Hollyoaks return for Davinia Taylor

25/11/2008 PA File Photo of Davinia Taylor arriving for the 2008 British Fashion Awards at the Royal Horticultural Hall, 80 Vincent Square, London. See PA Feature WELLBEING Celebrity. Picture credit should read: Ian West/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature WELLBEING Celebrity.
25/11/2008 PA File Photo of Davinia Taylor arriving for the 2008 British Fashion Awards at the Royal Horticultural Hall, 80 Vincent Square, London. See PA Feature WELLBEING Celebrity. Picture credit should read: Ian West/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature WELLBEING Celebrity.

Wigan actress Davinia Taylor is to return to Hollyoaks after an almost 20-year gap.

The 38-year-old, who attended Winstanley College, is to reprise her role as mouthy party girl Jude Cunningham in the popular Channel Four soap.

Viewers last saw her in 1998 as she fled the village after a jewellery heist went wrong.

After her sister Dawn had died of cancer, Jude took Dawn’s passport, put on a brown wig and fled to Spain.

Davinia, whose dad Alan Murphy ran a big toilet tissue firm in Skelmersdale, will be filming this summer and on screen in autumn, in what has been described as a huge storyline.

She told Square Eyes: “I’m thrilled to be going back into Hollyoaks and bringing Jude back.

“I am desperate to see what on earth she has been doing for the past 18 years and what trouble she will no doubt cause when she returns to the village.

“I’m looking forward to seeing cast and crew that I used to work with and being reunited with my old mate Stephanie Waring (sister Cindy Cunningham) as well as Jimmy McKenna (Jack Osborne) and Nick Pickard (Tony Hutchinson), and meeting all the on and off screen talent who work on the show now.”

A soap source said: “Davinia has been out of the industry for over a decade while she focused on her young family. But she is excited to come back to TV and Jude is one of Hollyoaks’ best loved characters of all time.”

Davinia left the show in 1998 after two years and had roles in Bostock’s Cup, Is Harry on the Boat?, the comedic film, Soul Patrol, as well as a spot on an episode of Urban Gothic and presenting work on The Big Breakfast and Top of the Pops @ Play.

She was a member in the Primrose Hill set, with the likes of Sadie Frost and Kate Moss.

In July 2003, she married football agent Dave Gardner, with his pal David Beckham as the best man. They had a son together, Gray.

But after ending up in rehab in 2005 and splitting from Dave in 2010, she stepped away from the celeb world. She said she had cut ties with the Primrose Hill set, apart from former Atomic Kitten singer Jenny Frost. She said: “It was really hard cutting them off because they were my family for about 15 years. But I knew it was an absolute necessity. Alcoholism is a complicated disease and you never know when you’ll be tempted to pick up another drink.”