Hollyoaks’ Anthony Quinlan tells Soaplife that finding out Steph is going to die has been emotional for him as well as Gilly…

Is Gilly with Steph when she’s told her cancer is terminal?
“He goes to the hospital with her, but Steph goes in for her results alone and doesn’t say anything when she comes out. He assumes it’s all OK and asks if she’d like to go for a meal. She just wants to go home.”

When does she tell him?
“Later, Gilly goes to open a bottle of wine, but Steph sits him down and says ‘There’s something I need to tell you.’ She explains that she is going to die in a few months.”

He must be devastated…
“He is. He won’t accept it. He can’t believe there isn’t a cure, that she’s not going to get better.”

He will have to be strong for her though. Will he be able to?
“I hope so. But his denial is not helping her. She’s trying to take this in her stride and wants to spend quality time with the people she loves before she goes. She tells him he has to accept she’s going to die or the wedding is off… and she hands back her engagement ring.”

Does that make him see sense?
“It should, but at the moment he just can’t cope with the situation. It took him nine months to get together with Steph and he can’t believe he’s going to lose her so soon.”

Rhys tries to help. How?
“Gilly’s heartbroken the wedding’s off and Rhys tries to find out what’s wrong but Gilly won’t share.”

Then Rhys talks to Steph…
“He’s shocked to find out she’s dying and has called off the wedding. But then he shocks her by saying if she can’t see things from Gilly’s point of view then maybe it’s just as well. He knows Steph still loves Gilly and tells her she shouldn’t waste any more of the time they have left together…”

How did you feel when you heard Steph’s cancer would be terminal?
“I was shocked, but I knew Carley Stenson [Steph] was leaving so it made sense. This happens to people in real life and we want to do it justice. It’s been very emotional.”