Gemma Bissix on why her EastEnders comeback didn’t work


Hollyoaks followers are at the moment re-living the Clare Devine period, with basic episodes that includes the village vixen at her unhealthy lady greatest exhibiting within the Hollyoaks Favourites slot this week, however earlier than she was the depraved witch of the village actress Gemma Bissix was already a veteran of rival cleaning soap EastEnders.

The actress first appeared in Walford when she was simply 9 years of age in 1993 as candy schoolgirl Claire Tyler, whose mum Debbie married lovable loser Nigel Bates. Deb sadly died in a automobile crash two years later and her daughter was formally adopted by beautiful Nigel, they usually moved to Scotland in 1998 when he discovered love once more with schoolteacher Julie.

“I used to be solely 9 after I began EastEnders,” she recollects in an unique interview with “Being on set at that age may be intimidating, there may be stress and also you may get shouted at by an offended director or be round somebody who isn’t excellent with youngsters. Nevertheless it made me a behaved, disciplined actor.”

Bissix had one other chunk of TV fame in Hollyoaks as merciless (nearly) namesake Clare Devine who she performed initially between 2006 and 2007. With her profile sky excessive once more, she provoked one thing of a cleaning soap bidding conflict…

“I gained Villain of the Yr on the British Cleaning soap Awards in 2007 and EastEnders producer on the time, Diedrick Santer, was having banter with Hollyoaks boss Bryan Kirkwood about how I actually belonged to EastEnders!”

Desperate to benefit from her new wave of recognition, Santer tempted Clare Bates dwelling to Albert Sq. the next yr, though she was a far cry from the harmless lady subsequent door we used to know. Actually, she had greater than only a first identify in frequent with her gold-digging Hollyoaks alter ego…

“After I left she was this candy little lady making Nigel cups of tea, unexpectedly she was a money-grabbing minx!” laughs Bissix. “She tries to fleece wealthy males after and appeared to like a red-head – Sean Slater, Max Branning, Bradley Branning.

eastenders claire

“In a single scene I needed to drop my towel in entrance of Ian Beale to try to seduce him! Adam Woodyatt didn’t know the place to look, the final time he’d seen my I used to be about 13! Claire was very raunchy the second time round.”

The change in Claire’s character proved considerably jarring and Bissix left after six months in the summertime of 2008 when her manipulative scheming was uncovered, and she or he ended up returning to Hollyoaks a number of occasions over the subsequent few years to proceed Clare Devine’s devilish work.

“I loved going again to EastEnders and had enjoyable, however perhaps the rationale it didn’t work and I didn’t keep that lengthy is as a result of you may’t be so heightened or as ‘out of the field’ as a personality, it’s important to be fairly life like,” she recollects, candidly. “Most characters who keep round are settled and a bit extra regular!

“I believe it could’ve been good to discover her background a bit and discovered what occurred to her and Nigel since they’d left.”

With stints in two persevering with dramas beneath her belt, Bissix remains to be recognised by cleaning soap followers – however which Cla(i)re do they keep in mind essentially the most?

“I’d say it’s often Clare Devine. However then their grandmother may recognise me as a child from EastEnders!”

Go to our devoted Hollyoaks web page for all the most recent information, interviews and spoilers. In the event you’re on the lookout for extra to look at take a look at our TV information.


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