My week before lift off

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Ayden Callaghan (Joe Roscoe)

Ayden Callaghan plays newcomer Joe Roscoe on Hollyoaks, the eldest of the Roscoe boys whose family has just moved in to the village. In his first post for the show’s blog, Ayden chats about his busy week filming scenes, celebrating at The Soap Awards and the Roscoe family’s screen debut.

Well, the week before the airing of the Roscoes’ first Hollyoaks episode was a busy and interesting one. The week involved being ‘released’, attending The Soap Awards which was a huge success for us, our first meeting as a group with the media, our first TV interview together and of course the airing of our first episode. Not to mention filming lots of scenes, visits to the gym, buying a suit and learning lines. Sounds like a lot of stuff to fit in but it all just happens and it’s all such a pleasure the days just whizz by.

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So where to start, somewhere near the beginning I guess. It’s funny really because all this makes it feel new again but we have been hard at work filming since mid-March and we were up and down doing developmental work in January and February, so by the time we hit the screens we had been working together in some capacity for five months or so, so we felt well and truly bedded in. We all get on superbly and spend most of our days laughing a lot. The atmosphere is always absolutely buzzing at work; it hardly feels like work to be fair.
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The week leading up was like any other we were busy at work, I of course left getting a suit to the last minute and talked Fabrizio (Ziggy) into coming out shopping with me and he helped picked a lovely suit and find the right fit for me, the salesman really should have split his commission with Fab. I had to make a quick dash to my Mum’s house, where a lot of my stuff still is in storage after my move from London, to pick up my shoes. Before I knew it the Soap Awards were upon us, Charlie Wernham (Robbie) and I live together and the night before I sat him down and introduced him to Shane Meadows’ Brilliant Dead Mans Shoes, over a couple of drinks and snacks. The next morning we both had an appointment for teeth whitening. Swift check in to the hotel, swim, change and we were in the bar where I bumped into some old Emmerdale friends Mark Charnock and James Hooten, two lovely, funny and really warm people, I was really pleased to see them and they were really happy to see me back on the circuit.

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The week leading up was like any other we were busy at work. I of course left getting a suit to the last minute and talked Fabrizio (Ziggy) into coming out shopping with me and he helped pick a lovely suit and find the right fit for me. The salesman really should have split his commission with Fab. I had to make a quick dash to my Mum’s house, where a lot of my stuff still is in storage after my move from London, to pick up my shoes. Before I knew it The Soap Awards were upon us, Charlie Wernham (Robbie) and I live together and the night before I sat him down and introduced him to Shane Meadows’s brilliant Dead Man’s Shoes, over a couple of drinks and snacks. The next morning we both had an appointment for teeth whitening. Swift check in to the hotel, swim, change and we were in the bar where I bumped into some old Emmerdale friends, Mark Charnock and James Hooten, two lovely, funny and really warm people. I was really pleased to see them and they were really happy to see me back on the circuit.
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Having previously been to The Soap Awards with Emmerdale I knew what to expect and it was a lovely evening. Hollyoaks did incredibly well and it is really exciting to be part of the show as it heads strongly in the right direction and hopefully we can play our part in continuing that resurgence. Straight after The Soap Awards ceremony had finished, the whole Roscoe family were sat down to conduct our first television interview, which was for ITV 2. I didn’t hang about after our interview as I wanted to see my girlfriend and go to Hollyoaks’s own Awards’ after party where I just relaxed and had a good old chat with friends and colleagues.

Back to work as usual on Monday but the Roscoe train was gathering pace, especially with Charlie Wernham (Robbie) and Charlie Clapham (Freddie), having already been on-screen, laying excellent foundations for our arrival. It seemed that generally people were very excited to see us crash our way in to the Hollyoaks village. Twitter is a great tool for interacting with fans and the viewers of this show are very resourceful, active and passionate and many were already sending their best wishes, which was really lovely. We film Hollyoaks episodes several weeks in advance and the scenes we had filmed for the first episode seemed so long ago. I was in the fortunate position of not being able to torture myself thinking about them too much as I couldn’t really remember much about them.
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Thursday finally arrived and the Roscoes made their screen debut. I sat down at home and watched the episode as it transmitted. I always analyse my performance and go through it forensically. Because of this I don’t ever really enjoy watching myself; an artist is always looking at his painting and making adjustments and correcting the flaws and this is my sort of approach to acting, if that makes sense. As our first episode ended, a look at Twitter and several text messages put me very much at ease because the response was overwhelmingly positive and in the end we make the programme for the viewers, so it is their opinions that really matter, as well of course as the big boss man, Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood, who had sent us a lovely text about our arrival, which was appreciated greatly and caused a smile on my face the Cheshire Cat would have been jealous of.

The fans seem to have got on board with the Roscoes in a big way and we are all very touched and motivated by that. I think what people seem to be seeing and enjoying is a testament to the vision of our Producer, the excellent efforts of the story and writing teams, the casting department for putting the family together and of course, all the talented directors and crew we have the privilege to work with every day. This feels like the beginning of something very special, and exciting, and it is certainly a wonderful time to be part of this great show which is moving strongly in the right direction doing what it does best, and I am proud to be involved and I am looking forward to the future at Hollyoaks very much.

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