Hollyoaks star Scarlett Bowman has revealed viewers have been reaching out to her to share their own experiences of bullying.

The 26-year-old actress plays school bully Maddie Morrison who has been the ringleader encouraging all the sixth formers to pick on student Esther Bloom, played by Jazmine Franks.

And Scarlett is proud to be part of a storyline which highlights an important issue, even if she has to play the villain.

She revealed: “I’ve received tweets from people watching it saying it’s bringing back memories of things that happened at school.

“I don’t think some people realise this stuff does go on. Hopefully not to the extent that we’ve been playing on screen, because it’s going to get a lot worse.

“It’s such a meaty, interesting and exciting role to play. But she is one nasty piece of work, I have to say.”

The soap star said she felt lucky never to have experienced bullying herself, but revealed she had felt like an outsider at one point during her school life.

She shared: “I did have one horrible experience, I think everyone does. I remember starting a new school half way through my education and I absolutely hated it for the first two years.

“I think girls are nasty – they can be really b****y. I don’t think guys have that b****y streak in them so much. Girls are more manipulative – it’s an evil world.”

Next week, Maddie drives a minibus into the building where Cindy Cunningham and Tony Hutchinson are getting married, resulting in a massive explosion.

The dramatic day of the wedding unfolds in the Channel 4 soap next week, beginning on Monday November 12.