Hollyoaks legend returns to soap after 13 years and starring in Hollywood films

Emma Rigby has reportedly made a dramatic return to the role of Hannah Ashworth, as she was photographed reuniting with actor Kieron Richardson on the Hollyoaks set.

The actress, 34, appeared on the Channel 4 soap for five years before exiting in 2010, although it appears that now 13 years later, she is set to make her return.

Emma's character Hannah was part of a number of dramatic storylines during her time on the soap, which saw her struggle with anorexia and bulimia, the death of her best friend, and being caught up in gangs and drug-dealing.

Emma received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Hannah and won the British Soap Awards for Best Actress back in 2008.

In photos obtained by The Sun, Emma could be seen on set sporting a striped shirt dress and a red blazer paired with some glam knee-high black boots.

During her time away from the soap, Emma has appeared in a number of Hollywood films including The Counselor alongside Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz and Endless Love with Alex Pettyfer.

She has also starred in several TV shows including the Once Upon A Time spin-off Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, in which she played the Red Queen.

She has also appeared in Fresh Meat, Prisoners' Wives, and Ripper Street.

Emma's return to Hollyoaks comes just a couple of months after it was announced that the soap will now be aired exclusively on E4, with 'first-look' episodes landing on Channel 4's on-demand service the previous day at 7.30pm.

The episodes are then made available a week later on YouTube, with a weekly omnibus airing Channel 4 on Sundays.

The schedule shake-up was announced after it emerged that almost two-thirds of the soap’s’ viewers watched it through ‘first look’ streaming or on E4 rather than when it was shown on Channel 4 during the 6:30pm slot.

It was later announced that the soap's previous timeslot will be filled by The Simpsons going forward, with American comedy’s old 6pm slot being taken by B&B reality show Four in a Bed.

And in a further shake-up in soapland, ITV have cancelled the British Soap Awards next year in a surprising move – but the prestigious event is believed to be “set to return” in 2025.

A ITV spokesperson has claimed to Metro.co.uk: “The British Soap Awards won’t be on air in 2024 but is set to return in 2025.

“The show was fantastically received in 2023, achieving consolidated figures of 2.9 million and doubling its audience year on year, so we look forward to the show’s return.”

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