Hollyoaks return for Zara Morgan.
You can read all about it, or if reading isn’t your thing, you can hear it from me first hand by clicking the play button.
I think in lockdown, everyone reassessed their life.
I certainly did, along with putting on about 10lbs and signing up to learning a language that I knew was never really going to happen.
My mindset changed from “I’m not sure” to a “why not?” and that is how all this started.
How Hollyoaks happened…
I got a phone call out of the blue from the lovely Peter Hunt Hollyoaks casting director, asking if I would be interested in reprising the role of Zara Morgan after 16 years away from the show.
He told me about the ideas of who Zara is now, and the storylines for the future – It really was an offer I couldn’t turn down.
Now, I’ve been asked before a few times by Hollyoaks to go back, and I’ve always said no. I have been more than happy hiding behind my microphone being a Voice Actor and coaching Actors at the Manchester School of Acting for the last 16 years. I didn’t feel like I was missing being on screen. But something in me that day said “Why not?”.
So after chatting with the husband about how we make it work, my “Why not?” became a reality. The only thing was, we couldn’t tell the kids, you can’t ask a 6 and 10-year-old to keep a secret.
My Mum, again…
So then I rang my mum to tell her the news. Now those of you who have read my previous blog, know that my mum is a proper Salford mum, she doesn’t mince her words, says it as it is, and would do anything for anyone. The conversation went like this.
I’m waiting for ages wondering what she was doing, I’ve got really exciting news, and she’s telling me to hold on for something, but what?
“Sorry I’m doing tater ash for tea and my potatoes were falling”
“do you use Oxo when you do tater ash? Cos I think they’ve changed the recipe”
Now if I hadn’t have interrupted, this conversation would have gone on, how oxo has changed, and why do foods companies do that, and do I remember the time she wrote to Heinz to tell them they should make beans and sausage together in a can, but they told her there wasn’t a market for it, only to make it years later- something she could have dreamt about cos she has no evidence.
“mum I’ve got some good news”
“oh, bloody hell you’re not are you?”
“good. Don’t get me wrong I love the kids but you’re getting on a bit and it wasn’t exactly plain sailing last time”
“so go on then whats this good news?”
“I’m going back to Hollyoaks”
“Hold on my pans boiling over. Kelly I’ve got to go cos Dad is on his way home from work and we want to have our tea before we take the dog out. I’ll call you back later”
She called me back after they had their tea and took the dog out, and they were both proper chuffed for me.
Being on set
So I suppose I fast forward to now. I’ve been filming for a couple of months. It’s very strange because the whole building has changed but it feels so familiar- like home.
I’m working with Gary Lucy and Steph Waring a lot at the moment who are brilliant. A lot of the crew are the same, and to be honest, that’s what makes the show, they work so hard to make sure it’s the very best it can be, we are just the lucky ones to be the face of it all.
The studio is still open…
I’m still coaching at MSA, and the Voice Over work is busier than ever. And I finally got to tell my kids that mum was going to be on the Tele.
George grunted and continued playing Fortnite and Matilda said whats Hollyoaks?… I think my feet will remain firmly on the ground.
So I guess if you ever find yourself in a situation that takes you out of your comfort zone, that makes you feel terrified and excited all in the same moment ask yourself … why not?