Hollyoaks actor Ricky Whittle has defended the show’s reputation as a ‘party soap’, insisting its stars puts the hours in.

Ricky, who plays former policeman Calvin Valentine, said that people’s misconceptions were the worst thing about being in the Channel 4 series.

He said: “There’s an idea that we’re the party soap, the happy soap, the soap that has loads of fun, but people don’t realise how hard we work.”

“At the minute, especially with the late-night stuff, we’re doing 12-hour days, sometimes six or seven days a week.”

Ricky, who has starred in Hollyoaks since 2006, added: “Everyone thinks it’s all glamour, premieres and parties but they need to realise that we do put it in. We are working hard for a living as well and it’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Despite the tough schedule, the 27-year-old admitted: “I’d rather be working seven-day weeks here than doing any other job in the world.”

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