Former Hollyoaks actress Summer Strallen has admitted she felt guilty about lying to her co-stars and fans when it was revealed she had been planted in the soap by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Strallen turned up in Hollyoaks as Summer Shaw, an ambitious girl with her sights set on performing on stage. The storyline culminated in Summer going to audition for Webber, and winning the role of Maria in The Sound of Music.

But, unbeknown to Hollyoaks cast members and the soap’s viewers, Strallen had already been chosen by Webber to play Maria in London’s West End.

Speaking ahead of the British Soap Awards 2008, Strallen said: “I’d felt guilty for everyone – it was only me who knew. I felt terrible. If I wasn’t a good liar before. I’m a good liar now.”

But she was very honest when asked what she thought of the theatre impresario.

“He’s a bit nutty,” she said. “I hope he doesn’t sack me for that. I don’t think he’d mind me saying he’s a bit nutty – but very sweet.”

Strallen also had an opinion on the current crop of hopefuls vying for the role of Nancy in Oliver! on Webber’s latest talent search I’d Do Anything.

“I wouldn’t be able to put myself through that,” she said. “I think they’re incredibly courageous.”

The British Soap Awards can be seen on Wednesday at 8pm on ITV1.

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