As Stephanie Davis prepares to make her return to Hollyoaks, former co-star Nick Pickard has defended her, calling her a 'fantastic actress'.

Stephanie, who used to play Hollyoaks character Sinead O’Connor had her contract suddenly terminated three years ago, and rumours were rife that it was her off-screen behaviour that was to blame.

Stephanie was written out of the show in 2015 after her character found out her boyfriend Ste was having an affair with her teenage stepbrother.

Stephanie will be back filming scenes as Sinead in August, and producers are thrilled to have her back. Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood called her, “a hugely talented actress who has worked hard to overcome some personal issues”. It’s thought that Stephanie’s character Sinead will make an explosive return.

Nick is also pleased to be working with Stephanie again on set. He told Digital Spy at the British Soap Awards, “Steph coming back is a good thing for the show”.

“I’ve got to be honest,” he said, “I’ve met people that are talented in my life, like Chris Fountain who got a hard deal when he got dumped from Corrie.

“Stephanie and Chris Fountain are up there with two of the most talented people I’ve ever known. You do things when you’re young that you wish you could take back and we’ve all done them.”

“I will say she’s a fantastic actress and I always loved her and I’ve no problem with her coming back,” he said.

“I’m glad she’s coming back and it can only be a plus for our show because you want talented people working with you.”

Stephanie herself has expressed her delight regarding her return.

She said: “I can’t wait, the amount of messages I’ve had off cast and crew members.

“They all wanted me to come back, but then I wasn’t ready.”

Stephanie’s scenes will air on Hollyoaks later this year.