Hollyoaks: Claire Cooper (Jacqui McQueen) says bosses tried to tempt her to stay!

by Anna Howell

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With her final week in Hollyoaks upon us, Claire Cooper has revealed that show producers desperately tried to get her to change her mind when she decided to quit her role as Jacqui McQueen!

Fans of the hit Channel 4 soap will know how Claire’s character, Jacqui McQueen, is currently involved in a scam involving some dodgy vodka, and some even dodgier thugs.

In a desperate bid to raise enough cash to free her sister, Mercedes (Jennifer Metcalfe) from her captors, Jacqui has found herself in way over her head when her heist scam goes deadly wrong.

Faced with the realisation that she is no longer safe in the village, Jacqui eventually makes the heart-breaking decision to leave Hollyoaks, and her foster daughter Phoebe (Mandip Gill) and love of her life Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard, for good this week.

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However, it would seem that bosses at the award-winning show were desperate for Claire Cooper, the actress who plays her, to change her mind and stay, as she has explained to Yahoo.com:

“Bless them, they offered me some wonderful things and I’m so flattered but I was just in a different head space and wanted to make a break.

“I handed my notice in a year ago because you have to be respectful to the whole story and everyone involved.

“You can’t just go, ‘By the way I’m off’. It doesn’t work like that in soaps and I did feel a year ago that I’d explored where I wanted to go and wanted to wind her [Jacqui] down over the next year.”

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However, the actress, who is dating her former Hollyoaks star Emmett J Scanlan who also left the show this year, went on to say that both she, and the writers were pleased with the exit storyline:

“I want her to remain formidable rather than become half the woman she was. I can’t let that happen to her.

“I’ve kept this woman who’s rough around the edges but with a golden heart and she always has to be this wild, chav-tastic little volatile ball of fun. I had to leave on a high.”

Watch Jacqui’s exit all this week on Hollyoaks at 6.30pm on Channel 4/ Channel 4 HD.