Hollyoaks‘ favourites Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) and ex-wife Nancy Osborne (Jessica Fox) have survived stunt week but wrecked their lives by sleeping with each other while trapped in an underground tunnel, believing they were about to die. Will respective partners Mandy Morgan (Sarah Jayne Dunn) and Kyle Kelly (Adam Rickett) discover the betrayal? RadioTimes.com quizzed all three members of the love triangle to find out what happens next…
“Darren and Nancy are buried in the tunnels looking for Charlie and Ella,” explains Dawson, “The ceiling caves in, no one knows they’re down there and they accept this could be it. Darren has just found out baby DJ isn’t his, he thinks Mandy lied, Nancy has split with Kyle so they are both in the same boat – and the rest is history!”
“Yes, they have a heart to heart that turns into a rumble in the rubble,” grins Fox, “and basically decide if you’re going to go out, it might as well be with a bang, so to speak! Kyle has accused her of still being in love with Darren, once he vocalises that it plants a seed in her head it could be true.
“They genuinely believe they’re going to die and find comfort in one another. But under any other circumstances, this probably wouldn’t have happened.”
And with good reason – Nancy has held firm since discovering in 2018 that husband Daz was having an affair with her with best mate Mandy, who was married to his close pal Luke Morgan at the time, and immediately kicked him to the curb.
This forced Darren and Mandy together as a family unit and although the relationship was built on shaky ground, the pair have stuck together and were bonded by the arrival of Mandy’s son DJ, diagnosed in the womb with spina bifida.
But the ticking time bomb of Luke, not Darren, being DJ’s biological father has now exploded, throwing Mr Osborne off course and causing him to question everything as he finds himself down that tunnel in extremely close proximity to his ex…
Will Darren and Nancy get back together?
“Was the grass really greener?” ponders Fox. “Darren wonders if him and Mandy got together for the right reasons, and his chemistry with Nancy makes it difficult for them to keep away from each other. Once they’re rescued Nancy wants to draw a line under it and pretend it never happened, but Darren is not so sure…”
Beyond stunt week’s dusty liaison for old times’ sake, the future is uncertain for Darren and Mandy, as Dunn comments: “Mandy is so relived Darren is alive and realises she didn’t know the truth about DJ, and she doesn’t suspect a thing about him and Nancy.
“Mandy just wants to move forward, assure Darren he’ll always be an important part of DJ’s life and rebuild her relationship and their family.”
That’s mainly because Darren doesn’t tell her what went on beneath that collapsed crane, but if he did would Mandy forgive and forget? “I don’t know, it’s pretty huge,” muses Dunn. “This is a big betrayal, but on the flipside she did the same to Nancy, that’s how it all started! It would throw up so many questions about why Darren did it.”
Going further ahead, Darren’s guilt, confusion and dissatisfaction is building towards the character battling depression in a mental health storyline set to play out in 2020.
“He gets out of that tunnel sort of on autopilot and isn’t able to process all these traumas,” says Dawson. “Finding out about DJ, sleeping with Nancy, doubting everything, it spirals into a kind of chaos in his head. He has nowhere to turn and it’s hard for him to verbalise how he’s feeling, and that’s the problem.”
As well as the emotional crises faced by their characters in stunt week, the cast confess they’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the annual stunt event, with Fox particularly pleased at getting her hands dirty.
“I love anything that involves getting messy and crawling around!” she enthuses. “The crew used something called an air gun, which is basically a really powerful hair dryer that shot debris on top of me and Ashley in the tunnel. It packed a punch.”
“I hadn’t been part of the stunt for a few years so it was nice,” shares Dunn. “I loved the bit where Mandy got thrown to the ground when the steel girder came flying towards her. The pressure of doing the stunt is you’ve only really got one take. Things are set up to smash and explode and if you don’t get it right it’s a massive re-set to do shoot it again. It certainly helps with the adrenaline!”
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