The clocks going back, pumpkins in the window and Christmas decorations going on sale are all indications of what season we're in, but nothing screams 'late autumn' like the arrival of Hollyoaks' annual stunt week.
Exploding schools, runaway trains and burning fairground mazes have all been done, and last year's epic hurricane (complete with fake weather warnings from Carol Kirkwood) will take some beating, but 2019 brings us soaps' first ever 'collapsing crane sinking into ancient Roman tunnels below the village' set piece.
- Gary Lucy on Hollyoaks stunt week: “I’m happy the old cast are back together smashing the place up!”
- Hollyoaks crane disaster: 15 characters in danger
Human car crash Luke Morgan falls off the wagon and climbs aboard the crane that's building Cindy Cunningham's 'Grand Bizarre' covered market – in a lifetime of questionable decisions this turns out to be one of Luke's worst, as he loses control of the wheel as serial killer Breda McQueen comes speeding round the corner with hostage Tony Hutchinson trapped in the boot.
The vehicles smash into each other effectively creating a sinkhole in the middle of the already weakened concrete ground and causing a crack in the exterior set – and we're off!
As is tradition, different character groups are trapped in different locations as storylines that have been building for months come to a head with a spectacular set piece as the backdrop.
We have old flames Nancy and Darren trapped in the recently-discovered (and never-before mentioned) tunnels running beneath the ground, desperately searching for missing Charlie and Ella but ending up buried themselves by falling rubble. Will they be able to stop bickering long enough to try and dig their way out?
Meanwhile, Scott and Mitchell are having a secret liaison in the derelict florist when disaster strikes and they end up barricaded in. Luckily, Scott is dressed as drag persona Anita Tinkle so any flying debris should be cushioned by his astonishing blonde wig, surely more effective than any hard hat.
The stunt usually delivers a couple of cast deaths, and we've been promised a 'significant exit' this year. But it might not be quite what you're expecting…
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