The identity of Mac Nightingale’s attacker has been revealed, with tonight’s E4 instalment showing the moment his daughter Ellie pushed him out of the window to the ground below.
Each episode for the last week has started with a flash forward to the evil landlord lying unconscious on the ground and wound back to the events that explain how he got there.
With half the village out to get the nasty Nightingale for his crimes – including murder, infidelity and abuse – fans were guessing as to who would finally exact revenge on mean Mac.
In dramatic scenes, daughter Ellie walked in on her father physically beating her big brother James. Realising he was guilty of the abuse he had previously denied, angry Ellie flipped and pushed Mac through the upstairs window of the Dog… Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Sophie Porley, who plays Ellie, discusses the shock twist and what this means for her character’s future.
Did you know all along Ellie was going to be the one who attacked Mac?
I was told a few months ago by our producer, Bryan Kirkwood. He called me into his office and explained the storyline and I was absolutely buzzing, I couldn’t wait to get involved! I like doing anything with stunts as they’re always a bit different and really fun to do – getting stunt doubles in and the special glass that shatters, all the technical stuff I really enjoy.
Were you worried this turns Ellie into a villain?
No because she’s doing it for the right reasons. Mac has behaved terribly and Ellie is always the gullible one, she loves her family so much but there have been many times I’ve wanted to shake her and say, ‘Oh just wake up!’
Do you believe why she snapped the way she did?
Yes. Mac has betrayed her and she’s stuck up for him, she even gave him an alibi earlier in the week – I had so many tweets about that saying Ellie’s an idiot! She was getting frustrated with him but he’s still her dad and she had his back. She didn’t want to believe any of the horrific things people were saying.
Until she saw him beating James…
She sees it with her own eyes for the first time. James and Marnie have told her about the abuse, but they’ve also both lied to her in the past so she didn’t believe them. She had to see it herself to believe it – Mac can’t manipulate his way out of this and doesn’t even try to deny it. Everything else she’s heard flashes before Ellie’s eyes and it sparks her off. She sees red and loses it – and who knew she was so strong?! I think we need to consider double glazing in that bedroom, it should be off limits to all Nightingales!
Do you think the audience suspected Ellie?
I only had one tweet this week out of hundreds that thought it was Ellie! For the most part I think the audience are going to be really shocked.
Does Ellie realise Mac is guilty of other crimes, like the school explosion and Neeta’s death?
In that moment it’s about James, but afterwards there’s a domino effect and she starts putting the pieces together. She realises Mac was partly responsible for Nathan’s death because of the affair with Lisa, that Marnie and James weren’t lying and he’s beaten James since he was a kid for being gay. Plus trying to kill Jack Osborne, the explosion in the school… It dawns on Ellie her dad is a monster.
Is this the start of exploring a darker side to the character?
She started off quite sassy, then obviously after sexual consent storyline really changed her as a person. Now she’s more caring and compassionate, but it would be nice to get a bit of the old sassiness back. I don’t see her going too dark though because she doesn’t have it in her – and we’ve got enough crazy characters within the Nightingale family, there needs to be some normality!
Who can Ellie can rely on from this point, as she’s been lied to so much?
The experience brings her and James much closer, she understands what he went through a lot more. Ellie didn’t realise the extent of the bullying he suffered from Mac in his childhood and she’s upset she didn’t know it was going on at the time. They have some nice scenes together coming up, and we’ll definitely see them bonding.
What can you tease from this point on for Ellie?
It was a moment of madness so the family all rally together around her, but the aftermath is not happy. You’ll have to wait and see what unfolds. But something else happens that might help take her mind off things…
Hollyoaks continues weeknights on E4 at 7pm and on Channel 4 at 6.30pm.