Nathalie Emmanuel
Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel previously appeared in Hollyoaks Getty

Today (23 October), Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks celebrates 20 years on screen. Since 1995, the show has been entertaining British viewers with shocking storylines and compelling characters, while always being bold enough to tackle hard-hitting or controversial real-life issues.

Whether you grew up with the McQueens or remember the early days of Kurt and Jambo, it is safe to say that in two decades, scores of unique characters have graced the fictional Chester village. As the long-running soap – or teen drama – celebrates the impressive milestone, IBTimes UK look some of famous faces who have appeared on the show.

James Corden

He is best known for his late night US chat show and Gavin And Stacey, but before becoming a household name, James Corden played a college caretaker was in Hollyoaks. However he previously described his time on the show as "hell on earth".

James Corden
James Corden. Reuters

Nathalie Emmanuel

Between 2006 and 2010, Game Of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel was just Sasha Valentine on Hollyoaks. Since leaving the Channel 4 show, she has built an incredible CV, which also includes roles Fast And Furious 7 and Maze Runner. Not bad for a girl from Southend.

Game of Thrones
Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) in Game of Thrones HBO/Sky Atlantic

Lethal Bizzle

UK grime star Lethel Bizzle showed off acting chops on the show in 2012 for five episodes, in its late-night spin-off, Hollyoaks Later. The 31-year-old made playing yourself look easy.

Lethal B
The UK rapper Lethal Bizzle

Andrew Lloyd Webber

West End impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber made a cameo on the show when aspiring actress Summer Shaw, played by Summer Strallen, chased him down in London for an impromptu audition for a part in his latest hit musical. In an interesting twist, Strallen had already been chosen to replace Connie Britton in Webber's The Sound of Music production in real life. Great promotion right?

The Saturdays

The girl group made a pit stop on Hollyoaks Later back in 2008.

Interesting facts about the much-loved soap

  • After starting with just seven characters in 1995, it now has almost 50.
  • In 2014, it became the first British soap to feature a major HIV storyline involving a gay character.
  • Carmel McQueen's sun lamp burn was the most difficult injury to achieve. It took a painstaking two to three hours.
  • In 2014, the Channel 4 show was named the most violent soap on British TV, airing threatening scenes five times more regularly than EastEnders.