Claire Cooper to leave Hollyoaks

Jacqui McQueen HollyoaksHollyoaks fans will soon bid farewell to one of the show’s most popular characters as Claire Cooper bows out from the role of Jacqui McQueen.

Digital Spy reports that the character will leave in April as Cooper has decided to pursue new projects after six years in the role.

I have had the most incredible and unforgettable time at Hollyoaks. Jacqui McQueen has been a fascinating part to play and I have nothing but gratitude to Channel 4 and Hollyoaks for giving me the opportunity.

I would especially like to thank Bryan Kirkwood, whom I adore and have nothing but respect and praise for. It’s sad that I’m leaving when Hollyoaks is at such a high-point, especially with Bryan back at the helm, but it’s the right time for me personally to explore other avenues and see what other stories I can tell.

To my family, friends, colleagues and fans, thank you for your support – it’s been one hell of a ride for Miss McQueen and an inspirational one for me. – Cooper

In 2011 the character of Jacqui was at the centre of a hard-hitting rape story which saw Cooper nominated for Best Actress and Best Dramatic Performance at the British Soap Awards.

Producer Bryan Kirkwood described Jacqui as “an unforgettable soap character”, adding “I feel very protective and proud of Clare’s wonderful, tough, sexy, funny creation.”

No details have been released as to how Jacqui will leave the village but a statement teased: “Jacqui’s departure comes shortly after the arrival of her former cell-mate, Trudy Ryan, with whom she shares a dark secret. Could she be behind Jacqui’s exit from the village?”

Hollyoaks airs Mon-Fri at 6.30pm on Channel 4 with a first look episode at 7pm on E4.