Gemma Atkinson turned down Emmerdale return over ‘gruelling’ filming schedule

Gemma Atkinson is returning to soap land this week in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks – but she has ruled out a return to Emmerdale, where she played Carly Hope, due to the ‘gruelling’ hours

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Gemma Atkinson makes her entrance as Carly Hope on Emmerdale

Gemma Atkinson turned down an Emmerdale return because of the soap’s “gruelling” hours.

The actress is returning to Channel 4’s Hollyoaks as Lisa Hunter this week after decades away from the programme, but she admits she isn’t planning a return to the ITV soap just yet, where she played Carly Hope.

She says there have been talks about her heading back to the Dales one day, but she is waiting until her daughter Mia gets a little bit older because of the childcare surrounding her and Strictly star Gorka Marquez’s little one.

Gemma played Carly in Emmerdale between 2015 and 2017.

Gemma played Carly Hope in Emmerdale

“Emmerdale has mentioned me going back, but with soaps the thing that people don’t realize is that the cast and crew do quite gruelling hours,” she explained to OK! magazine about the possibility.

“What I love now about my job with the radio is I know every single day when I’m going to get home. I can plan my family life and fit being a mum around that job. Maybe when Mia is a bit older and in school I might consider it, but at the minute it’s not practical, especially with Gorka doing a lot of touring and stuff.”

Gemma is back as Lisa Hunter on Hollyoaks



Whilst she’s not back in the Yorkshire Dales just yet, Gemma is returning to Hollyoaks as Lisa Hunter.

She added: “I started when I was 15 and I’m 37 now, so it’s been a long time. To be honest, it’s come around quite a few times, but I’ve always had lots of other commitments. I didn’ I don’t want to turn my back on Hollyoaks.

“It’s because of it I’ve been so busy elsewhere. I didn’t want it to ever come across as though, ‘I’m far too busy for that now.’ It was just a case of wherever I could squeeze it in, I would absolutely love to go back. It felt like I’d never been away.”

Gemma and Gorka have daughter Mia together



Gemma previously described her Hollyoaks return as “a trip down memory lane”.

“Short but sweet visit back to playing Lisa Hunter in @hollyoaksofficial What a trip down memory lane. So different, yet so familiar. 22 years ago my career started at this place, on this set, in the “Hunters” house,” she wrote.

“Forever Grateful for the wonderful memories, and for the fact there was no social media in those days – We’d all be screwed! #goodtimes #memories #friendsforever.”

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