Joel whose character is played by Rory Douglas-Speed receives a shock diagnosis as he discovers he has Type 1 Diabetes, a condition Rory himself has lived with in his real life since he was a child.
Next week, Leela is concerned about Joel’s health after recently collapsing and tells him she can’t be worried about him and Peri during the funeral, and it’s best if he gets some rest.
Joel agrees he won’t go, but instead plans to do some soccer training.
Later in the week, Norma admits to Warren that she’s been helping Joel search for firefighter jobs, and with a new perspective on life following Juliet’s funeral, the dad agrees he should give it a go, but advises him to speak to Leela first. Later, admitting his passion to be a firefighter, Leela gives him her support, but in return asks to keep their relationship from Peri for a little while longer.
However, a stroke of bad luck leads to Peri walking in on them kissing.
Leela is trying to stay sensitive to her daughter’s recent loss of the love of her life and keep her and Joel’s relationship secret, however a close encounter leaves Peri to admit she knows about them. Peri tells her mum that Juliet wanted them to live their life, and she’s even got an appointment at the hospital to discuss coming back to work. When Leela hears Donna-Marie is back working at the gym, she rushes over to find her struggling friend smashing a planter, but luckily Felix passes by and once he hears what’s happened tells the two women he’ll mend the gift. A message off Donna-Marie telling her she won’t be joining her for tea has Leela worried, but Joel convinces her maybe she needs time alone…
Hollyoaks chats with Kirsty below:
Leela has a new man in her life, what do you make of Joel and Leela’s pairing?
Leela and Joel’s pairing kind of came out of nowhere. Joel is such a good guy I think Leela, dare I say it, has finally found a good one… with her track record with men, well they’ve not been ones you’d want to take home to the parents anyway. It’s a beautiful thing to come out of a really dark time with Juliet being so sick and then eventually passing, Joel was there as a support for Leela. Even though they were kind of fighting it, because obviously it’s not nice to be flaunting a relationship during such a hard time which put a damper on it from the start, it seems to now be flourishing. It’s a surprise, obviously Joel and Leela have both been around the village for a long time and they’ve just never really bumped into each other. Let’s see what happens…
‘In his mind, he [Joel] feels like this diagnosis is risking his relationship, risking his application for the fire service and he feels like, now he has this disability, he needs to keep it a secret. With the diagnosis not many people know much information about it so it’s a completely new thing for Leela as well so, going forward, she’s just more bothered that he would keep the secret from her rather than what the secret was. She wants to build a relationship on trust so we will see what happens in the future, you will have to tune in and see.’
‘As soon as we get on set together we are literally the top gigglers and it’s a wonder how we get anything filmed’, Kirsty-Leigh Porter said. ‘He brings such a great energy to set and it’s just fun to work with new
cast members. If you’re working in a storyline you’re working with the same people every day who are brilliant but it’s nice to venture out and see how it works and make other connections.’
‘It’s Juliet’s funeral week, and being a part of Juliet’s cancer storyline was an honour, because it was just so beautifully written and beautifully performed. Everyone did such a good job, it was just heart-breaking. It was also quite dark on set, it felt almost real because the makeup team were brilliant. When Juliet had to shave her hair, actually seeing Niamh walk into that scene with Juliet’s new look with Donna-Marie, Leela and Peri, just seeing the results of the cancer treatment it was heart-breaking.’
Channel 4 and Lime Pictures have worked with Diabetes UK who helped advise on the storyline.
Hollyoaks airs on Channel 4 at 6.30pm followed on E4 at 7pm for a first look