Hollyoaks' co-executive producer Hannah Cheers has spoken about the aftermath of a major death in this week's stunt storyline.
The show's dramatic hour-long episode saw Ella Richardson tragically killed off, as Erin Palmer bowed out from the role after more than six years.
Ella lost her life as part of the road carnage involving four different vehicles, after spending time with her friends nearby. The teen's dad Warren Fox was devastated to discover that she'd died at the scene.
In the closing moments of the episode, Ste Hay was revealed to be responsible for Ella's death when he found one of her eye-catching red boots lodged in one of the wheel arches on his car.
Ste had been driving carelessly while trying to get his daughter Leah Barnes to hospital, as she was in a bad state after excess alcohol consumption. He was unaware that he'd hit anyone during the chaotic journey.
Upcoming episodes will see Warren go out for revenge against his former best friend Felix Westwood, believing that his erratic behaviour behind the wheel caused the road disaster and Ella's death.
The longer-term storyline will see Ste struggling to keep his own guilt under wraps, wanting to avoid a prison sentence so he can continue being there for Leah.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other press, Cheers confirmed: "When Ste cut up the roundabout, he hit Ella and is now responsible for Ella's death. So Ste saved his own daughter but lost Warren his.
"That's the big story that throws us forward for the first half of 2024 and beyond. We're ready for Ste's life to be ever-more complicated and muddied up!
"We all think that Kieron Richardson has this amazing ability to take an audience with him. I feel like he has this unique quality – when Ste makes a mistake, you never condemn him but you always cry with him and sympathise."
She continued: "Hopefully as the story plays out, you will see that come to the fore more and more. But if there's ever going to be a reason why you wouldn't tell the police what you're responsible for, that need can only be a parental need.
"Ste thinks that he needs to be around for his daughter. So there's a theme of dads and daughters, with Ste needing to do everything he can to be around for Leah, even though he is unfortunately the architect of Warren's misery."
Hollyoaks' hour-long stunt episode is available to view now on Channel 4 Streaming.
Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4 each weekday at 7.30pm. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.
Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.
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