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Hollyoaks legend Gemma Merna joins rival soap Coronation Street

Gemma Merna has revealed she is set to appear in Coronation Street (Instagram @Germma Merna)
Gemma Merna has revealed she is set to appear in Coronation Street (Instagram @Germma Merna)

Gemma Merna has announced that she is swapping the Hollyoaks Village for the cobbles as she joins rival soap Coronation Street.

The actress, 40, posted a picture of herself posing in front of the ITV soap’s iconic Rovers Returns pub, writing: “The news is out”.

“I've been keeping a little secret. I am thrilled to announce that I've landed my dream job on @coronationstreet!

“Can you believe it?! I've wanted to be on Coronation Street since I was a little girl. Being born and bred in Manchester, it's truly a dream come true for me.

“It's been on my vision board for over 10 years, and finally, I got the chance to walk the cobbles. I can't even believe I'm writing this. (sic)”

Merna went on to explain that the “best part” of landing the Corrie gig was telling her mum.

She said: “I think the best part was ringing my mum and telling her. To my dad, nana, grandad, and grandma, who all watched it for many years, and were huge fans - I hope you're proud of me up there. (sic)”

Teasing what viewers could expect, she added: “Rebecca will be gracing your screens in the next coming weeks.”

According to Inside Soap magazine, Merna's alter-ego Rebecca will be a client of lawyer Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson), and she will “succumb to his charms”.

DigitalSpy reports that Merna’s appearance is believed to be a one-off in a single episode and unlikely to become a recurring character.

Merna is best known for her role as Carmel Valentine, née McQueen, in Hollyoaks.

She appeared in more than 500 episodes of the Channel 4 soap from 2006 to 2014, with one of her biggest storylines seeing Carmel left with severe injuries when a tanning machine exploded in her face.

The character was later killed off in an explosion following a train crash at her cousin Porsche McQueen's (Twinnie Lee Moore) wedding.

Gemma Merna played Carmel McQueen in Hollyoaks from 2006 - 2014 (Lime Pictures)
Gemma Merna played Carmel McQueen in Hollyoaks from 2006 - 2014 (Lime Pictures)

Since then, Merna has become a yoga instructor and in 2016 said she wasn’t sure if she would act again. Thankfully for her fans, she has had a change of heart.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.