Hollyoaks has confirmed that show newcomer Iz Hesketh will take centre-stage in a dramatic impostor storyline.
Show bosses have cast the West End star as mysterious Kitty, who made her first appearance in the show's hour-long stunt episode this week.
Hollyoaks' huge episode featured a road crash involving four different vehicles. While three of the cars had familiar faces travelling inside, the fourth gave us our first glimpse at a new show regular.
When Kitty realised that the person she was travelling with had died on impact, she impulsively stole her companion's wallet and ID and fled from the scene.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other press, Hollyoaks' co-executive producer Hannah Cheers commented: "When we realised that we had the opportunity to have a fourth car in the stunt, we wanted to do something that would create an extra layer of intrigue and surprise for the audience.
"It's really rare to be able to properly shock and intrigue a soap audience – and to keep that going for quite a long time.
"We realised that we had the opportunity here to show the front-end of an impostor story. Normally in an impostor story, you learn the secret after you've met the character.
"But to actually see the moment where somebody makes that momentary decision to take the identity of somebody else is huge."
She continued: "We really wanted to make the audience think: 'Who are these two characters? Are they extras?'
"Kitty made that momentary decision to take her travelling companion's bag, wallet and ID and fled the scene. It's a really teasing moment and hopefully one that will have everyone hooked.
"We really hope that the audience enjoy following Kitty's story for the next year, because there are a lot more surprises and we don't give you the answers very quickly. There's lots of twists and turns on the way with that one."
Hesketh has previously played the role of Margot in a West End production of Legally Blonde, as well as touring in a stage production of The Book of Mormon and appearing as Kaia in ITV2 series Buffering.
In a recent Instagram post, Hesketh said: "Looks like the cats out of the bag… I'm so proud to announce that I'm the new girl on the block in the @hollyoaksofficial Village!
"My character is one that British TV has needed for a long time. She's fiery, independent and has a huge heart. I'm so excited to show that trans people are just like everyone else.
"We have flaws, we fall in love and sometimes we make bad decision for good reasons…Brace yourselves, a new arrival is about to come into Hollyoaks with a bang."
Hollyoaks' hour-long stunt episode is available to watch 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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