Hollyoaks’ actor Matt Littler is quitting after more than 10 years playing Max Cunningham in a major storyline centred on his character’s marriage to Steph Dean. Here, Matt tells us more about events leading to Max’s exit…

Max and Steph have been on and off more times than a light switch. Will they ever get married?
“It’s still very will they, won’t they at the moment. And then Max proposes to Steph again in hospital.”

What are they doing in hospital?
“Well, Tom, in his childlike infinite wisdom, decides that the best way to get Max and Steph to talk again would be to superglue them together. So they’re in hospital being separated.”

This all has something to do with Max’s sister Cindy doesn’t it? What’s she doing back in Hollyoaks?
“Cindy says she’s back because her boyfriend in Spain has stolen all her money. She’s back living with Max and wants a piece of Max’s pie. Not in an ‘I’m gonna take Max for all he’s worth’ way, more ‘Max and I are family and I’m going to protect what’s his and, in turn, protect what’s mine.”

Cindy takes an instant dislike to Steph, doesn’t she?
“I don’t think that’s because they generally don’t get on, Cindy simply chooses not to get on with Steph because that way she’s keeping her at arms length. Cindy’s worried that Steph is going to get in the way of her getting half the business.”

It’s only when Max and Steph end up in hospital that they realise they’re meant to be together…
“By being stuck together, it makes them talk about what was going on and they realise that they’ve kind of been duped by Cindy, Max’s sister, and the reason they’re not together anymore isn’t really much of a reason at all so they sort it all out.”

So, the wedding’s back on – but Niall has other ideas doesn’t he?
“Yes. Niall loves Steph, but Steph loves Max and Niall tries to convince Steph to give him another chance. But it doesn’t work; Steph is resolute in the fact that she loves Max. And Niall isn’t happy.”

Steph nearly calls the wedding off again doesn’t she, why?
“Two days before the wedding, Steph calls it off again because all the plans start to fall apart: she can’t have doves, she can’t have peacocks, she can’t get a donkey. So, when OB arrives to be best man, Max tells him the wedding’s off.”

And OB makes Max a proposition…
“Yes, OB says: “Listen mate, you can’t keep running round in circles like this, you’re going to make yourself ill, move to New York with me. At first Max says no, he has a business in Hollyoaks, but OB tries to win him round…”

So, with Steph’s uncertainty, OB’s offer, Max’s ill health and, let’s not forget, Niall on the warpath, will Max and Steph get to live happily ever after – or will their wedding day end in tears?
“I can’t say. All I’ll say is, you won’t see it coming…”

Was it the kind of exit you wanted?
“Yes, I’m really happy with it actually, it’s good for me.”

What will be your lasting memories of hollyoaks?
“I’ll miss the fun we had on set. The crew work here day in, day out and they’re all mates. The laughter I’ve had on set and the friends I’ve made… this is like my family now, I’ll miss the people.”