday’s lies are exposed as he prepares to marry Leela Lomax, and Friday 28 December at 7.00pm on E4 (New Year’s Eve at 6.00pm on Channel 4) where locals gather in the Loft to see in 2019 and Ste falls foul of the mysterious Jonny.
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