This article includes discussions around terminal cancer which some readers may find distressing.


Hollyoaks star Ruby O'Donnell has opened up on her character Peri and her girlfriend Juliet's future amidst the latter's cancer diagnosis in the soap.

The couple have had more their fair share of obstacles to face before getting back together, but things became especially tough when Juliet, who is played by Niamh Blackshaw, learnt she had Hodgkin's lymphoma last year.

Peri has been standing by her ever since, constantly worrying she may not have long to spend with "the love of her life". In a chat with Inside Soap, star O'Donnell touched upon Peri's reaction should her girlfriend's health deteriorate.

"I don't know if she'd ever recover," the actress said of Juliet's possible death. "Juliet is the love of Peri's life and it would be utterly devastating. Whatever the outcome of this storyline, it's been extremely heartbreaking for everyone."

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Playing a cancer storyline has had a profound impact on O'Donnell, who revealed she has experienced the pain first hand.

Peri takes Juliet on a trip to Brighton in Hollyoaks.
Juliet and Peri on a trip to Brighton in Hollyoaks. Lime Pictures/Channel 4

"I've recently lost someone to cancer, so this has been quite close to home," she explained. "But we do issue-based storylines to reach out to those who are dealing with it in real life, to let them know that they're not alone. Me and Niamh want to raise awareness and do it justice, for those who have faced cancer."

In recent Hollyoaks scenes, Juliet came clean to her family about not having received the stem cell transplant.

After contacting norovirus at a Eurovision party, Juliet was hospitalised, with a guilt-ridden Peri bursting into a fit of rage at the hospital, resulting in her losing her job as a nurse and being banned from the premises.

With the unexpected help of Juliet's ex Nadira (Ashling O'Shea), Peri was allowed to see Juliet and the pair managed to spend some time together.

If you have been affected but the issues discussed in this article, you can visit MacMillan or call 0808 808 0000 for support. Help can also be found at Cancer Research.

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Hollyoaks is available to stream on All4 and airs every weeknight at 6:30pm on Channel 4 and 7pm on E4. Check out more of our Soaps coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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