Hollyoaks cast: New, leaving and returning characters | The Sun

EXITS have been rife in the eponymous Chester village with many iconic faces bowing out in dramatic scenes.

And with huge storylines lined up for the rest of the year, here's what you need to know about the comings and goings in Hollyoaks.

Felix Westwood (Richard Blackwood) – returned

Times have been tough for Felix in the Channel 4 soap.

But when his son DeMarcus decided there was nothing left for him in the village, Felix struggled to cope and his anger spiralled out of control.

In an attempt to overcome how he felt, Felix became involved in illegal underground fights which often led to him being beaten within an inch of his life.

In late August, 2023, Felix's behaviour took another nasty turn as Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalfe) feared for his life.

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Instead of reassuring her, a battered Felix lashed out against her and, after agreeing to pay off his debts to fight organiser Irvine by taking on brawls around the country, he departed the village, claiming there was nothing holding him back anymore.

However, this wasn't the last viewers see of actor Richard Blackwood and his on-screen alter ego.

Felix was dropped off in Hollyoaks weeks later outside Dee Valley hospital where he was told he needed to stop the fighting for the sake of his health following a seizure.

He later reconnected with Mercedes but found it hard to move in with her and the McQueen clan.

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As a result, Felix moved in with his pal Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) but he unknowingly made things awkward as he has no clue Mercedes crawled into bed with the tough man during her other half's absence.

What trouble will this bring the couple?

Could Felix try to get revenge?

Or will he leave Hollyoaks once more to start fighting again?

Juliet Nightingale (Niamh Blackshaw) – left

This year marked the departure of former Coronation Street star Niamh Blackshaw from the soap after five years, as her character Juliet was diagnosed with cancer.

The beloved character was given a heartbreaking stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma diagnosis in the midst of her love triangle with Peri Lomax and Nadira Valli.

While the pair forgave her deception as her health ordeal began, Juliet got closer to Peri who, as a nurse, took primary care of her.

In early 2023, the lovebirds went on a trip to Brighton before Juliet received her scan results.

She was informed she'd need a stem cell transplant but this was unsuccessful as her infection markers were too high.

Juliet fell ill with norovirus and learned she was too weak to undergo any other kind of treatment, meaning her cancer was terminal.

While her and Peri managed to keep this a secret until after James Nightingale's wedding with Ste Hay, Juliet was forced to open up when Donna-Marie realised what was going on.

Juliet even collapsed during James and Ste's wedding reception and she finally admitted she was dying.

Within a short month, Juliet lost her ability to walk and her health rapidly declined.

Peri and Juliet were able to tie the knot before the latter passed away peacefully in July, 2023, at 2 Oakdale Drive.

Donna-Marie Quinn (Lucy-Jo Hudson) – left

While Juliet struggled with her health, Donna-Marie did all she could to give her the best care but her daughter soon felt smothered by her.

Following Juliet's death, she was seen spiralling out of control, overwhelmed with grief.

After an emotional conversation with her pal Leela Lomax and tearful goodbye to her son Romeo, Donna-Marie packed her bags and left the village.

She made her last appearance on September 14, 2023.

Speaking about her exit, actress Lucy-Jo Hudson said: "Donna-Marie gets to a point in her life where nobody can help her. Her son wants to at the very end but at that point, she just knows that she needs to do this herself."

"She needs to leave the village and get herself sorted and she can't do it around her family because they're all watching her spiral and none of them can help."

Could she return?

Rayne Royce (Jemma Donovan) – leaving

Former Neighbours star Jemma Donovan rocked up Hollyoaks in January, 2023, alongside her best friend Lacey Lloyd.

Branded "an outgoing party girl", Rayne caused some trouble for a handful of villagers as she moved into a shared house with Lacey, Romeo Nightingale, Nadira Valli and Prince McQueen.

Rayne turned a few heads upon her arrival as she caught the eyes of Romeo, Hunter and Prince.

Determined to remain the centre of attention in Hollyoaks, Rayne made up a string of lies, gaslighting the whole community.

However, after nine months, her upcoming exit was confirmed on September 13, 2023, as the social media star is due to be killed off in a whodunnit storyline.

"I am so excited to announce that Rayne's reign is finally coming to an end with an incredible stunt week that I am over the moon to share with you guys", Jemma said about her exit.

"I think it's going to be full of drama, full of love, full of chaos but the big question is… who did it? And I'm so excited for the speculation. I can't tell you, but it's a good one so hope you all enjoy!"

Brent (Jesse Fox) – joined

Speaking of Rayne Royce, life in Hollyoaks became harder for her as her former boyfriend Brent showed up on September 12, 2023.

Brent had previously been mentioned by Rayne as she wrongfully claimed he had committed suicide.

Tired of Rayne, Peri managed to figure out Rayne was lying and hoped to have Brent's support in her mission to get rid of her – but he made it clear he was still in love with the troublemaker.

With Rayne's story coming to an end, Brent could be the main suspect in her death.

Asked about his stint in Hollyoaks, Jesse Fox said: "I was very excited when I got the part. It was so cool to be a part of such a big storyline that the show has been building up to for a while."

"Brent adores Rayne and has very much not given up on them being together. The nature of their relationship has taken him to a place where he's totally lost perspective and his sense of self, which in turn makes him quite dangerous."

"He'd pretty much do anything to try to make Rayne happy. I think people may understandably be hostile towards him because – being in that Rayne whirlpool – he makes some seriously big mistakes. You can expect clashes and fireworks with the likes of Peri and Romeo."

What's in store for him?

Faye Fuller (Maddy Smedley) – joined

More characters could be pointed out as Rayne's murderer – including Faye Fuller, a talent agent the blonde bombshell has tried to win over.

Rayne has encountered several setbacks in her social media influencing career meaning her bond ith Faye has been nothing short of rocky.

Maddy Smedley made her first appearance in Hollyoaks on August 21, 2023 and her on-screen alter ego was branded "trashy, sassy and a bit cutthroat."

While she was last seen in Hollyoaks on September 11, 2023, could Faye make a surprise return?

Camilla (Dylan Morris) – joining

Drama is also about to pick up a pace for Sienna Blake as she grows closer to Rafe Harcourt.

Rafe is set for a blast from the past as his ex-girlfriend Camilla will be making an appearance on October 2, 2023.

Dylan Morris is joining the show as the newcomer and her arrival was announced ahead of time on September 18, 2023.

"Filming at Hollyoaks so far has been amazing. Playing Camilla is so much fun, she's so unpredictable and ready to cause absolute chaos", Dylan said.

What will it mean for Sienna and Rafe's budding romance?

Sam Chen-Williams (Matthew McGivern) – left

The former copper grew obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Zoe Anderson following the breakdown of their relationship.

While they remained on good terms, Rayne Royce soon stirred up trouble again by stealing his phone and sending troubling messages to Zoe to destroy his family's reputation.

This was in retaliation to Lizzie Chen-Williams being picked by Faye Fuller for a social media promotion.

Matters went from bad to worse for Sam as pictures of Zoe were then found in his car.

Unable to find support as he professed his innocence and claimed he was set up, Sam left Hollyoaks on September 8, 2023.

Could he be involved in Rayne's death?

Grace Black (Tamara Wall) – left

The iconic character went through some intensely troubling times as she was involved in some of the long-running soap's biggest storylines.

Last year, she even had to face the death of her partner Saul Reeves.

But after ten years in Hollyoaks, actress Tamara Wall bid farewell to Hollyoaks fans in July, 2023.

Grace suffered from the fallout from a recent heist and was sent to prison when she took the fall, allowing Cindy Cunningham and Zara Morgan to get off scot free.

She then managed to rope in James Nightingale to represent her in the hopes of either getting a shorter sentence or get moved to a prison nearer her son Curtis in Scotland.

Grace was able to make her second option a reality with a little help from the solicitor – and an infatuated prison guard.

The soap legend was last seen in a post-credit segment during which she asked for the prison she was going to settle into to be warned of her arrival.

However, during her last exchanged with Cindy, who had spiralled following the heist, Grace hinted this wouldn't be the last time they'd see one another.

Could she come back?

Zara Morgan (Kelly Condron) – left

Embroiled in the plot to rob a bank, Zara is another one of Hollyoaks' biggest icons to leave the village.

While Grace was busy making sure she could be closer to her son, Zara made the decision to leave Chester a second time, after coming back in 2021, to travel to Borneo in late June, 2023.

Kelly Condron first appeared in Hollyoaks in April, 1999, making her one of its stalwarts.

Social media accounts for the long-running program celebrated her departure with a heart-warming post.

"Zara has officially left the village! It's safe to say, she has brought us so many memories here in Hollyoaks and will forever be our icon!"

"Thank you to Kelly for bringing Zara to our screens. We will miss you so much, and good luck for everything the future holds."

Is her exit permanent?

Damon Kinsella (Jacob Roberts) – left

Six years have gone by since Jacob Roberts first showed up in Hollyoaks and, in June, 2023, he also decided it was time for a fresh start.

His on-screen alter ego Damon was also involved in the botched heist attempt and he finally decided to follow his dreams by booking tickets to move to New York.

"Get together and say goodbye to the man, the legend, Damon!", a Twitter post from Hollyoaks read.

"He has given us endless entertainment, laughter and tears on our screens, and we will never forget him! Thank you Jacob, for bringing us this amazing character who we've all loved for so long!"

Carter Shepherd (David Ames) – joined

Former Holby City star David Ames made his Hollyoaks debut in Agust, 2023, two months after his casting was initially announced.

David has joined the line-up as Carter Shepherd, the new headteacher at Hollyoaks High.

However, he is also the father of recurring character Freya Calder, played by Ellie Henry, and is trying to rebuild their relationship.

He is also due to be involved in a huge storyline with Hollyoaks icon John-Paul McQueen.

"I am incredibly excited to join the Hollyoaks cast as such an intricately layered character, with a very poignant and vital storyline to come", David said about his arrival in the show.

Dilly Harcourt (Emma Johnsey-Smith) – joined

Emma Johnsey-Smith is another fresh face who joined the Hollyoaks line-up this year.

The actress was cast in July, 2023, as Rafe Harcourt's no-nonsense sister Dilly.

Protective and fiery, Dilly has been causing trouble for Sienna Blaker and her plans to fleece the Earl of Dee.

Speaking about her role, Emma said: "I'm very excited to have joined the cast of Hollyoaks. My time on the show so far has been great and all the cast and crew have been super welcoming."

How far will her feud with Sienna go?

DeMarcus Westwood (Tomi Ade) – left

After a series of troubled months and a two-year-long stint in Hollyoaks, DeMarcus Westood left the village for greener pastures.

Actor Tomi Ade departed in July, 2023, and was last seen in the back of a cab as he'd made the decision to study abroad in America.

The soap star spoke in a farewell video and said it had been an "absolute pleasure" to play the son of Felix Westwood.

He added that, although he was "sad to leave", he was aware that "everything must come to an end."

Felix has had trouble handling his son's departure.

How will he cope?

Bobby Costello (Jayden Fox) – left

Mercedes McQueen was crushed when she realised her son Bobby Costello was responsible for her husband Sylver's death following the explosion at the Salon de Thé in early 2022.

To make matters worse, Sylver was only ONE of Bobby's victims as the young lad also killed Verity Hutchinson in shocking scenes.

Verity had figured out he'd been involved in Sylver's death and Bobby, ready to stoop to any low to keep his secrets safe, tipped over a bookcase on top of her.

The solicitor tried to expose Bobby for his actions but died of her the injuries she sustained.

Bobby also murdered serial killer Silas Blissett but his rampage was put to an end when he was turned into the authorities with the help of his mother Mercedes.

Acotr Jayden Fox confirmed he had filmed Bobby's final scenes in a video posted on Hollyoaks' Instagram page, earlier this year.

Speaking of his departure from the soap, Jayden said: "I’d like to say thank you to everyone and I’d like to say a special thank you to Jen [Mercedes actress Jennifer Metcalfe] for putting up with me for five years. I’ve really had a good time with her and she’s been like a second mum to me and also thank you to all the fans – I hope you’ve all loved hating Bobby."


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"Maybe I’ll see you again in the future, maybe I won’t, but that’s goodbye for now."

Bobby's crimes include murder and arson, as he tried to get rid of Mercedes' new boyfriend Felix Westwood by setting fire to Price Slice.

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