Hollyoaks: Nadine Mulkerrin interview – “Cleo is tempted to steal from her family to get heroin”

Cleo’s downward spiral continues thanks to cousin Bart’s bad influence


Hollyoaks’ Cleo McQueen continues her fall from grace next week. The good girl gone bad is on a dangerous downward spiral after losing true love Nathan Nightingale and big sister Celine, and has turned to drugs since hanging out with naughty cousin Bart. But when her family discover once-innocent Cleo has been using heroin, there are huge repercussions…


“I think Cleo normally has a good moral compass but lately she’s just getting trapped and hanging round with the wrong people,” begins actress Nadine Mulkerrin, who plays the messed-up McQueen. “She idolises Bart, and is also still trying to numb the pain of losing Nathan and Celine.”

Gathered with the family for baby Carmina’s christening in next Tuesday’s E4 episode, Cleo notices Bart stealing money from the christening cards for one more hit and he encourages his cousin to return to the drug den.

Thankfully, the guilt becomes too much and Cleo’s sensible side leads her to do the right thing.

“She’s tempted to go with Bart to get more heroin with Carmina’s christening money, but she decides against and comes clean to the family about her previous drug use.

“When she’s there surrounded by the McQueens and Joel who she thinks a lot of, Cleo feels really guilty for even thinking of taking Carmina’s money, so she just lets it all out.”

Talking of Joel, there’s a distinct spark with the peroxide-haired priest, but does Mulkerrin think he could be the one to mend her broken heart? “She always like a good romance, doesn’t she! Joel is unavailable but he is really lovely to her and has kind of taken Cleo under his wing to stop her taking heroin. He basically saved her life so yes, I would say there’s definitely something brewing there.

“I think she is still grieving for Nathan and Celine though,” continues the star. “Everyone she’s ever loved has died or leaves her, so she’s not had the best time. It’s probably the main reason why she’s acting out.”

Bart bolts from the McQueens’ as the family turn against him for getting Cleo on drugs, and angry Myra breaks the family’s golden rule by calling the cops on her nephew.

Meanwhile, it’s not just drugs causing chaos for Cleo next week but violence too, as she ends up in a fight with former love rival Lisa Loveday.

“It all comes to a head about Nathan. They’ve both had this bubbling under the surface for so long and obviously they’ve screamed at each other previously and this is the first time they’ve seen each other since their big showdown.

“Cleo regrets so much about setting Lisa and Nathan up and I think Lisa has always had a problem with Cleo being around. They both just each other at this point so that’s how they end up fighting.”

It looks unlikely that cursed Cleo will find happiness any time soon, but if and when she does have a smile on her face, Mulkerrin for one will be thrilled… “I just want Cleo to have some fun. I think she should win the lottery – she deserves it! I’d like for her to find true love and to get pregnant.

“Poor Cleo is like the dreary McQueen, isn’t she?” she grins. “I am similar to her in some ways. Cleo is the sensible one who’d rather sit in and revise, which was what I was like at school. I am also like a little nanna!”


Cleo’s dramatic week begins from tonight on E4 at 7pm.