Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Sights, camera, action! How Hollyoaks stars Jazmine Franks and Lucy Dixon fell in love with Derry

Hollyoaks stars Jazmine Franks and Lucy Dixon enjoy the sights of Derry

Hollyoaks actors filming in Londonderry have fallen in love with a city they said would provide a stunning backdrop to new episodes, as they turned tourists in their time off.

The cast and crew are packing up and leaving tomorrow after a busy week filming a controversial new storyline.

The plot features Phoebe McQueen, played by Mandip Gill, and illegal immigrant Vincent Elegba (John Omole), who travel to Derry to get married in a desperate bid to keep Vincent in the UK.

The episodes, scheduled to air in November, will also feature George Smith (played by Steven Roberts), Tilly Evans (Lucy Dixon) and Esther Bloom (Jazmine Franks).

But Derry city will also star – as it provides the backdrop – and local people may even catch a glimpse of themselves in the scenes filmed outside.

But it wasn't all work and no play for the cast, as Lucy and Jazmine told the Belfast Telegraph all about taking time off to explore the delights of the Maiden City.

"We were up on the walls on Wednesday, which was amazing, you can see so much and it is a great place to be if you lose your bearings," said Lucy.

"We went to the Bogside and saw all the paintings on the gable walls and they were very pretty. I have to admit we didn't know the history, but someone explained Bloody Sunday to us and it was amazing to be there where it actually happened.

"Derry is so beautiful. I love the Guildhall and the Peace Bridge.

"I can see the Peace Bridge from my hotel window and I think it looks even more beautiful at night all lit up.

"I think that when people see the episode we filmed they will think we have showcased Derry very well. It really provided a stunning backdrop to the storyline."

Outdoor filming this week has attracted the attention of a large number of fans, who have watched intently as the cast went through each scene.

"The huge crowds that stand and watch us are just incredible, it is something we have never had to deal with before," said Jazmine

"It is so good to be out of the studio, and to have crowds of people watching makes it feel like live theatre.

"Everyone has been really good and when the call comes for quiet on set they go completely silent.

"I think they have been given a real insight into how long it takes to film one scene and I even gave them a laugh when I fluffed my lines.

"The people everywhere have been so amazing, they are so friendly – in fact, I think this is the friendliest place I have ever been to.

"I feel like Beyoncé walking down the street, and I will certainly come back and bring my boyfriend with me next time."

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