Hollyoaks has finally aired the outcome of its year-long body bag mystery.
Monday's E4 episode – which was available to watch early on All4 last week – saw Jordan Price killed off amid a showdown with Charlie Dean and Ella Richardson at The Hutch.
Digital Spy recently caught up with Connor Calland, who played Jordan, for a big chat about his dramatic departure from the show.
How do you feel about leaving the show?
"I'm sad that I won't be stepping back on set at Hollyoaks, but it's also a pleasure to look back at the storyline and how it's all played out over the past year. It's been a big, mixed bag of emotions."
The body bag mystery has played out for an entire year. When did the Hollyoaks team bring you in on the secret that Jordan was the victim?
"I've known for a good chunk of the year. I wasn't aware immediately at the start, but I've had a good amount of time to build towards that and focus on it throughout the year. It's been a difficult secret to keep but I think I've kept it well!"
Did your Hollyoaks castmates know all along?
"As far as I'm aware, nobody knew until the final month or so of filming. That's when people started reading those episodes and found out. But across the year as a whole, nobody knew. I didn't speak to anybody on set about it. People were speculating but I just kept it in the back of my head!"
Jordan was a complex character – what was your take on him?
"I saw Jordan as someone who'd come in as the villain and was the guy who was victimising the kids of the village. It was really important to show that, but also to show that Jordan was a victim himself and had gone through what the kids were going through himself.
"It was important in the last few episodes to show Jordan's attempts to redeem himself. It was nice to explore the storyline with Jordan but also how it affects the kids."
How do you think Hollyoaks fans will react to Jordan's death?
"Obviously from an actor's point of view, you want everybody to be upset when your character goes! But as Jordan is someone who came in as the bad guy and he targeted the kids in the village, it's important that what goes around, comes around.
"I just hope that people see that Jordan has now acted out of love for Sid, Juliet, Charlie and Ella. He doesn't want them to face what he's faced. I'd like to think that, in the end, people see that in him."
With the kids still closely involved, are you pleased that Jordan's death will have such big consequences?
"Yeah, it's going to be nice to see the aftermath of what happens in those sorts of situations and how things are dealt with. I think the actors who are involved are unbelievably talented, more so than I ever was at their age!
"They're going to handle it with so much grace. They're going to absolutely smash whatever is thrown in their direction moving forward."
A lot of viewers may not have heard of County Lines before this story. Are you proud that Hollyoaks has raised awareness over the last year?
"It's been such a good year for it. It's been so rewarding. Before starting the job I, guiltily, was one of those people who wasn't very much aware of it. I'd heard about it in the newspapers every so often, but it wasn't something that was prevalent in my head.
"Once I started the job and did the research – working along charities and people who were involved in real life – it really opened my eyes. Being given such a big responsibility on a show like this has been such a pleasure to handle.
"I think everyone involved has handled it with so much respect. I hope we've done it justice and people are talking about it a little bit more."
The story isn't over just yet, so will you carry on watching to see where it goes from here?
"Well, I was talking to Ben who plays Victor – I was asking: 'What happens to you then, why aren't you getting anything thrown in your direction?! I want to know what's happening with you – you're the big dog!'
"I'm going to be watching to see what happens to him and the young actors involved. I'd like to see how Sid and Juliet can get themselves out of this situation. It'll be interesting to see how the writers deal with that."
Who do you think Jordan had the strongest feelings for out of Peri and Leela?
"Personally, from how I approached it from an acting point of view, it was always Leela for Jordan. They connected on a higher level than just a physical level. It was shown on screen after the car crash episode where they talked about their pasts, that they had similar characteristics.
"From Jordan's point of view, he'd never had somebody to talk to and be open to. Having Leela there was really important for Jordan in terms of him wanting to change himself. Leela instigated that change quite early on, which was nice."
Who will you stay friends with?
"I hope everybody! Everybody who has been involved in this story and who I've been working with quite intimately, like Billy Price, Niamh Blackshaw and Ben O'Mahony. I really hope to keep in contact with them.
"Everyone on the show is super talented and how they've handled this storyline has been unbelievable. I hope to keep in contact with them and see them whenever COVID isn't ruling the news and the headlines! It'll be nice to see them in a non-COVID environment."
As you couldn't go out for a meal or drinks, was it quite a quiet exit for you?
"It was, it was still very nice though! We had a laugh on the last day and I heard some pleasant words said from everybody. I was still trying to put on the tough Jordan act, but felt like I was going to cry!
"It was such a nice way to end a year being there and I also got some messages from people who I didn't see on set that day. We've all said that when COVID isn't ruling the world, we'll celebrate at that point."
It's obviously a difficult time for the industry at the moment, but what are your hopes for the future?
"I'd like to have some time to reflect, as I've not had time to think about the year that 2020 has been. As much as it's been a difficult year, just making it through the year happy and healthy has been a blessing. I think anyone who's been able to do that should really be proud of themselves. I think I'm going to enjoy the first part of the New Year spending time with family.
"Moving forward, I want to keep working with other acting. Hollyoaks has been a blessing for my career and I can't wait to keep the ball rolling."
Would you like an opportunity to stay in the soap world?
"Yeah, starting on the soap and having this be my first major job had its challenges. I had to overcome the pace of the work and how professional everyone is. It was a case of getting used to that, but I love being that busy and I'd love to stay within the soap world.
"After having Hollyoaks as my first job, it's going to be difficult to want to move! But just staying acting is something I want to do and I'd love to keep having storylines that are as important as County Lines."
Are you proud of the work Billy Price has done on Sid's recent injury storyline?
"I am unbelievably proud of Billy. He has absolutely smashed everything out of the park. I remember when I first started on Hollyoaks and I knew then that I was in such a privileged position to be next to him on screen and see him develop over the year. His work has really hit home."
Do you have a final message for the Hollyoaks fans?
"I can't thank them enough, with all honesty. I don't think enough words can thank them! But I'd just like to say, thank you for setting up all of these fan pages and sending messages of support.
"I wish I could reply to everyone and I do try my best, but if I haven't replied yet, I'm sorry! All of the fans have propelled me as an actor and a person so I'm forever indebted to them all."
Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
Digital Spy now has a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like