Kieron Richardson denies there is a ‘cull’ happening at Hollyoaks, despite the impending departures of Jamie Lomas, Chris Fountain and Stuart Manning from the soap.

The star, who plays bad boy Ste Hay in the Chester soap, said he asked Hollyoaks bosses if the rumours of several actors leaving were true – and was given a firm answer.

“Obviously I read it and enquired about it and it was all just made up and all lies,” Kieron said. “(I) panicked for, like, point five of a second until I found out.”

The actor added: “I have no idea where they (the rumours) come from, I was just like, ‘What’s going on?’ and they were like, ‘No, it’s all lies, it’s all fine’.

“But obviously I am not getting chilled out on set or anything – I am just still doing my job as I always did and trying 110 per cent.

“I think it’s the same with any job. Obviously you want to try your best every day and don’t want to get too laid back and complacent with it, because you never know what’s gonna happen or when it’s gonna come to an end. So you’ve just got to make the most of it while you can.”