Warning: this article touches on subject matter that some readers may find distressing
The shockwaves of Kyle Kelly’s suicide continue to be felt in Hollyoaks among those he left behind, especially fiancee Nancy Osbourne (Jessica Fox) and close friend Darren Osbourne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) – leading to an upsetting revelation.
In emotional scenes, grieving Nancy insisted to her ex-husband she could not face the upcoming funeral, but as Darren opened up about his own struggle with depression he admitted Kyle saved him from a suicide attempt shortly before his death.
Even though Kyle’s tragic demise shook Darren into seeking professional help, he told Nancy he has still never told his therapist – or partner Mandy Morgan – about how close he came to taking his own life, and that only best mate Luke Morgan is in the know.
Desperate for Darren not to end up like Kyle, Nancy issued an ultimatum that he tell Mandy, or she will…
“Even though Nancy knew about Darren’s depression immediately after Kyle died, I don’t think she processed it,” reveals Fox, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com. “Now some time as passed we’re exploring it.
“Nancy is a fixer, she gets the superglue out – like many women she is practical and wants answers so she can make it better. When she learns the levels of depression Darren suffered she refuses to let him, or anyone, go down Kyle’s path. She’s not having it.”
For his part, Darren ends up making Nancy see she cannot go on blaming herself for what Kyle did. Inadvertently, his admission helps her make peace with the guilt she feels, and after words of support from friends Mandy, Cindy Cunningham and Luke Morgan, Nancy makes the brave decision to attend the funeral the following day.
“When Darren goes to see Nancy she can barely get out of bed and can’t face the funeral,” Taylor Dawson exclusively tells us. “She sees Kyle as having acted selfishly. He’s left her behind to deal with everything after saying how much he loved her, there are lots of mixed feelings.
“Darren knew how Kyle was feeling and there is a sense of betrayal that he too lied to Nancy. It takes a lot to make her realise it’s more than that, for once Nancy cannot be that black and white about it. In the end she sees it and makes a breakthrough.”
Hollyoaks has been praised for highlighting male mental health issues through the storyline, and worked closely with suicide prevention campaigner Angela Samata as part of their research.
With suicide the biggest cause of death in men under 50 in the UK, Samata was eager to support the soap raising awareness through the different journeys Darren and Kyle experienced in their battles with depression.
“In reality there are some who reach out and receive the help and support they need,” she told us. “Unfortunately there are those who, for a myriad of reasons, do not reach out, or they do and they don’t get the help they need. Not everybody always gets everything they need, and Kyle’s experience reflects real life.”
For help and support visit www.jamesplace.org.uk or contact the Samaritans free on 116 123 or email jo@ .