Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson has recalled her hard-hitting domestic abuse storyline in the soap.
Sanderson plays Maxine Minniver in the E4 show and was involved in a violent relationship with Patrick Blake (Jeremy Sheffield), culminating in a dramatic wedding day showdown.
The episode, from 2014, will air on Thursday as part of Hollyoaks Favourites, which is revisiting some of the soap’s most explosive moments.
Sanderson, 36, said the role of domestic abuse victim was “difficult” and required months of research, including visiting women’s refuges.
And she spoke of the importance of TV shows tackling big issues.
She said: “I think it’s incredibly important to highlight domestic abuse – not just the physical side, but the emotional that people have to deal with as well.
“I think it’s also really important because if we can highlight that, and get a story across to the masses, it could potentially save people.
“At the time, there were a lot of people who were suffering with domestic abuse, male and female sufferers, who were coming forward, or were getting in contact with abuse charities, and the police.
“Some people who were going through the emotional side didn’t even realise they were being abused. It’s incredibly important to highlight these issues, because it can make people much more aware and potentially save lives.”
Sheffield added: “Domestic abuse is, to this day, a huge and surprisingly common problem in the UK, which so often goes under-reported.
“This has been highlighted by the tragic increase in domestic abuse during the lockdown.”
Viewers are currently watching Sanderson, whose other TV roles include Coronation Street and Heartbeat, tackle one of the toughest tasks of her career on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
The show was filmed six months ago and the actress described the experience as “incredible”.
“It was so hard, painful and cold,” she said. “But it was mind blowing and such an amazing experience. I was just really grateful that I got the opportunity to do it.
“I’ve always been a huge supporter of the armed forces, and I’ve always been in awe of them, but to experience such a tiny fraction of what they actually go through every single day was an honour.”
Hollyoaks airs on E4.