Hollyoaks airs Cleo McQueen’s emotional exit on Thursday 31st October (E4 showing) as actress Nadine Mulkerrin takes a temporary break from the role for her real-life maternity leave.
The workload on her final scenes was far from light, as Mulkerrin, along with co-stars Imran Adams (Mitchell Devereux) and Ross Adams (Scott Drinkwell) filmed an intense three-hander episode to mark Cleo’s departure, which also brought 2019’s stunt week to a close.
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Crushed Cleo discovers her boyfriend Mitchell’s secret affair with her close friend Scott, and during the explosive instalment the truth about her fella’s secret sexuality struggle is unpicked. Ashamed to admit he’s gay, due to his grandfather’s staunch religious views, Mitchell has convinced himself he’s in love with Scott’s drag persona, Anita, and not Scott himself.
But Mitchell eventually admits it’s Scott he wants to be with, leaving Cleo to reflect on her doomed romantic history and contemplating that she deserves more than this from life – and ends up leaving the village…
Mulkerrin, who recently gave birth to a son, Reggie, with fiancee and co-star Rory Douglas-Speed (Joel Dexter), was heavily pregnant while filming the powerful episode, most of which is set in the hospital as Scott recovers from his injuries caused by the crane collapse.
“Obviously I was a little bit nervous about learning all the dialogue when I had baby brain, but I got there and it was brilliant,” she tells RadioTimes.com.
“I kept thinking the baby probably thought his mum was a bit mad because I just kept screaming the whole time, but hopefully he knows it was just acting! Sometimes I’d be doing a scene and he’d kick for a second, I’d kind of be taken out of being Cleo. It was quite funny to experience.
“The crew were amazing on set, everyone looked after me. I got to sit down a lot and eat loads of biscuits! The director, Paul Riordan, was really clever with the angles and masking the bump. It’s a good job I’m not easily offended because of the amount of times they shouted over the monitor: ‘We can see Nadine’s belly!’ It was a fun challenge.”
Mulkerrin is loving motherhood so far, describing her and Douglas-Speed’s new arrival as “our best little friend. He’s just a dream, we’re a team and we love him so much. It’s a scary rollercoaster and I keep panicking about little things and then keep trying to remember to chill, it’s all going to be fine!”
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