Hollyoaks star Emma Rigby to leave Hannah role already

Hollyoaks star Emma Rigby is set to leave her role as Hannah Ashworth just weeks after returning to the soap in a permanent role.

The star debuted as the character way back in 2005 before eventually departing in 2010, with Rigby making an eagerly anticipated return to the Channel 4 soap earlier this year.

Following a brief guest stint in January, Rigby made a full return as Hannah in April, with the character recently turning to sex work in a bid to scam men out of their money.

hannah ashworth, darren osborne and suzanne ashworth in hollyoaks
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The comeback looks to be short-lived, however, with The Sun reporting that Rigby has decided to quit the show due to unease around the soap’s future.

Hollyoaks has declined to comment on cast contracts.

The news comes amidst plenty of change at the soap, with an announcement being made in February that the show would soon be reduced to three episodes per week from its previous slate of five, with the cast being streamlined as a result.

To facilitate the move, it was revealed that the narratives for the soap would jump one year from the Autumn stunt week onwards, with executive producer Hannah Cheers explaining: “[It will involve saying] goodbye to some much-loved Hollyoaks villagers – and some earlier than we would have expected to.

hannah ashworth and carter shepherd in hollyoaks
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“When we started talking about the move to three episodes a week, we realised we needed a mechanism through which to transition our stories and characters and we kept coming back to this one. It’s bold, daring and is a first for a UK soap; it sums Hollyoaks up perfectly.

“The new three-episode pattern offers us a different model of storytelling, which means we’ll see characters on screen for much longer. Our viewers are really smart; in order to serve them well, we need to kick off this new structure in a meaningful way.

“Fast-forwarding the show permanently by a year presents us with unlimited story possibilities. We are now a streaming-first soap and can lean into less-restricting and conventional structures.”

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.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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