The Osbornes

The Osbornes

Hollyoaks regulars Nancy and Darren Osborne have had a real doozy of year. With that traditional worrisome time of Christmas coming up too, it doesn’t look like the festive season will be only kittens and rainbows for the pair.

We spoke with actors Ashley Taylor Dawson and Jessica Fox about their characters’ wild year, what it’s been like being a part of the show for so long and what we can expect this Christmas and in 2013.


So, what can you tell us about what you’re doing with YouView?

Jessica – Well all the channels are putting together a little how-to guide and advert and our family the Osbornes are asked to participate. So it’s normal family fun with the Osbornes fighting over who gets to watch what on the YouView box.

Was it good to do something a little more light hearted?

Jessica - Yeah, it’s fun, We’re all a bit bonkers in the Osbornes anyway, so when you get us all together to do something quite silly and you’ve got Jack flirting with Frankie saying he’s on the promise of a night if she gets to watch what she wants. So it was all quite entertaining and light hearted.

Ashley – I really enjoyed it, it was good fun. I was actually a bit late turning up for it, so I walked in and it was a whole new crew and I felt terrible. So that was a great start for me. It was lovely to work with new people though, it’s sort of like getting out of the asylum when you’re meeting new people and doing something a bit different, and really good fun.

We’re coming up on the Christmas time, which always means chaos in soapland. What can you tell us about what’s in store for the Osbornes?

Ashley – Obviously, we just had the premature baby, so it’s been a tough time recently. This Christmas is a big time this year for the Osborne family , a lot’s going on in all sorts of directions. I think the biggest thing I can say is that it all goes a bit mental, a bit Pete Tong in every single way. Everyone’s having their problems and then there’s Christmas time to deal with too.

Are you eager to see what people’s reactions are going to be?

Ashley – Yeah. With the whole family being together, people can relate to that. We you’ve got a big family like that everyone can relate to that at Christmas time. When you’ve got your problems as well, it makes things very difficult. I think that’s what the Osbornes are going through. In the future, we’ve got a lot of stuff coming up that’s all about keeping together as a family and how they tackle the problems and the issues.

It’s been a real rough yeah for Darren and Nancy, but do you think it’s brought them together as a couple?

Ashley – Definitely. When they first met it was definitely opposites attracting. He was a bit of an arrogant pig and she’s a feminist so there’s no reason they should be together. Obviously, they did and after everything they’ve been through, it can only make you stronger as a couple or make it harder and blown you apart. Once you get through these issues and these problems though, I think it makes you stronger, makes you understand each other more as you learn on each other at times like that.

Jessica - Well the thing with Nancy and Darren seems to be that whenever things start to go right, something bad has to happen. Darren flips out and throws his toys out of the pram, Nancy gets cross about it all and yet they seem to find a way through it, make peace and have a giggle about it and come out stronger. Hopefully, whatever Hollyoaks decides to throw at them next year, they’ll be able to come through stronger once again

You’ve played these characters for so long, what’s that been like for you as actors?

Jessica - Well I started on the show seven years ago when she was a 15 year old school girl, whereas now she’s married and has a baby. So she’s really grown up on the show and it never feels like you’re treading water because there’s always something different happening and different direction the characters going in, particularly as she’s grown up on the show.

Ashley – It’s been a journey to say the least. I was just saying the other day, if you write down everything that’s happened to Darren, from being shot, stabbed, being in explosions, losing babies, he would be a pretty broken man really. Only in soaps can you get away with these things. The journey’s been fun, always been interesting and there’s always one thing that stays constant with Darren is that he always seems to put his foot it in. I think that’s his biggest trait. He always means well, but he keeps messing things up. That’s makes it interesting to keep playing the part.

With all that though, this new angle must make him fun to play.

Ashley – Yes. He’s had his gambling in the past as well. That’s sort of his Achilles heel. Now he’s in a real relationship at last and with the baby, so he’s matured a lot in the last year. It’s nice seeing that side of him but he’s a fun character to play. He thinks he’s a joker, a Jack-the-lad but Nancy wears the trousers, without a doubt.

So Ashley, you were a part of pop group All Stars, what was that like?

Ashley – It was a good time and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I was very lucky to have the experience I got out of that. They were my best mates as well, so that was an amazing time.

It’s Christmas, which means we’ll be hearing your voice coming out a Muppet any time now Jessica. What is it like being a part of something like The Muppet’s Christmas Carol?

Jessica - I’ve never actually watched it because I have a real thing about my voice. I don’t really want to hear it, so the thought of hearing it on the film horrifies me. I do get some tweets around this time of year going ‘I didn’t realise that was you’.

So what can you tell us about next year for you two?

Jessica - Well, they’ve had such a busy 2012 and it’s not really going to let up in 2013. There’s loads of good stuff coming up. Both the characters are kind of going on their own journey and will hopefully find their way back. I’m having to do stuff with Nancy that I’d not had to do before, so I’m very excited about that.

Ashley – As Jess just said, I think it’s a lot about discovering themselves. They’ve been through a terrible time, but when they’ve finally been able to get that baby back home, it all starts going wrong for them. I think it’s about if and how we get through those journeys and if we stay together. You never know what’s going to happen. There’s a lot of exciting things coming up, maybe revisiting some of the past, maybe some totally new things but I’m looking forward to it.


We’ve got the Osbornes’ YouView video right below for you and make sure to tune in to Hollyoaks to find out whether Darren and Jessica have their Christmas wishes come true.

FemaleFirst Cameron Smith

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