The Official Hollyoaks Autumn Trailer
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Kirsty’s character Leela has been a pinnacle of the Hollyoaks community and fans were left devastated when she made an exit last year at one of the most significant points in the County Lines storyline. The actress has been a part of the Channel 4 soap since 2013 and is about to celebrate her ninth year on the show. With the star of the Chester-based television programme making her grand return to proceedings, some viewers might not remember why she left in the first place.
Why did Kirsty-Leigh Porter leave Hollyoaks as Leela Lomax last year?
Leela is the foster mother of Sid Sumner (Billy Price) and when the show returned to filming following a break due to the coronavirus pandemic, she was front and centre of the County Lines storyline.
However, as the plot was coming to its gripping finale, the character all of a sudden made a departure from the village.
Not only had her daughter, Peri Lomax (Ruby O’Donnell), discovered her mother was sleeping with her boyfriend, Jordan Price (Connor Calland), she was finding things at home too much.
Conveniently, a distant auntie had suffered an injury and Leela was tasked with leaving the Chester-based village to go and look after her.
This was written into the programme to allow the actress to take maternity leave as she was pregnant at the time.
Not long after she had left the small screen as Leela, actress Kirsty-Leigh announced to the world she had given birth to a baby girl.
She and her partner, Paul Barber, decided to call their new arrival Nala Rai and the soap star posted an image of her other half carrying their child in a car seat out of the hospital on Instagram.
The actress returned to the programme for the New Year’s episode in 2020 as she featured in the flash-forward scenes for the same episode the year before.
It was only a guest appearance and it would have been likely these were filmed before she went on maternity leave.
Her character’s family has had to deal with the fallout of the County Lines storyline without her, which included the death of Jordan and Sid losing his leg.
Ste Hay (Kieran Richardson) has mentioned on several occasions how his sister was helping Sid from afar with his recovery.
It was revealed she had booked him into a rehab facility to try and get back on his feet after he struggled to accept his leg was gone.
Leela also hasn’t been part of a recent storyline that saw her daughter being stalked by tech whiz, Timmy Simons (Sam Tutty).
The youngster has developed anxiety, believing her stalker is still alive and roaming around somewhere waiting to attack her.
However, little does she know, villain Fergus Collins (Robert Beck) shot him dead for betraying Project Bluebird.
What is Kirsty-Leigh Porter’s return storyline to Hollyoaks as Leela Lomax?
With Fergus threatening to sell the Lomax household, Leela returned in Wednesday night’s first-look Hollyoaks on E4.
Her brother Ste had brought in his boyfriend and lawyer James Nightingale (Gregory Finnegan) to try and figure out if there was a way they could stop the sale.
Unfortunately, the legal expert couldn’t find any loophole and resorted to trying to find a way he could buy the property.
Leela turned up just in time to bring Trish Minniver (Denise Welch) down a notch or two as the latter was gloating about the Lomaxes having to find a new home.
The matriarch of the clan told Fergus’ partner she was her “worst nightmare” and revealed she had bought the family’s home.
It seemed Leela was somewhat of a miracle worker in the episode as she had also stopped Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) from killing Nate Denby (Chris Charles).
Sienna was convinced it was Nate who had murdered her boyfriend Brody Hudson (Adam Woodward) a month ago in a hit and run crime.
The Lomax matriarch told her friend she wasn’t grieving for her lover’s death and needed time to mourn him instead of pursuing an endless quest.
She informed Sienna to get justice for her partner but to do it another way and one where she wouldn’t end up in prison.
Her words brought home the severity of the situation Sienna could have found herself in and she agreed to go about things a different way.
Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6:30pm on Channel 4. First look Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 7pm on E4.
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