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Hollyoaks has had its fair share of explosive storylines last year, with everything from tragedy, romance and scandal thrown in.

And it looks as though 2023 is set to be even more dramatic, with bosses lining up some nail-biting plots that will keep viewers hooked in the coming months. 

Recent episodes have seen poor Diane shot by Tony’s evil half-brother Eric with a crossbow during the horrifying siege in The Dog.

Drama: It looks as though 2023 is set to be even more dramatic, with Hollyoaks bosses lining up some nail-biting plots that will keep viewers hooked in the coming months.

Drama: It looks as though 2023 is set to be even more dramatic, with Hollyoaks bosses lining up some nail-biting plots that will keep viewers hooked in the coming months.

While Juliet has struggled to cope with her cancer diagnosis, with scenes seeing her try to navigate her family and romance with Peri Lomax.

And Hollyoaks producer Lucy Allan has teased what’s to come for those characters, while she’s also lifted the lid on the twists and turns other villagers are set to face in upcoming scenes. 

Here, we take a look at the big five storylines that are set to leave fans of the Channel 4 soap gripped.

Juliet’s cancer story

With Juliet (Niamh Blackshaw) still adjusting to life since her Hodgkin’s disease diagnosis, Lucy teased to Metro.co.uk that fans will see a heartwarming special episode involving the teen and her on-off girlfriend Peri (Ruby O’Donnell).

Lucy told the publication: ‘It is a huge emotional story. We talked about Juliet: the fighter! It was important for us that Juliet doesn’t lose Juliet through this story. What I can tell you is that we are off to Brighton to film a special episode for Juliet and Peri – we really wanted to see the joy of those two as a couple. We know they are massive fan-favourites, people love them together.’ 

Plot: With Juliet (Niamh Blackshaw) still adjusting to life since her Hodgkin's disease diagnosis, Lucy teased that fans will see a heartwarming special episode involving the teen and her on-off girlfriend Peri

Plot: With Juliet (Niamh Blackshaw) still adjusting to life since her Hodgkin’s disease diagnosis, Lucy teased that fans will see a heartwarming special episode involving the teen and her on-off girlfriend Peri

She went on to say that while viewers haven’t completely turned on Nadira (Ashling O’Shea) amid her affair with Juliet, fans are still rooting for Juliet and Peri as their long-running romantic story arc continues. 

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And while Juliet remains strong in her cancer fights, her feelings turn to anger and she questions the unfairness and injustice of her diagnosis. 

Fans will also see how Peri copes with the situation not only as Juliet’s partner, but as a nurse and how she navigates the two.

Meanwhile, Juliet’s plight is also challenging for her brothers James and Romeo and mother Donna-Marie (Lucy-Jo Hudson). 

Battle: Juliet remains strong in her cancer fights, her feelings turn to anger and she questions the unfairness and injustice of her diagnosis

Battle: Juliet remains strong in her cancer fights, her feelings turn to anger and she questions the unfairness and injustice of her diagnosis

Lucy tells how the mother and daughter relationship will be ‘challenged’ throughout the storyline in the wake of Donna-Marie’s absence through much of Juliet’s life and how she copes when her daughter needs her the most.

Contrastingly, it’s been Romeo (Owen Warner) who has always been there for his little sister, and viewers will see how he struggles to cope, with the character distracting himself with his new romance with Rayne (Jemma Donovan). 

Lucy goes on to praise Juliet actress Niamh Blackshaw for her ‘extraordinary stuff’ in terms of her performance, before concluding that Julie and Peri will go on to meet an ‘extraordinary character’ during their travels to Brighton.

She says that the girls will bring the character back to the village and teases that the person is a familiar face who has recently won another show. 

The fate of evil Eric

The dramatic pub siege scenes saw Eric (Angus Castle-Doughty) get shot at by police after he shot Diane (Alex Fletcher) with a crossbow.

However, Eric was not killed (as is the case of many soap villains) as the bullet misses when he’s tripped up by Maxine.

Lucy reveals that Eric not dying is intentional as it then gives the opportunity for the character to confront his issues, with the producer going on to say that ‘as an incel, if he can’t succeed he wants to die’ – so they purposes didn’t give him what he feels is a ‘victory’. 

She told how bosses wanted to be ‘mindful’ about not ‘sensationalising’ the storyline, but instead to see ‘justice meted out in the correct way’. 

She said: ‘For us, the correct way would not be allowing him to die. It was important to us that he was not given that. We will play out justice for our community against Eric as well, but also some of the realities of who Eric is. This is a troubled, damaged individual who has been preyed upon himself, so we’ll be looking at that as well.’

What’s next for Mason?

Fans have seen 15-year-old Mason (Frank Kauer) embroiled in the misogyny/Incel storyline after being groomed and manipulated by Eric, with Lucy revealing that hey were keen to not ‘villainise the online world’ but to instead start conversations around the issues. 

In the wake of the siege and the discovery of his involvement with Eric and the Men’s First forum, Mason’s sisters Lizzie and Serena disown him while his parents Honour and Dave refuse to go to the police – which only upsets their daughters further. 

Drama: In the wake of the siege and the discovery of his involvement with Eric and the Men's First forum, Mason's sisters Lizzie and Serena disown him while his parents Honour and Dave refuse to go to the police

Drama: In the wake of the siege and the discovery of his involvement with Eric and the Men’s First forum, Mason’s sisters Lizzie and Serena disown him while his parents Honour and Dave refuse to go to the police

Lucy told Metro of the aftermath: ‘We will see a big journey for him and an explosive fallout in that family as a consequence of all this coming out. Whether you are the 15-year-old or the parent, the lack of knowledge you might have about the online world and where people are inhabiting is fascinating to look at.

She also told how Hollyoaks writers were intrigued by what happened when Mason’s online world is take  away from him and how he copes, teasing that they we’re ‘not quite at the end’ of Mason’s storyline yet – adding that the latest developments are a ‘huge peak’ but not the end. 

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Darren and Charlie (and Nancy’s exit)

With actress Jessica Fox departing temporarily to welcome her first child, it means her character Nancy will also be leaving the village for a while.

But Dancy fans can rejoice as Lucy confirmed that Nancy and Darren won’t be splitting up (again!), but that there is a ‘challenging reason’ for why the teacher will have to exit.

With Nancy gone, Lucy told how the soap will explore teenage mental health in the Osborne household, and see how Darren and Charlie cope without ‘the rock’ that is Nancy.

Leaving soon: Dancy fans can rejoice as Lucy confirmed that Nancy and Darren won't be splitting up (again!), but that there is a 'challenging reason' for why the teacher will have to exit

Leaving soon: Dancy fans can rejoice as Lucy confirmed that Nancy and Darren won’t be splitting up (again!), but that there is a ‘challenging reason’ for why the teacher will have to exit

Storyine: With Darren having been involved in a huge, emotional depression storyline last year, soap bosses were keen to highlight the reality of mental health in the fact that 'it’s not just there and gone'

Storyine: With Darren having been involved in a huge, emotional depression storyline last year, soap bosses were keen to highlight the reality of mental health in the fact that ‘it’s not just there and gone’

With Darren having been involved in a huge, emotional depression storyline last year, soap bosses were keen to highlight the reality of mental health in the fact that ‘it’s not just there and gone’.

Sienna and Ethan (and their not-so-happy ever after)

With a tumultuous love life throughout her years in Hollyoaks, show bosses are not planning on Sienna (Anna Passey) having a happily ever after any time soon. 

Lucy tells how Hollyoaks plan to take their time in ‘investing’ in the couple, while seeing the ‘dynamic’ mix as Ethan(Matthew Bailey) tries to be a stepdad figure to Sienna’s kids with their dad Warren (Jamie Lomas) in the way.

But the couple are set to hit a bump in the road but it won’t be Warren coming between them, but a new character that will arrive into the village with ‘explosive consequences’.

The producer teases that Ethan comes up with a plan for the newcomer that is ‘downright dreadful’, resulting in some big ‘challenges’ for him and Sienna in the months to come. 

Hollyoaks airs weeknights from 6.30pnm on Channel 4.  

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