Nadine Mulkerrin and Rory Douglas-Speed sent their parents pictures of themselves in their 'Hollyoaks' wedding outfits to pretend they'd eloped.

Nadine Mulkerrin as Cleo McQueen

Nadine Mulkerrin as Cleo McQueen

The real-life couple play soap love birds Joel Dexter and Cleo McQueen on the Channel 4 show and they couldn't resist playing a prank on their mums and dads when they had to film their fictional big day, and they have joked the soap nuptials were "a rehearsal" for their own wedding.

He said: "It's been so strange filming a wedding as we are together. Even back when Joel and Cleo got engaged I was so nervous, I went bright red. I was terrified - genuinely I was not acting in those scenes!

"It makes it interesting and Nadine and I have a laugh about it. We sent my family pictures of us in our characters' wedding day costumes pretending we had eloped!

"We joke that it's a rehearsal for us."

Joel and Cleo will marry in a special episode next week to coincide with World Mental Health Day (10.10.18), and Rory has found it "tragic" to watch for his significant other's character, who is suffering from bulimia, and also tough to see his girlfriend play out such a hard-hitting plot.

He added to "Watching Nadine work and how raw her performance is - it's so tragic for the character as everyone loves Cleo, and also because of my feelings for Nadine I don't want to see her go through this, but she's acting and to think people are struggling with this for real is so sad.

"As actors we get to voice somebody else's life, that's why we're telling this story."

Nadine has previously admitted she felt "ignorant and naive" about bulimia before she landed the storyline.

She said: "Before I took on this storyline I was quite ignorant and naive, I didn't realise a lot of things. I thought bulimia was just about being skinny and losing weight.

"I didn't realise it comes with so many different side effects and it's about control and routine.

"With it being quite a dark, harrowing storyline and Cleo is in a negative head space, she's really struggling, there's been quite difficult scenes to emotionally. I just prepare for that emotionally and speaking to some of the ambassadors at Beat."