Original Hollyoaks heart-throb Kurt Benson (Jeremy Edwards) makes a shock return from beyond the grave as part of the soap’s explosive 25th anniversary storylines.
Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard) is beyond stunned to see his best mate walk back into his life, and Pickard’s reaction in real life to the shock comeback was pretty similar!
“Our producer Bryan Kirkwood called me in to tell me Kurt was returning and I just said – ‘Well… he’s dead!'” laughs the actor, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com.
“Bryan said it happened off screen so we can get around it – so I thought, fair enough! Go with it!” Kurt left when Edwards quit in 1999, four years after Hollyoaks launched, to join the original line-up of BBC1 medical drama Holby City.
Six months after he roared off on his famous motorbike, word reached the village he had been killed in a jet ski accident. As fans will discover, it wasn’t Kurt who perished and he’s been on the run for the last 21 years. But why? All will be revealed soon…
It’s not the first time we’ve seen Kurt on screen since his ‘demise’ – in 2013’s Hollyoaks Later he appeared as a figment of Tone’s imagination when he was battling cancer. “Jezzy had already been back in the building since he’d left to film that cameo, but funnily enough last year Will Mellor (who played another original, Jambo) came to the set and he couldn’t believe how much it had changed.
“Will and I were filming an episode of Antiques Road Trip and he hadn’t been to the studios in 20-odd years. Back in the early days we only really had the Dog in the Pond pub set, now it’s a huge operation. Hollyoaks took over the sets after Brookside and Grange Hill ended, which were both filmed here.
“It’s been great having Jeremy back but I’d love Jambo to return for a few episodes too,” confesses Pickard. “We talked about it last year and hoped it might work out for the 25th anniversary, but it’s finding the time and fitting it in as Will is so busy. But he’d love to do it.
“Tony still talks about Jambo all the time, and he’s actually still alive so there’d be less explanation needed than bringing Kurt back from the dead, that’s for sure!”