Hollyoaks exit: Why is Nadine Mulkerrin leaving as Cleo McQueen?

Hollyoaks: Sarah Jayne Dunn's final scene as Mandy Richardson

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Nadine has played Cleo for the best part of eight years, having joined Hollyoaks back in 2015 as part of a trio of sisters who were set to shake up the dynamic of the legendary McQueen family. Over the years, the actress has been at the forefront of the television programme as her character has been at the centre of huge storylines such as being subjected to sexual abuse as a child, developing bulimia and her troublesome relationship with Joel Dexter (Rory Douglas-Speed). As part of this week’s episodes of the Channel 4 soap, her character will be leaving as she takes up a new job opportunity and although this was thought to be temporary, it has been confirmed Cleo is leaving permanently.

Why is Nadine Mulkerrin leaving Hollyoaks as Cleo McQueen?

It was announced a few months ago Nadine was going to be taking maternity leave as she was pregnant with her second child.

This is baby number two for the actress and her co-star, Rory, who plays Joel on the programme, with the pair welcoming their son into the world back in 2019.

With the character being at the centre of some huge storylines at the moment, including reuniting with her former love interest Joel, fans were looking forward to Cleo returning in the near future.

However, when she leaves in this week’s episodes, the beloved McQueen will not be back as she is bowing out for the time being.

Speaking about her departure from the show, Nadine said: “It’s been an amazing eight years at Hollyoaks.”

Nadine continued in an interview with Metro.co.uk: “I’ve had the absolute ride and the best journey ever being in the iconic McQueen family.

“I have been blessed with so many incredible storylines, arriving with the Pete and Cleo storyline, the powerful sexual abuse storyline.

“And then the impactful bulimia storyline which crescendoed on my wedding day to my real-life fiancé, meeting Rory, and joining at 21 and leaving eight years later its been an incredibly special job.

“I feel like I will miss everybody so much and it will always have a special place in my heart,” she added before revealing the real reason she had quit.

“I’m ready to close the chapter and move on to the next challenge in my career and I’m just grateful for the brilliant time I’ve had at Hollyoaks,” the actress explained.

I will miss everybody

Nadine Mulkerrin

How is Nadine Mulkerrin leaving Hollyoaks as Cleo McQueen?

Following a brief reunion with Joel in recent scenes, Cleo was offered a once in a lifetime job opportunity by her boss, Misbah Maalik (Harvey Virdi).

It was explained to Cleo she could take a place on a research project in India, but this would mean leaving her life in Hollyoaks behind her.

She has already been seen seeking support from her friends and family, who do not seem to help her with her decision.

With the actress leaving, it is likely she will take the post and put herself first instead of thinking of how everyone else will feel.

After so much heartbreak over the years, this could finally be the happy ending the character has been waiting for.

Cleo’s decision to leave the village will have huge repercussions for many other characters, including love interest Joel.

Also, Eric Hutchinson (Angus Castle-Doughty) will have conflicted feelings as he has developed an unhealthy obsession with the nurse.

Many of the McQueens will miss having her around, including her cousin Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter) who has come to see her as a best friend.

Verity Hutchinson (Eva O’Hara) will also be sad to see the nurse leave as she has developed a close bond with the beloved character.

The Westwoods will want to wish Cleo the best after their son, Toby Faroe (Bobby Gordon), put her through so much before being sent to prison.

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Viewers have shared their thoughts on Nadine and Cleo’s exit from the show on Twitter, with Amelia writing: “I’m happy for Cleo getting such a good opportunity but I’m really going to miss her #hollyoaks.”

Matt posted on the social media platform: “Cleo is going to be missed but this is an amazing opportunity for her #Hollyoaks.”

Faizal added: “I wish @nadinerose_x all the best for the future, what a ride Cleo/she have had in @Hollyoaks #Hollyoaks.”

Johnathon commented: “I love Cleo and Joel together and their in real life chemistry shows on screen.

“Sucks that it’s going to be ruined for her inevitable maternity leave. #Hollyoaks,” they continued.

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6:30pm on Channel 4. First-look Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 7pm on E4 or viewers can watch the new episode from 7am the same day on All 4.

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