Amanda Holden joins 'Neighbours': 7 of the best celebrity soap cameos

Harry Redknapp, Amanda Holden and Ed Sheeran have all been offered soap cameos. (BBC/Getty)
Harry Redknapp, Amanda Holden and Ed Sheeran have all been offered soap cameos. (BBC/Getty)

Amanda Holden has announced she's about to guest star in Neighbours as a distant member of the Robinson clan.

The Britain's Got Talent judge will play the sister of the late Prue Wallace (Denise Van Outen) and aunt of Harlow Robinson, played by Neighbours legend Jason Donovan's daughter Jemma.

Read more: Adam Woodyatt working on a burger stall during EastEnders break

But as strange as Holden's casting might seem, she's far from the only celebrity to have landed an unexpected soap role.

Cast your mind back over some of these strange cast additions to our favourite soaps.

Harry Redknapp - EastEnders

Harry Redknapp fulfilled his Albert Square dream. (BBC)
Harry Redknapp fulfilled his Albert Square dream. (BBC)

Earlier this year, ex-football manager Harry Redknapp fulfilled a dream by joining the cast of EastEnders as himself.

Redknapp, who grew up in London's East End, paid a visit to The Vic where he met West Ham fan Mick Carter (played by Danny Dyer who is a real-life supporter) and signed his shirt.

The I'm A Celebrity winner even told how he had written a full scene between himself and Dyer's character, but is waiting for the scriptwriters to take him up on it.

Read more: Harry Redknapp wants Coronation Street role after EastEnders cameo

Speaking to The Sun months before his cameo, he explained that he would play a down-on-his-luck version of himself who had moved back to the East End and become Carter's sidekick.

He said: "I've already written the script so now all the show's bosses need to do is to call me up. I'd like to be in it for a year – before they bump me off or something."

Ed Sheeran - Home & Away

It's hard to believe some of the celebrity cameos Home & Away has secured over the years, including one memorable scene where Michael Palin briefly popped up as a surfer worried about sharks.

Superstar singer Ed Sheeran's TV cameos have included a few wooden lines in Game of Thrones, but even stranger was his appearance in Summer Bay in 2015.

The storyline went that Marilyn (Emily Symons) had worked as Sheeran's nanny during her time in the UK, but had no idea that he was so famous when he came to visit her in Oz.

Eventually, she discovered his success and convinced him to sing a few numbers at The Diner.

Rick Astley - Hollyoaks

Rick Astley made a 'weird' appearance in 'Hollyoaks'. (Channel 4)
Rick Astley made a 'weird' appearance in 'Hollyoaks'. (Channel 4)

There have been some equally bizarre star castings in Hollyoaks, and not all of them successful - AJ and Curtis Pritchard's recent cameo was panned by viewers.

But singer Rick Astley made no pretence that his 2018 appearance was anything other than weird as he cropped up at a bus stop as part of Kim Butterfield's (Daisy Wood-Davis) exit storyline after she spent months in the school basement talking to a poster of him.

He told Lorraine: "I'd hardly call it acting, it was just a fun thing. The whole thing was really bizarre, the storyline was pretty weird. It's kind of a crazy storyline."

Peter Kay - Coronation Street

Peter Kay has been in 'Corrie' twice. (ITV)
Peter Kay has been in 'Corrie' twice. (ITV)

Comedian Peter Kay was actually a pretty perfect casting for Corrie and he'd even had a very brief role as a delivery driver in 1997 before becoming famous.

He returned in 2004 to play Shelley Unwin's (Sally Lindsay) date, wearing a wig and dentures for the part.

Read more: Corrie producer explains chapter of hate storyline

But Kay's character was unlucky in love when Unwin discovered that he was actually still living at home with his mother and refused a second date.

Bonnie Tyler - Hollyoaks

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 30: Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler performs on stage at Push Play music festival at Hipodromo de Madrid on July 30, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Aldara Zarraoa/Redferns)
Bonnie Tyler once made a surprise cameo in 'Hollyoaks'. (Aldara Zarraoa/Redferns)

In one of Hollyoaks' peak odd moments, the soap brought in Bonnie Tyler for after the watershed spin-off Hollyoaks Later.

Tyler's storyline saw her play Carmel McQueen's (Gemma Merna) guardian angel in a dream sequence.

After offering some advice to McQueen on her being locked up for prostitution, they then performed a duet of Holding Out For A Hero.

The Vivienne - Emmerdale



Emmerdale villagers will be celebrating Pride next month and who better to join the cast for the day than Drag Race UKÕs first winner, The Vivienne.

Playing her fabulous self, The Vivienne will make an appearance at EmmerdaleÕs first Pride day, which will see the village church and LGBTQ+ communities join forces for a day of celebration. 

ÒI am so happy that I will be part of Emmerdale's first ever Pride,Ó commented The Vivienne.

ÒMy role is to officially open the event on the stage! It's great for Emmerdale to be doing this and IÕm delighted to be part of it. WeÕre making that little bit of history for all the gays and the LGBTQ+ community and itÕs just an absolute honour,Ó she added. 

Emmerdale producer, Kate Brooks said: 

Ô'We're absolutely thrilled to welcome The Vivienne to Emmerdale to help our villagers celebrate this year's Pride event in style. The Vivienne will add a dash of her own inimitable wit and fabulousness to the show and will certainly raise a few eyebrows in the process.Ó

Viewers will be able to see The VivienneÕs appearance on screen at the end of June.

Picture contact 

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on
The Vivienne helped 'Emmerdale' celebrate Pride. (ITV)

Emmerdale celebrated Pride this year by casting RuPaul's Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne in a cameo role.

The Vivienne explained to The Mirror how Lisa Riley's Mandy Dingle had been the driving force behind the role: "About four weeks ago I saw Lisa Riley was on Lorraine talking about how Mandy Dingle's wedding dress was inspired by one of mine and she messaged me saying, 'Don't tell anyone but I think this might be happening'.

"All of a sudden I was there filming as they're celebrating their first ever Pride in the village. I feel very honoured to be part of it."

Sir Ian McKellen - Coronation Street

Sir Ian McKellen with Malcolm Hebden on the set of 'Corrie'. (ITV)
Sir Ian McKellen with Malcolm Hebden on the set of 'Corrie'. (ITV)

Weatherfield managed to snare a national treasure for a short story arc in 2003 that saw Sir Ian McKellen walk the cobbles for 10 episodes.

Unlike some celebrities making cameos, he got his own character in conman Mel Hutchwright, an author who turned up at the Weatherfield Book Club.

However, Ken Barlow (William Roache) soon discovered that his real name was Lionel Hipkiss and he was up to all kinds of shady dealings including defrauding some of the book club members.

Watch: Amanda Holden says she was encouraged to steal food