Just when she thought she had got away with it, sixth form teacher Jen Gilmore’s illicit affair with student Tilly Evans is about to be exposed, with dramatic consequences in Hollyoaks.
Fans of Hollyoaks will know how Jen Gilmore (Amy Downham) has been involved in an on-off-on again relationship with Tilly (Lucy Dixon) ever since arriving in the village last year.
After several close calls the pair had kept their relationship, which is currently off, a secret, but all that is set to change when a vengeful Tilly takes matters into her own hands!
Planting Esther’s diary, which details the affair, in John Paul McQueen’s (James Sutton) pigeon hole at college, Tilly sits back and waits for the explosion.
Blissfully unaware that her career is about to go up in flames, Jen proudly gives a speech to prospective parents whilst, unbeknown to her, pictures of her and Tilly are projected on the white board behind her.
The situation results in John Paul being suspended and Jen being sacked, but when Jen later tries to get her job back, headmaster Patrick Blake (Jeremy Sheffield) turns nasty, as Amy Downham, the actress who plays Jen has explained to Digital Spy!
Discussing how the exposure affects her character, Downham explained:
“I think the way that we played it was quite nice. Jen has a lot of hate towards Tilly through those last few episodes, and when Tilly outs her, she’s heartbroken that Tilly would do something like that. However, things change with a last little scene that we have at the end. Jen’s about to have a go at Tilly, but then they both say ‘sorry’ to each other.
“Things have got out of hand, but they both still care about each other a lot. Jen realises at the last moment that maybe she deserved this and her comeuppance had to happen. I don’t want anyone to think that the relationship is left completely bitter, as there’s still a lot of care there and they did love each other.”
On the subject of Patrick’s reaction to Jen’s pleas for forgiveness, the actress continued:
“He’s quite frightening! Patrick threatens Jen, and you definitely see the beginning of a different side to him in that scene.
“Jen is quite shocked by that, as to begin with, you might think that Patrick is what the college needs – he’s got power, he’s got control and he’s got some good ideas.
“Jen tries to lie her way back into the college or into another job. But Patrick says, ‘If you ever come near my students again, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you away’. It’s quite scary.”
Summing up her characters inappropriate behaviour, Downham concluded:
“I was quite shocked when I first read the scripts! However, Jen spent a lot of her time trying to keep her head above water, and that meant that a lot of lying and deceit was needed. I always thought that Jen did that just to try and survive. I do believe that she loved Tilly, and it was a very important relationship to her. But what she did was illegal, so she had to find a way to not get caught out.
“In the last few episodes, Jen was quite mean to Tilly and made a lot of silly decisions. Essentially it was a relationship that had just gone sour, and I think Jen was in denial that she’d done anything wrong.”
Hollyoaks can be seen weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4/ Channel 4 HD