Hollyoaks favourite Zak Ramsey is set for family friction with the introduction of sister Hayley (Kelly-Marie Stewart) to the village. Bubbly, fun-loving and a bit of a practical joker, she enjoys nothing more than to wind up her big brother.
A wheelchair user, 19 year old Hayley hates being defined by her condition, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and refuses to let it separate her from the crowd. However she’s also realistic about the limitations it sometimes causes to her life, particularly romantically.
Viewers will first see Hayley on screen at the end of January when she innocently threatens to throw a spanner in the works of her brother’s love life. Following weeks of false starts the New Year brings romance for Zak as he and Michaela McQueen become increasingly close. Things reach a head after Zak declares his love for Michaela in front of a packed SU bar. However there’s soon trouble in paradise when Michaela mistakes stranger Hayley as a love rival and threat to their fledgling relationship.
Related they may be, but it soon becomes clear that there’s a distinct frost between brother and sister. Before Hayley’s illness the pair had a great relationship but now Zak finds it difficult to relate to her and his inability to see past her disability which frustrates Hayley incredibly.
Making her small screen debut, actress Kelly-Marie Stewart (24), who shares the same condition as her character, can’t wait to get her teeth into the role. She says, “Hayley’s very feisty and has the right attitude that if anyone is not cool enough to see her for who she actually is, it’s their problem, not hers. I can’t wait to see how Hayley takes on anybody who dares to show their ignorance, not least her own brother!”
As Hayley settles into the village and back into Zak’s life, will she force her brother to face a few facts?
Catch Hollyoaks weekdays at 6.30 pm on Channel 4 and 7pm on E4.