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Hollyoaks cast: New, leaving and returning characters

HOLLYOAKS star Amy Conachan is the latest star to have departed from the popular Channel 4 show after a five-year stint as Courtney Campbell.

With plenty of drama in store for 2021, here’s the lowdown on the Channel 4 soap's latest comings and goings…

Leela Lomax (Kirsty-Leigh Porter) – returning

Kirsty-Leigh is currently on a maternity break from Hollyoaks.

The actress shocked fans in December 2020 when announced she was secretly pregnant and had given birth.

Kirsty-Leigh is expected to return to the soap last this year, but there’s no official word yet. 

Leela made a brief return for Hollyoaks’ New Year episode as the storylines teased in the flashforward episode 12 months earlier were finally resolved.

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Fergus Collins (Robert Beck) – joined

Brookside legend Robert Beck joined Hollyoaks back in March 2021.

The actor – who is married to Coronation Street star Jane Danson – plays Fergus Collins, Brad King’s former business associate and Trish Minniver’s ex-boyfriend. 

The dangerous businessman creeped fans out when he started spying on Peri and her girlfriend Juliet after installing a hidden camera in Peri’s bedroom.

It's not yet clear whether Fergus's sick antics will be discovered, but we're guessing all hell will break loose if the truth comes exploding out.

Pete Buchanan (Kai Owen) – returned

Kai Owen reprised his role as Cleo McQueen’s sexual abuser Pete Buchanan on the Channel 4 soap earlier this year. 

Pete returned back in April and began terrorising Cleo as part of a mental health storyline. 

The villain was found guilty of abusing his stepdaughter Cleo and was handed a seven-year sentence back in 2016.

Zara Morgan (Kelly Condron) – returned

Actress Kelly Condron reprised her role as Zara Morgan earlier this month (August 2021) after 16 years away from the soap.

Zara left the village in 2005 to pursue charity work in Thailand but returned after hearing about her mother Sue’s funeral on social media. 

Speaking about her return, Kelly revealed: "When I was first approached by Hollyoaks to bring Zara back, it was an offer I couldn't refuse

"I'm really excited to be back in the iconic village after such a long time and to work with the team playing a part in what's going to be such an important and relevant story.

"It's really lovely to be working with the old cast again such as Nick and Steph and of course Zara's big brother – Gary Lucy – who feels like my big brother at times.

Discussing how her character has changed, she added: "Zara returns all grown up.

"She's back and is going to make sure everyone in the village knows about it."

Sid Sumners (Billy Price) – returned

Sid left the village reeling after seemingly meeting a tragic end back in March 2021 as the soap's County Lines storyline came to a terrifying head.

Fans thought it was all over for Sid when Victor Brothers stabbed him after James and Ste's plan to bring the dealer down failed miserably.

But in a huge death twist, Sid reappeared later in March and revealed he'd faked his death.

Drug dealer Victor Brothers might have been brought to justice following his reign of terror in the County Lines storyline, but just how Sid is going to navigate life after faking his death remains to be seen.

Teasing what’s to come for his character, he told Digital Spy: "From the stuff I've been filming now… he's done the deed and tried to take it into his own hands to finish what he started, in a sense, with the County Lines."

He added: "Now, we'll go back to him living with a disability. I feel like that will be quite nice."

Courtney Campbell (Amy Conachan) – left

Hollyoaks star Amy Conachan has left the show after a five-year stint as Courtney Campbell. 

Amy’s final scenes aired back in June 2021 as she accepted her dream job as a headteacher in a school in Scotland and departed. 

Speaking to Digital Spy about her exit, actress Amy revealed: "It's such a strange one, because everything gradually calmed down. When I was filming, I'd think: 'Okay, I've got two weeks left. I've got one week left. I've got two days left…' Then it was my last day, so it gradually just went away.

"Then when you're out of it, you're still on screen, so it comes in stages. Coming to the end of filming, I was a bit of a woman on the edge – so emotional about it!

"I've been fine since then because I'm on screen, but now I feel a bit emotional again. I was catching up on episodes last night and thought: 'My God, this is it. She's only going to be on a couple more episodes and that's it.'

"It's strange when it's such a big part of your life for five years and then it's just gone. It's a funny one to get your head around."

Marco and Jacob (AJ and Curtis Pritchard) – left

Strictly Come Dancing and Love Island stars AJ and Curtis Pritchard made their last appearance on Hollyoaks back in May 2021. 

The pair had portrayed scheming twins Marco and Jacob, who were professional dancers who had arrived in the village to sabotage Trish Minniver’s plans to open a new dance school. 

Fans were quick to slam the pair’s attempts at acting, with former soap stars chiming in to criticise the casting of non-actors because of their large followings.

AJ confirmed back in February 2021 that he and brother Curtis would be joining the soap. 

"I can’t believe we will be featuring on Hollyoaks, we have grown up with the show on TV and it’s always been one of our favourite serial dramas," he said at the time.

He added: "Our characters are fantastic, and we can’t wait for everyone to see how we bring them to life.”

Curtis said on joining: "I am so excited to be working with my brother AJ on a show we grew up watching! I am also excited to continue our journey together with Channel 4 and E4."

"She's a keen environmentalist, but she still has the fiery personality and the outspoken nature she's always had.

"She's back and is going to make sure everyone in the village knows about it."

Brad King (Tom Benedict Knight) – left

Trish Minniver’s sleazy boyfriend Brad King made a hasty exit from Hollyoaks after joining the soap at the beginning of 2021.

Brad caused trouble from day one when he orchestrated a love triangle with Trish and her daughter Maxine Minniver. 

Tom Benedict Knight’s final scenes aired back in April 2021 after his love rival Fergus Collins sabotaged one of his dodgy deals and blackmailed him into departing.

Victor Brothers (Benjamin O’Mahony) – left

Benjamin O’Mahony confirmed he had quit the Channel 4 soap back in March 2021 after his character Victor’s reign of terror came to an end.

The County Lines villain was finally arrested after the villagers came together to bring him down.

Posting on his Instagram page, Benjamin bid farewell to the soap but teased that the door had been left open for his return: "Victor out. Cheers @hollyoaksofficial it's been fun! Ciao… for now."

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