Former Brookside star Alex Fletcher is the latest star to join Hollyoaks.
Alex, who played Jacqui Farnham in the axed Channel 4 soap, will take on the role of Diane O’Connor, part of a new Liverpudlian family to arrive in Hollyoaks Village later this year.
Viewers will meet the O’Connors when Diane’s husband Rob (Gary Cargill) becomes Deputy Head of Hollyoaks High.
They bring with them Rob’s two children; 15-year-old Sinead (Stephanie Davies) and 12-year-old Finn (Connor Wilkinson) – but Diane is now on her second round of IVF, desperate for a child of her own.
Young actress Stephanie most recently took part in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC1 talent search Over the Rainbow.
Alex is one of several new stars set to join the soap in the coming months following the arrival of new producer Paul Marquess.
It was announced on Tuesday that Carley Stenson will be quitting her role as Steph Dean after more than a decade to concentrate on musical theatre.
Alex said: “I am delighted to be back filming at Lime Pictures where I started my career on Brookside (then Mersey TV).
“I worked with Paul on Brookside and I’m thrilled and honoured to be working with him again, especially as this is such an exciting time for Hollyoaks. I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for the O’Connors and the show.”
She added: “I’m really looking forward to working with Gary, Stephanie and Connor. We’ve already connected as a family and my real daughter was a huge fan of Over the Rainbow so she’ll be delighted when I tell her that Stephanie is playing my daughter in Hollyoaks!”
Paul Marquess said: “We’re very excited about the arrival of the O’Connors who burst onto screens in August with a very dramatic story-line. And I’m personally very excited to work with the fantastic Alex Fletcher again.”