(opens in new tab)Hollyoaks' Porsche McQueen is in for a shock when her estranged mum, Reenie, phones her from prison and announces she's about to be released!
We caught up with ex-EastEnders and Waterloo Road star, Zoe Lucker, to find out more about the newest member of the infamous McQueen clan...
Reenie McQueen sounds like trouble! What's she doing time in prison for?
"Reenie is incredibly self-destructive. She went AWOL and smashed in the front of a shop and then got arrested for being drunk and disorderly and damaging public property. She is a flawed character, but she’s also vulnerable and can stick up for herself. There are lots of different aspects to her personality. She’s not just a super-strong, feisty McQueen. "
What is Reenie's relationship like with daughters Porsche, Celine and Cleo?
" She’s got a good heart and wants to be a good mum, but she is rubbish at it. Every time she gets back on track and thinks she’s doing well, something triggers her, she goes off, hits the bottle and behaves really badly. This is the reason Porsche is not pleased to see her mum again. She wants Reenie out of their lives."
Reenie looks very different to some of the blonde bombshells we've seen you play previously!
"I came in and got my hair dyed very dark for the part. They did say I could wear a wig, but I think the only time I would wear a wig would be for a costume drama. I feel I have to be dark for this role. It’s weird because my daughter is six. When I first got the part I warned her Mummy was going to be having her hair dyed dark and it wouldn't be blonde any more. I was worried I would come home and she’d start shouting stranger danger!"
Where does Reenie register on the McQueen scale of trouble?
"She doesn’t go out looking for trouble. She is trying to get back on the straight and narrow. But she might say she’s not going to drink and then get completely smashed and embarrass everyone! If there’s something Reenie wants she’ll go out and get it."
Has she got her eye on any of the village hunks?
"She still loves Pete, who is her ex and stepdad of the girls. She wants him to come back and whisk her off her feet and have this perfect family. So we’ll have to wait and see how that story unfolds."
What's it been like working with executive producer, Bryan Kirkwood, again on Hollyoaks?
"Bryan’s brilliant, he was the one who brought me into EastEnders as Vanessa Gold. They had this character they said was a bit like Zoe Lucker and Bryan just said 'Why don’t you ask Zoe if she’ll do it?' It was originally just supposed to be six or seven episodes to help Max and Tanya get back together. But I ended up staying about 18 months! I really enjoyed my time there."
We loved it when Vanessa discovered Max and Tanya's affair (opens in new tab)... and then trashed the house!
"The director of the episode was brilliant. We set it up so we would only film it once. So I had a free reign. It was great to just get on and do it! (opens in new tab) Fortunately, nothing broke that shouldn't have! And everything that should have broke did so it worked out fine!"
It's about 10 years since Footballers Wives ended. Would you like to revisit your character, Tanya Turner (opens in new tab), again?
"Probably, she’s still out there! Tanya will be somewhere like Spain, running a bar. She probably hasn’t had a huge amount of luck. She started out as the captain’s wife and had all this money at her fingertips. But then over the years everything started to fall apart. In the final scene she was about to take some poisoned cocaine and it was left uncertain if she did. But I refuse to believe she’s dead. She’s out there somewhere drinking herself stupid!"
Catch Zoe as Reenie McQueen in Hollyoaks from Thursday, April 16 on Channel 4
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)
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