Hello and welcome to today’s edition of A Slice of Soap. It’s a sad day for fans of Hollywoodoaks (as I’ve dubbed the soap – cos it’s the one with all the beautiful people). Actor Matt Littler, who played Max Cunningham, is leaving after 11 years. Max lost his father Gordon and stepmother Helen in a car crash while in his early twenties, and – along with help from best friend OB (played by Darren Jeffries) – was forced to raise their son Tom, alone.
The surrogate dads soon became two of the show’s most popular characters, and when they announced their departure, the producers were keen to give them both a great finale. In February, OB left the fictional borough of Hollyoaks in Chester to be with his screen-girlfriend Summer, who had just landed the part of Maria in The Sound of Music in London (confusingly in real life as well as in soap land), and now it’s Max’s turn to leave.
Speculation about the manner of his departure has been rife over the last month or so and leaks to various publications and forums hasn’t exactly made it difficult to guess Max’s fate.
I don’t think I’m sharing any state secrets here when I say that it’s not going to be a happy ending, despite a seemingly happy occasion. Matt Littler said: "Max and Steph are going to get married and OB is going to be the best man. I think that’s the highest point of happiness in Max’s life. After the wedding he nips off to the flat to grab a wedding present for Steph and on the way back sees Tom playing in the middle of the road. At the same time Niall is revving his car so Max starts to run towards Tom to get him out the way. As Max sets off, so does Niall, not realising that he’s driving towards Tom at 70 mph. Max manages to push Tom out the way, but Max is not so lucky." This dramatic scene is bound to shock viewers, and Matt reveals: "There’s no chance of a comeback. I think it’s important to end the story properly."
Is it just me? Am I the only person wishing that soaps wouldn’t play this ‘leaking spoilers’ game? Imagine how much more powerful Max’s departure would be if the viewer had absolutely no idea what was going to happen? Take the imminent departure of Corrie hunk Liam Connor. Actor Rob James-Collier is on his way but instead of wondering what’s going to happen to his character, we’re left to wonder who’s going to do the dirty deed because the big secret’s been leaked. And the treatment isn’t restricted to humans – even dogs get it. You’d have to be living on Mars not to know that Wellard’s gonna shuffle off this mortal coil soon. What am I saying? Martian’s probably know too….
That’s it for now. Join me on Monday for a full preview of all the week’s action in the soaps. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
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