Hollyoaks Later: Bronagh Waugh (Cheryl Brady) teases massive Brady family destruction (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW AND PICTURES)

by Anna Howell

We are under a week away from this year’s, much-anticipated  Hollyoaks Later, and whilst we all wonder what we have to look forward to, Unreality TV can confirm the main players, and some of the gossip, in this years, deep, dark series.

Fans of the show would have watched the situation surrounding Joel, Brendan and Walker, bubbling away constantly, and would have already enjoyed some of the best storylines and drama from these amazing characters throughout the year so far.  Of course what we know, that Brendan (Emmet J Scanlan) does not necessarily, is that both of these characters are secretly out to get him!  Walker (Neil Newbon) is actually an undercover policeman out to get revenge on him for selling his brother the drugs that has left him brain dead in hospital, which has been made more intense by Friday’s episode when he was advised his brother would not be revived if his condition should worsen.

Cheryl has only just forgiven Brendan for his part (or what she thought was his part) in Lynsey’s murder.  Although she has moved back into the flat she shares with him, it still seems like it may be quite some time before the whole sorry incident is water under the bridge, and if faced with anymore of Brendan’s dangerous lifestyle drama’s, we don’t think she can be pushed much further…

Joel, Brendan, Walker and Cheryl all feature in this year’s Hollyoaks Later, along with Joel’s girlfriend, Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter) and Mitzeee (Rachel Shenton) who is currently just starting a seven year prison sentence for the attempted murder of Mercedes Fisher (Jennifer Metcalfe), so with the amount of darkness already surrounding these main characters, it does leave the question remaining, just how much darker can the lifted restriction of a pre-watershed time slot take these them?

Unreality TV caught up with Bronagh Waugh, who plays Cheryl Brady, to ask her, exclusively on the set of the hit Channel 4 soap, about her part in this year’s Hollyoaks Later!

How pleased were you when you found out your character would be featuring in this year’s Hollyoaks Later?

“I was really excited!  It was nice for me as when I started the show 4 years ago, I came in as a Laters character, Karen Hassan (Lynsey Nolan) and I both came in together, that’s how we started, so it was nice to do it again, it felt like we had come full circle.  We were promised it would be darker, delving much deeper into the Brady family so I was really pleased about that as it is something, before Brendan came in and I was on my own, something I wanted to really explore.”

With the restrictions that Hollyoaks Later lifts, how much fun has it been to explore that with your character, and how has it been to make the transition back into the day to day soap?

“It’s quite a lot different.  With the Brady family, I’ve always seen them as like the Soprano family from the Soprano’s, and I’ve always seen myself as the Matriarch of this Irish Gangster family, covering up all Brendan’s mistakes.  With Laters it feels like we can finally give that side of them a chance to breathe and fill the gap, and the free-reign showing how the Brady family really are with no restrictions.  And that’s not just about swearing though, it’s more to do with content, dark content of story is definitely very suited to Laters.  Then when you come back to the regular show, it’s like ‘we can’t go there, we just can’t go there’ and I think having watched Laters, the fans will know how much it really suits the Brady family being in it.  It was really nice, and not difficult to make work, both Emmett and I were delighted to be in our characters elements so to speak.”

How much involvement does Cheryl have in the Hollyoaks Later series?

“The entire thing is kind of looking into the background of the Brady family, mainly Brendan, who is a huge part of the show, so it has a lot to do with what makes him what he is.  And Cheryl, who has always been such a huge support and huge influence on him, and their unit, this will really challenge it all now, and I think the audience will be really able to see that in Laters, we are taking it to the next level.  Emmett and I have both always said that we only want to be in the show for as long as we can keep taking our characters to the next level, and Hollyoaks Later has done that, and after Laters again, we are still taking it forward so it brilliant.  But the whole thing is very much about the Brady family, and you will get to meet some new people too, and that’s something that will help to take it to another direction also.”

How much is Hollyoaks Later going to affect your character moving on afterwards?

“Hugely, it’s a massive turning point for Cheryl.  She has to grow up massively, I mean she has already had to, with Malachy dying and when Steph and Lynsey died, she has had a huge amount of loss in her life, and that’s affected her massively.  But with Laters something will happen which will change her for the rest of her life, this huge huge thing happens and she will never be the same again, and her and Brendan will never be the same again either – whether that’s for the good or the bad, we shall have to see.”

How isolated did you feel away from the rest of the cast filming Hollyoaks Later?

“Well, Emmett and I, and Neil actually, were doing both, we were filming on location for Laters, and then filming for the regular show, so there’s a lot of storylines we won’t be in during the regular show.   But apart from the set, the crew were the same, apart from the producer and director, but I was happy to come back to the regular show, that’s my family, my bread and butter and where Hollyoaks began.   There wouldn’t be a Hollyoaks Later if the regular show wasn’t so good, so there is always a big part of me that loves coming home to it every time I do something like this.”

The relationship between Cheryl and Brendan has become very strained over the death of Lynsey, and the viewers have seen a turn around her character from being very dependent on Brendan to seriously doubting him, can you see them ever getting back to the point they were at before?

“God I hope so, but the thing that makes a soap work is change, you can’t ever keep things the same otherwise it just wouldn’t work, people would get bored and tired of it, so the whole point of drama is to do something, to go on a journey and to change it.  So if Brendan and Cheryl were to stay the same way forever, although people would love it, it would get very boring.  But in Hollyoaks recently you have seen a big change in Cheryl, she has gone from being very dependent on Brendan, to him now being very dependent on her, and she has had to be strong for him, so I think that has been good to see their relationship is already changing.  I don’t know what the future holds for them, but all I do know is that how Cheryl feels about Brendan, is the same way I feel about Emmett, I see him as a brother, so all the emotions and the tears are real because all I have to do is imagine what’s happening in the show is really happening to make it realistic, so for my sake, as well as Cheryl’s I do hope they get through this.  At the end of the day, he doesn’t have anyone else, and neither does she, so they are what is going to get each other through anything.  Brendan has always said if anyone ever took Cheryl away from him, then that’s it, so there is this ultimate, biological bond, so I am optimistically hopeful!”

Finally, if you had to sum up Hollyoaks Later in one line, what would it be?

“The experience was challenging, the outcome will be spectacular.  I urge you all to watch it, even if you have never watched Hollyoaks before, it doesn’t matter, it has been filmed as a separate drama, so it is an excellent way to get into it if you are thinking about it, you won’t be sorry!”

Unreality TV’s Anna and Bronagh on set

Watch the superb promo for Hollyoaks Later in the clip below:

Hollyoaks Later begins on Monday 17th September at 10pm on E4!