Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Hollyoaks star Niamh Blackshaw has dropped the first hints about Juliet Nightingale's future in the village.
The teen was freed from prison in Thursday's (March 18) first-look episode because of Ollie, Ste, James and Sid's work to implicate Victor in several murders related to the County Lines drug operation.
While Juliet is happily reunited with girlfriend Peri for now, Niamh has hinted to Digital Spy that her character won't easily be able to forget her own responsibility in the County Lines.
"I think it would be wrong if she didn't carry it with her, because naturally you would. But I hope that there is a lot more focus on the positive and moving forward, with this on her conscience as something to work through over time," she said.
The actress went on: "It's been really long [the storyline]. It's been crazy to see the character development over the last year and a bit, from when it first started to now. I think back to being on the beach in Formby over a year ago and how different the characters were then, how it's all developed, and how dark it got.
"It's just been so fun to film and I'm so grateful to have played a part in it with such amazing cast and crew. It's been really nice."
Niamh also pleased the writers with carrying on with the County Lines storyline even after the soap's original plans were interrupted by the COVID-19 hiatus last spring.
"When it comes to grooming, it's important to show the time that it takes, because it doesn't happen overnight," she explained. "It is a long-term thing, so I'm happy in that respect. Also, we were restricted with COVID. We lost a lot of time, and we lost a lot of scenes and episodes.
"But thank goodness we got back and could carry on with it. The producers, the writers and everyone on set has tried their hardest to make sure we could do it the best we can under the circumstances."
With Juliet now free, the actress has hinted that upcoming episodes will see her character trying to make peace with those she'd wronged over the last year.
"We've been filming a lot of making amends – Juliet trying to make up relationships that she's broken down in the village after what she did," she said. "So that's taken up a lot of time. She's trying to get back into school and get her life back on track, but it isn't easy.
"She's trying to blend back in after standing out so much, because everyone knows what she's done. Everyone at school knows she's been to prison, so she's trying to work through that and have a normal teenage experience, I guess."
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
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