Hollyoaks has paid tribute to cast members, Helen Pearson and Amrit Maghera who have left the show in dramatic circumstances during this week’s stunt episodes.
After joining the show fifteen years ago as part of the Dean family, Frankie – played by Helen Pearson – became a firm favourite as wife to Johnno and mother to Jake, Debbie, Craig and Steph.
During this week’s stunt episodes, Frankie was shocked by the return of her ex, Johnno who promised her a life on the open road as a Cher tribute act.
However, her love for Jack won out in the end and she decided to stay in Hollyoaks, but Jack and Frankie never got the chance to say goodbye before she died.
While Frankie was at home, a devastating gas explosion at Hollyoaks High School left Jack fighting for his life, and when Frankie eventually heard the news, she suffered a fatal stroke.
Talking about her time on Hollyoaks, Helen Pearson said: “After 15 years, I’m sad to have left all of my friends from the show, but I’m also excited about the future.
“It’s a difficult decision to leave and to find the right time for that, but I was really excited to go as part of this week’s big episodes and the timing seemed perfect.
“When you’ve been part of the show for so long, you spend more time with your fictional family than your real one sometimes. I’m sure we will keep in touch, even if you don’t see each other for months on end, you can meet up and it’s like no time has passed at all.”
Executive producer, Bryan Kirkwood added: “Helen Pearson has been a backbone for Hollyoaks for the last 15 and a half years.
“Her funny, strong and outrageous character has been at the heart of some of the show’s biggest storylines, underpinned by her love-story with Jack.
“Helen’s glorious performance has delivered many stand-out moments for fans and we are heartbroken to say goodbye to Frankie and to Helen but wish her every success in her future career.”
Meanwhile, Amrit Maghera also bids farewell to Hollyoaks as her character, Neeta Kaur is killed at the hands of her abusive partner, Mac Nightingale during the Hollyoaks High School explosion.
Neeta arrived alongside the Nightingale family in 2015 and since then has had two failed wedding days to Mac, found her dream job as a teaching assistant, and been caught up in an illegal romance with her pupil, Hunter.
It was her inappropriate relationship with Hunter that led to her death when jealous Mac accidentally caused the high school explosion and pushed her to her death when the floor collapsed beneath her.
Speaking about her time on Hollyoaks, Amrit said: “I have honestly loved my two years at Hollyoaks and feel so lucky to have been cast as Neeta.
“After joining with the wonderful Nightingale family, going head-to-head with Mac, getting the opportunity to film in Ibiza and telling the story of Neeta and Hunter, I am so grateful to everyone involved.
“Thank you to Bryan Kirkwood for his support and belief in me, as well as the entire production team, crew, cast and every department for making me feel truly welcome and making me laugh every day.
“Also to bow out during such fantastic episodes this week has been an honour. I feel very proud to have been part of this show. Thank you to all the fans for your constant support and hopefully Mac will get his comeuppance…”