FANS of EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Emmerdale will know how often their favourite actors jump from one soap to the other.
There’ll often be a character who suffers a tragic death on the Cobbles, before waltzing their way onto Albert Square a few weeks later.
Sometimes, if you’re say, Gillian Taylforth, you’ll even come back from the dead – and have lived in Hollyoaks village for a bit in between.
The most recent star to switch from one soap to another is Katie McGlynn.
The 27-year-old, who played tragic Sinead Tinker in Corrie, is taking on a much darker role in Hollyoaks, just 18 months after leaving.
Having ditched her blonde locks for a brunette do, Katie will play new mother Becky, who befriends fellow parent Diane Hutchinson (Alex Fletcher), the wife of Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard).
She’ll be seen for the first time on July 5 on E4 and then on Channel 4 the following day.
Revealing the news, Katie said: “When I first read the script, I knew instantly that this storyline was an important one and something I could sink my teeth into.
“I’m so excited for everyone to meet Becky. I’m hopeful the story will have an impact on the viewers as it covers some extremely current and important issues.
“I’m super humbled to continue doing the work I really love and hope everyone enjoys watching it all unfold on screen as much as I’ve enjoyed filming it.”
But Katie is just one in a long list of actors who’ve hopped about the soap world…
Claire King is queen of the soaps, having been in Emmerdale twice, Hollyoaks and Corrie.
She just needs to get a role in EastEnders now, and then she’s completed the set!
Claire joined the cast of Emmerdale as bad girl Kim Tate in 1989, where she stayed for 10 years.
In 2005, she ventured over to Hollyoaks for six episodes, to appear as Justin Burton’s barrister Andrea Mason QC, when he and his teacher Becca Hayton were embroiled in an affair.
Nine years later, she joined the cobbles as Dev Alahan’s love interest Erica Holroyd, a role she played until 2017.
The following year, Claire went back to where it all began and ventured back to the Dales for the first time in 20 years.
She originally came back for a special week of episodes in 2018, but has been a permanent fixture again since 2019.
Currently, Kim has so many enemies she can’t work out who’s been spiking her brandy!
Loose Women panellist Denise Welch has starred in three of the big four soaps.
She first starred in Corrie as Kevin Webster’s man-eating mistress, Natalie Horrocks, in 1997.
Despite viewers nicknaming her character “Nastily”, she became popular enough that producers offered her a full contract, and she soon became a Rovers Return barmaid – and, eventually, even a landlady.
Denise stayed in Corrie until December 2000 – with the door left open for her to return.
However, Denise has never returned to the cobbles, and instead gone on to other soaps.
In 2016, she guest-starred in EastEnders as Alison Slater, the mother of Stacey Slater’s estranged brother Kyle Slater.
Despite previously insisting she’d not appear in a soap again, due to the heavy filming schedule and early wake up times, Denise joined the cast of Hollyoaks as Trish Minniver – Maxine Minniver’s mum – earlier this year.
Speaking on Loose Women, she explained how producers had lured her in by telling her the role “had Denise written all over it.”
She said: “It was just too good an opportunity to pass up".
Jamie Lomas shot to fame in 2006, as bad boy Warren Fox in Hollyoaks – and he’s been popping in and out of the village ever since.
He was first killed off the show in 2011, but returned from the dead in May 2016, claiming he’d faked his own death – much like Kathy Beale.
He left again in November 2017, briefly returned in May 2018 and again in July 2019, and then, finally, hasn’t left since the beginning of 2020.
But, while he obviously can’t keep away from Hollyoaks, Jamie also starred in EastEnders as Jake Stone from 2013 to 2015.
Jake was the boyfriend of Lauren Branning – played by Jacqueline Jossa – and they met through their alcoholic support group.
However, the pair eventually broke up when Lauren accused him of killing Lucy Beale.
James Sutton became part of Hollyoaks’ most iconic storylines, when he joined the soap in 2006 as John-Paul McQueen, a teenager struggling with his sexuality.
Eventually, he and his best friend Craig Dean got together, and fans affectionately labeled them McDean.
The pair left Hollyoaks for Dublin together in 2008, and James popped up in the Dales as mechanic Ryan Lamb the next year.
After just two years on the show, James quit Emmerdale in April 2011, and returned to Hollyoaks in December 2012.
He left again in 2017, but returned once more in November 2019, with John-Paul confirming he and Craig had split up.
James’ character has most recently been seen in a domestic abuse storyline with PC George Kiss.
He’s in prison for murdering his vicious partner, although it was actually his mum Sally St. Claire who killed him.
Gillian Taylforth is best known for playing Kathy Beale, on EastEnders – and, more impressively, coming back from the dead.
She played Ian Beale’s mum from the very first episode of the BBC soap, aired in 1985, until 1998.
She made a brief return in 1999, to aid the departure of her brother-in-law Grant Mitchell, and, six years later, she was killed off-screen in a car crash in South Africa.
Gillian was upset by her character’s death, and did confess she would love to bring her “back from the dead” in a 2013 interview.
But, her big return would have to wait, as she joined the cast of Hollyoaks as Sandy Roscoe in May 2013.
Although she and her five onscreen sons were a big hit with fans of the Channel 4 soap, Gillian left less than two years later, to go back to the show that made her a household name.
In February 2015 as part of EastEnders’ 30th anniversary live episode, Gillian made a shock return.
The BBC later confirmed that she would reprise the role of Kathy permanently later in the year and she appeared again regularly from August 2015.
Michelle Collins is a dab hand at playing a landlady, having played one in both EastEnders and Corrie.
She famously played one of Ian Beale’s many wives, Cindy Beale, in the BBC soap from 1988 to 1998, when her character died in childbirth.
Michelle then joined the cast of Corrie as Stella Price in 2011, and stayed there until 2014.
During her time in Corrie, Stella’s mum, Gloria, was played by Sue Johnston, and she was married to serial killer Karl Munro – played by John Michie.
He left Stella hospitalised and killed Shobna Gulati’s character, Sunita Alahan.
Not a great choice of husband in either soap!
Gemma Atkinson rose to fame playing Lisa Hunter in Hollyoaks from 2001 to 2005.
Clearly getting the bug for the soap world, she began playing the role of Carly Hope in Emmerdale in 2015.
However, she left the show two years later, in order to take part in Strictly Come Dancing.
It was a wise move, as that's how she met her now-fiance Gorka Marquez – who's also the father of her daughter, Mia, who turns two next month.
Richard Blackwood was already pretty well-known when he joined the cast of EastEnders as Kim Fox's husband, Vincent Hubbard, in 2015.
In 1999, he presented his own series, The Richard Blackwood Show, and he also presented on MTV.
He even had a hit single, Mama Who Da Man, in 2000.
But he obviously decided acting in soap world was for him, as he left EastEnders in 2018, took part in Dancing On Ice that year, and then went straight into Hollyoaks.
He's been playing Felix Westwood on the Channel 4 soap since 2020, and has been involved in some huge storylines – including finding out he's the father of grown-up triplets.
It seems once you get into soap world, it's hard to get out!
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