With episodes currently reduced, along with every other soap due to a production shut down brought on by Covid-19, fans of Hollyoaks haven’t been getting quite as many visits as they are used to.
But Channel 4 are filling in the gaps by running Hollyoaks Favourites, a series of classic episodes that air on the days a new episode would have.
Earlier this week, we saw a return to 2014 when a train crash occurred that marked an exit for Gemma Merna’s character, Carmel.
On what it was like to film the iconic scenes, Merna recalls: “It was incredible. It was shot like an action film. Graeme Harper, our director, was amazing, and he let me have a lot of input into the episodes.”
Harper is a well-known director who knows a thing or two about crafting an action set-piece thanks, in part, to his time directing Doctor Who. Merna also added that there was a little gesture included that was something she herself wanted to add.
“There was a shot that I asked if we could put in, of Carmel waving goodbye before she gets on the train. I thought it was a way of her saying goodbye. Also, her death scene was very emotional, we all just cried all day! I am very proud of it.”
Her Porsche co-star, Twinnie Lee Moore, added: “It was brilliant, and the crew were absolutely amazing. I had never done anything like that before, so it was very exciting to film.” On what it was like to work on Hollyoaks, Moore said: “It was such an amazing experience. I made some friends for life”.
Reflecting on what stories meant the most to her, she told us: “My storyline into the show was pretty special. The wedding and train crash was so cool to film, and quite an epic moment. Porsche’s confession scene with Phoebe (Mandip Gill) was also one of the most important scenes for Porsche.”
Merna added that she too looks back on her time on the show fondly. “Ah, my experience was incredible! To create Carmel McQueen was a dream come true. Also, to win ‘Best Comedy’ at the British Soap Awards 2007 was probably the highlight.
That first year was life-changing. I look back now and I’m very proud of what I achieved. At the time, I don’t think I and the rest of the family realised how iconic the McQueen Family was for the world of soap. I’m so grateful I was part of it.”