Gemma Merna has announced that she is leaving Hollyoaks.
The Daily Star Sunday reports that the actress will bow out from the Chester-set saga in an upcoming storyline, after eight years in the role of Carmel McQueen.
“I’ve had a great time being part of the show for eight years and I’m excited to push myself and explore new avenues. I’ve got an exciting business launch for later in the year that I’m working on. I also have some great storylines before I go.” – Merna
Carmel is known for bringing light and shade to the Channel 4 soap, the former due to her ditzy personality and the latter due to her disastrous love life.
The character’s most notable storyline to date came when her husband Calvin Valentine (Ricky Whittle) was shot dead on their wedding day in 2010. She later discovered that her cousin Theresa (Jorgie Porter) was behind the shooting and had fallen pregnant after sleeping with Calvin.
Earlier this year, Carmel suffered heartbreak once more when her partner Jim McGinn (Dan Tetsell) was stabbed by villain Fraser Black (Jesse Birdsall). Following Jim’s death, Carmel embarked on a relationship with Calvin’s brother Sonny (Aaron Fontaine), however fans will have to stay tuned to see what her departure means for their relationship.
“The role of Carmel was never in our plan until Gemma Merna tottered into the audition room with a gold lamé handkerchief and thigh-high boots. I’d like to thank her for being a valued company member and for creating one of our most lovable characters.” – Executive Producer, Bryan Kirkwood
Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4 with a first look on E4 week nights at 7pm and weekend omnibuses on E4. Viewers can also catch up on demand at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4od