Dear Hollyoaks recruitment team…
This is my dream job. I feel like I have a connection with the cast of Hollyoaks, despite coming to it at a late age (19) which only gave me, realistically, 18-22 months of acceptable further viewing. Some said I’d already reached that threshold.
But when I say connection to the cast, I really just mean one of them.
I was introduced to the concept of Joe Pasquale’s son about 3 years ago. He had a name, but his name didn’t matter because he was Joe Pasquale’s son, and he acted in the same TV show that the brother of a friend of a girlfriend of mine did also. It wasn’t a very good show, I’ll be brutally honest and I’m sure a little bit of Googling will help you work out that the show I’m talking about was Coming of Age, without me having to explicitly tell you.
I was in said girlfriend’s hometown to meet the family of the friend that had the brother that acted alongside Joe Pasquale’s son and before I got there, I’d been told all about him. If by all about him it meant I’d been told he was Joe Pasquale’s son, then yes, I feel like I knew him better than my entire right arm.
The four of us; girlfriend, friend of girlfriend, brother of girlfriend’s friend, and Joe Pasquale’s son, all went out for drinks. Then we stayed out for more drinks. By the end, Joe Pasquale’s son looked a bit peaky.
So I was in this club, of some description, as has happened to me at as many as 12 times over my life, stood at the back hoping it would all end soon. I was stood next to some wheelie bins, because I was inside a club and where else would they keep the wheelie bins when Joe Pasquale’s son comes up to me and stands between me and the wheelie bins.
“Andy,” he said.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Could you, just, ah, that’s better.”
He’d reached out and placed his hands on my shoulders and gently moved me a couple of inches to the left, so I was directly in front of him obscuring him from anyone else view.
“HUUUUUUUURRRRRRLLLLLL,” goes JP’s son.
Now, I understand that doesn’t look like a very realistic way to phonate vomiting, but I can assure you that this is exactly how it sounded. I never realised that that word was so onomatopoeic.
“Are you alright, Joe?” I didn’t call him by his dad’s name because I never learnt his name, understand, but his dad actually named him Joe too (not Joe 2, though that was essentially what he was).
“Yes, I’m fine Andy,” a beat skips… “Excuse me one second…. HUUUUURRRRRLLLLLL.”
And then he walked away, and I never saw him again. Apart from in the taxi and the pizza place down the road, but we’ll pretend it didn’t happen because that’s far less romantic. I never did find out what happened to him… until I saw him in the opening credits of Hollyoaks 2 years later playing the role of Dennis Savage.
I repeat, this is my dream job. To be paid handsomely to destroy an unrealistic number of lives in a fictional village? Well – to quench my masochistic tendencies it’s either Hollyoaks of slasher films. But I don’t like blood so much.
80% of characters in Hollyoaks die in epic proportions, from fire, to driving off a cliff. The rest die off-screen.
60% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and 90% of births end in tears. 20% are in joy.
100% of Tony’s relationships have ended, and will always end. 100% of the tears are Tony’s, 100% of the pain is Tony’s and 100% of Tony’s savings will be wrenched from his cold, crying hands, as he mourns his sunken soufflé and slew of failed businesses. I hear you’ve given him testicular cancer now too. Danny Dyer should have put him out of his misery when he had the chance (I may still occasionally watch Late Night Hollyoaks).
Anyway, these are just some of the statistics I understand I would be asked to support – why mess with perfection, you’d say. But that’s the thing, and seriously guys, this is going to hurt. Hollyoaks isn’t perfect.
There are some key storylines that I would have played out a little differently, but the one that always upset me the most was how awful you were to Steph Cunningham.
Stephanie Cunningham did not have a good time in Hollyoaksl. Not only did she have to deal with epilepsy, the tragic death of husband Max, subsequent step-mothering of Tom, Max’s brother, whose own parents had already died, she then finally succumbed to cervical cancer. Oh god, you animals.
Anyway – in my world, things would have been much different. Steph always wanted to be an actress and in the end settled for being a dance teacher, which teaches us absolutely nothing about following our dreams and everything about real life, but if Hollyoaks can’t help us forget about real life then what are you actually good for guys, I mean really. So, this made me incredibly sad – in my edited script, she would have made it – she would have gone to Hollywood following Max’s death, and got herself an agent. It would have been a tough start, taking parts in commercials and taking her top off for money all the while mentoring Tom via Skype like all good mother’s should, but one day things would begin to change. She’d been hanging around film sets looking for scraps for almost 15 years by the time a grown up Tom joined her. It would turn out he wasn’t an alcoholic, murderer or gay (the three acceptable occupations in the world of Hollyoaks) and instead, decided to join Steph in the US. Naturally, as her looks failed (they wouldn’t even have had her back in Hollyoaks – even as part of the context and outside of the commentary about Hollyoaks only hiring beautiful people to act in the show) so did her chances. But Tom was confident he could make up for all those years of motherly attention (it was about a year and a half I think) and get her back on her feet. You see, Tom had taken script writing classes at Hollyoaks Community College and become quite the scribe. Obviously, Steph had stopped Skyping with Tom years ago, but they were still friends on Facebook, so he eventually tracked her down.
It took them weeks, maybe even months but eventually Tom and Steph were able to put their experiences living in the unrealistically harsh world where gangsters die in fires the same as you and me (both us us, if we were in Hollyoaks, we both would have died, make no mistake), and eventually they turned the script into an off-Broadway production titled “My Entire Family is Dead and She’s Not Even My Real Mother’ starring James Dreyfus and Kathy Burke.
The play received widespread, critical acclaim and the pair became hugely in demand. Tom would go on to write final season of Mad Men, and Steph would play Alec Baldwin’s downtrodden wife in a harrowing tale of alcoholism and abuse.
I guess some things never change, right!
Please find attached my CV.