Hollyoaks' original Nick Pickard: 'Some of the younger cast call me Granddad!' (VIDEO)

(opens in new tab)Hollyoaks is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Thursday, a milestone for Nick Pickard who has played villager Tony since the first episode (opens in new tab) of the Channel 4 soap screened on October 23, 1995.

We caught up with Nick and co-star Alex Fletcher, who plays his wife, Diane, to get the gossip on the celebrations and why Nick has stuck around so long.

"I've just enjoyed myself. I've been an actor all my life and the grass ain't always greener," Nick told us. "I've always been happy here, and genuinely still come into work with a smile on my face. But, no, the younger cast members don't ask me for advice. They call me Granddad!"

As well as the ticking time bomb that is Tony's son Harry's secret relationship with Tony's best mate Ste, there's romance in store for Tony and Diane when the couple decide to renew their wedding vows, which sees the return of former co-star, James Redmond, as Tony's buddy, Finn.

"It'll be nice for Diane to have a bit of happiness because she cries all the time!" says Alex.

Watch the 20th anniversary episodes of Hollyoaks all this week on Channel 4.

Watch the interview with Hollyoaks' Nick Pickard and Diane Fletcher, above. "]

Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters.

Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave?

Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!


Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy.

He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.


Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)


And the writer and director of (very!) low budget fright flick, Midsummer Night's EVIL and the sequel webisodes series, The Hatchet Woods HORROR.