‘Hollyoaks’ has revealed that they plan to use a real-life public jury to decide the outcome of Gilly Roach’s rape trial.
Loud mouthed Jacqui McQueen – played by Claire Cooper – accuses the widow of sexually assaulting her when the pair got drunk, however Gilly (Anthony Quinlan) is sure that the experience was consensual and defends himself saying that the bolshie brunette is making up the allegations to ease her guilt at cheating on boyfriend Rhys Ashworth (Andrew Moss).
However, viewers are none the wiser as to what actually went on behind closed doors between the couple, as Channel 4 only showed Jacqui and Gilly entering a bedroom together.
Despite Gilly’s protestations of innocence, he will be carted off by burly policemen and put on trial over the shocking allegations.
‘Hollyoaks’ bosses are then set to film two alternate endings – one with Gilly being sent down for the alleged crime and one with him walking free – with the viewer jury having the final say on the verdict.
Fans keen to appear on the jury can apply via the ‘Hollyoaks’ website, with volunteers then selected using a similar procedure to that adhered to in real UK courts.
They will then be invited to Liverpool – the home of ‘Hollyoaks’ – where they will be given legal advice on how to come to a decision based on the evidence they are shown.
Carolyn Reynolds, chief executive of the soap’s producer Lime Pictures, explained: “We wanted to open up the thorny issue of how hard it is to be a juror and whether the court room is the best place to resolve some of these questions about rape.
“Why don’t we see what it’s like if you’re just given the material you’d be given in court?”
While the jurors’ deliberations won’t be shown live on air, the details of how they eventually reached their verdict will be released on the ‘Hollyoaks’ website.