Love triangles, car crashes, family tragedy and being pregnant by two men at the same time – it’s been an eventful year for Mercedes McQueen!


To celebrate Hollyoaks’ leading lady Jennifer Metcalfe being nominated for best actor at the Soap Awards 2024, sponsored by Inspired Villages for her performance as the Dee Valley diva, the star exclusively reveals her highlights of the last 12 months and teases a game-changing future ahead for her alter ego.

How does it feel to be nominated for Best Actor?

It’s amazing, to get that little bit of recognition is massive for me. Whenever I’m up for stuff I still get surprised and honoured. But it’s not just down to the actors, it’s the storylines and how the whole team have tackled it. Even though it’s a personal award, it feels collective for everyone on the show.

Were you pleased to see some old McQueen faces back this year?

Having legendary characters like Myra and Jacqui with us again was just bliss. The McQueens are so relatable. There’s all that history there when we’re together and it feels like no time has passed, that’s why the family works so well. I wish we could have them all back!

Mercedes still seems scared of her big sister Jacqui…

She switches from the strong matriarch to a vulnerable little girl around her, which is how I imagine their dynamic was growing up. Jacqui has her back, giving Mercy the luxury to be a bit softer around her. Claire Cooper (Jacqui) and I hadn’t caught up for a bit, her return was long overdue so it was gorgeous to do those scenes, I value her so much as a person and an actor.

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How did you feel about the resolution of the love triangle with Warren and Felix?

A story like that has to come to a climax and Richard Blackwood (Felix) is definitely missed, he’s a fun, bubbly guy. Hopefully Felix will return but it needed to go one way or the other!

Is it a good idea for Mercedes to get back with Warren?

It’s the worst idea in the world, but who else would have them? In that sense he’s probably the right man for her! I think they’re quite similar characters so it works well. Mercedes never learns any lessons, and I don’t want her to as then it’s more fun to play as I love all her antics. If she was my mate I’d probably tell her to sort her life out.

Are you looking forward to Mercedes being a mum again to twin girls?

She’s never going to be Mother Earth and I don’t think she should to be honest, a lot of people aren’t like that bur are still amazing parents. I want her to do her version of motherhood but keep that fiery spirit. Being a mother brings out her protective side even more.

hollyoaks mercedes mcqueen
Jennifer Metcalfe as Mercedes McQueen in Hollyoaks.

How did you react to the twins having different dads, also nominated for Best Twist?

I thought ‘that can’t happen, we can’t start making stuff up!’ But the producer told me it could and I did a bit of research and thought ‘people need to know about this!’ I thought it was an excellent twist, we found it funny at first and it meant working more with Richard and Jamie (Lomas, aka Warren) and I love them both.

Can you tell us what’s in store for Mercedes?

She makes a big decision and finds herself isolated from the family, which leaves her feeling a bit vulnerable. Of course she tries to put a brave face on it but deep down she is very sad without the McQueens behind her.

What can you reveal about the time jump in September, when storylines leap forward a year in the future?

I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about a storyline for my character in almost 20 years being here. It’s amazing. I’m going to have to dig really deep, it’s somewhere she has never gone before and I’m still not sure how Mercedes goes there but I’ll figure that out once I get the scripts and start working on them. The time jump brings another dimension to her and shows something the audience has never seen. It’s a challenge but I’m well up for it!

She’s always up to no good but really down to earth, and if she does a bad thing it has come from a place of good intention. Mercedes can always redeem herself, I don’t know how! It’s the charisma the scripts give her and that I try to bring as an actress. I never want her to be just a baddie, people hate her then in the next breath they see she’s pretty sound.

The Soap Awards 2024, sponsored by Inspired Villages, will take place on 13th July. Find out the nominees ahead of the big day!


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