Hollyoaks star Richard Linnell has shared his memories of the "incredible" school explosion storyline following its re-airing this week.
The (quite-literally) explosive stunt week episodes are repeating this week as part of Hollyoaks Favourites, revealing the lead-up to Neeta Kaur's tragic demise at the hands of Mac Nightingale.
Linnell, who played Alfie Nightingale, was among those whose characters survived the blast. Three years on, he has looked back on the dramatic storyline.
"Oh, it was absolutely incredible," he remembered. "They built an entire fake front of the school for the stunt, so we were actually half outside for the whole shoot.
"You had to keep your wits about you. Half the walls were 'breakaway' and made of polystyrene, but through all the smoke you couldn't tell which was which… Stunts are always a lot of fun as you get to, however briefly, live out all your action hero fantasies.
"There's one section of the sequence where I get to throw a filing cabinet down the gaping hole in the floor, and then turn around and say a witty quip. I'm gonna be honest, I have never felt cooler."
Linnell would go on to leave Hollyoaks a little over a year after the stunt, but he's managed to keep himself fairly busy with a new TV show.
"I've been working on a few bits and bobs. I spent most of last summer in Germany, filming a new TV show called Pan Tau. It's a reboot of a beloved kids TV show from Germany in the '70s," he revealed. "It was loads of fun and I'm really looking forward to seeing it come out."
The actor went on: "Other than that, I had a whistle-stop visit to South Africa in December for something I'm not too sure if I can tell you… All I'll say is you've likely seen me on TV earlier this year, but I highly doubt you knew it was me.
"Outside of the acting world, I've been trying to keep busy. I've started volunteering for Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire, as an animal rescuer. It's the largest wildlife hospital in Europe, and they do incredible work, nursing all kinds of animals back to health.
"From baby hedgehogs to full-grown deer, and everything fluffy, feathered or otherwise in between. I'm incredibly proud to be able to help them in any way I can."
Confirming that he "absolutely" keeps in touch with his Hollyoaks co-stars, Linnell revealed: "I try to keep in touch with the Nightingale clan, both living and dead as much as possible, with us all being spread up and down the country. When it comes to the kids, we've never really stopped.
"I'm still up in Liverpool every few months to see Ellis [Hollins, aka Tom], Ruby [O'Donnell, aka Peri], and Lauren [McQueen, aka Lily]. The whole gang still talk all the time. Missing those guys a lot right now being stuck at home."
Linnell now looks back on his time in Hollyoaks as "life-changing", crediting the show for giving Alfie some "incredibly powerful stories" and allowing him to work with "some insanely talented people".
Reflecting on his favourite storylines, he joked: "Tom's turtle club. 100%... just kidding, it's got to be Alfie and Jade. Their story is a truly touching one, of how love transcends. It was so powerful, and touched so many people, that it was a real honour to be a part of. Plus, Kassius [Nelson, aka Jade Albright] will kill me if I don't say it."
Hollyoaks airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look episodes airing on E4 at 7pm. Wednesdays through Fridays on E4 feature classic episodes called Hollyoaks Favourites to compensate for the soap suspending filming.
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