Diane O'Connor

Diane O'Connor
Diane O'Connor
Diane O'Connor.jpg
Hollyoaks character
Portrayed by Alex Fletcher
Introduced by Paul Marquess
Duration 2010—
First appearance 1 September 2010
Classification Present; regular
Occupation Marketing worker[1]

Diane O'Connor is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Alex Fletcher. In 2010, Hollyoaks series producer, Paul Marquess, embarked on the show's rejuvenation and axed a number of cast members. To compensate for the departures, the character of Diane and her family were created and introduced. Fletcher's casting was announced in June 2010 and she began filming her scenes in the same month. The actress said working on the show is practical as she does not have to to relocate. She made her first on-screen appearance on 1 September 2010. Diane was introduced with her husband, Rob (Gary Cargill), and stepchildren, Sinead (Stephanie Davis) and Finn (Connor Wilkinson). The O'Connor's were one of three families introduced throughout the year.

Diane is described as a "loving wife" and a "devoted stepmum". Fletcher said that Diane is a good person as she has brought up two children who are not biologically hers. Diane is a little bit over the top, but Fletcher hoped that she would be quite likeable. She also wants people to be able to relate to the character. Diane is a marketing worker and is training to work for the local council. Fletcher explained that Diane has a great relationsip with Sinead and Finn and that she did not want Diane to be "the wicked stepmother".

Diane's storylines have mainly focused on her desperation to have her own child. She undergoes a second round of In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. Fletcher said she really wanted to get the storyline right because it affects so many people. She added that she feels she has a "huge responsibility" to do the storyline justice. Diane's second round of IVF fails and she breaks down, subsequently stealing a baby boy from the hospital. Other storylines have seen Diane end her marriage to Rob and deal with the trials of being a stepmum to Sinead.



Diane completes a round of In vitro fertilisation treatment and takes a pregnancy test, which reveals she is not pregnant. She goes to the hospital to discuss other options for conceiving children and returns with a baby boy. Diane tells her stepdaughter, Sinead (Stephanie Davis), that the baby was abandoned at the hospital. Diane intends to raise the baby as her own, however he becomes ill and Sinead tells nurse, Lynsey Nolan (Karen Hassan). Lynsey discovers the truth and attempts to return the baby, but Diane refuses to hand him over. Lynsey threatens to report Diane to the police. Diane realises the consequences of her actions and hands the baby over to Lynsey. Diane learns that teenager, Amber Sharpe (Lydia Lloyd-Henry), is pregnant and planning to terminate her pregnancy. Amber agrees to have the baby and let Diane raise it as her own. Diane discovers that her stepson, Finn (Connor Wilkinson), is the father of Amber's baby and tells Amber that she cannot raise the baby.

Eva Strong (Sheree Murphy) wrongly assumes that Diane's husband, Rob O'Connor (Gary Cargill), is having an inappropriate relationship with her daughter, Anita Roy (Saira Choudhry), and reports him to the police. After Rob is arrested, Diane admits that he was her teacher at school when they began a relationship. It transpires that when they began a relationship, Rob was married to Sinead and Finn's mother, Morag (Lisa Coleman). Diane reveals to Sinead that Morag is alive and not dead as first thought. Diane explains that learning of the revelation made her steal the baby from the hospital months earlier. Diane and Rob end their marriage, leaving Diane and Sinead's relationship strained.

Diane bans Sinead from seeing her boyfriend, Bart McQueen (Jonny Clarke), after she becomes intoxicated the night before an examination. Sinead and Bart continue their relationship in secret. Diane discovers this and bans Sinead from seeing him once again. Diane finds a note left by Sinead telling her that she and Bart have ran away. Diane finds Sinead but after she insults Bart, Sinead slaps her and refuses to return home.


In 2010, Hollyoaks acquired a new series producer, Paul Marquess.[2] After his appointment, Marquess embarked on the show's rejuvenation[3] and axed a number of cast members.[4][5] Marquess revealed that lots of fantastic new characters had been created to compensate for the departures.[6] Following the announcement of the new Sharpe and Costello families,[7] Marquess told Inside Soap that a third new family would be introduced.[8] The O'Connor family, described as a "four-member Liverpudlian tribe", were announced on 16 June 2010.[9] It was announced that Fletcher had been cast in the role of step-mother of two, Diane.[9] Gary Cargill was cast as Diane's husband, Rob, and Stephanie Davis and Connor Wilkinson were cast as her stepchildren, Sinead and Finn respectively.[9] Of her role, Fletcher said, "I am delighted to be back filming at Lime Pictures where I started my career on Brookside - then Mersey TV. I worked with Paul on Brookside and I'm thrilled and honoured to be working with him again, especially as this is such an exciting time for Hollyoaks."[9] Marquess commented, "We're very excited about the arrival of the O'Connors who burst onto screens in August with a very dramatic story-line. And I'm personally very excited to work with the fantastic Alex Fletcher again."[9] Fletcher began filming her scenes in mid-June.[10] She said working on the show is practical as she does not have to to relocate.[10]

Character development


Diane is described as a "loving wife"[11] who is a "devoted stepmum".[12] Fletcher told Digital Spy that Diane is a good person as she has brought up two children who are not biologically hers.[10] When asked how Diane compares to Jacqui Dixon, a character Fletcher played in Brookside, she said that Diane "hasn't got so much of a sting in her tail".[13] Diane's career is important to her, but not as much as it was for Jacqui. Diane is a lot more sensitive and grown-up.[13] Fletcher said that Diane is a little bit over the top, but hoped that she would be quite likeable.[13] The actress added that she really wants people to like Diane and be able to relate to her.[13] Diane is a marketing worker[1] and is training to work for the local council.[13] Fletcher explained to OK! that Diane is the "rock of the family".[14] Fletcher explained that Diane has a great relationsip with Sinead and Finn and that she did not want Diane to be "the wicked stepmother".[13]

In vitro fertilisation

Diane becomes desperate to have her own child and undergoes a second round of In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.[15] Fletcher told the Liverpool Echo that she really wanted to get the storyline right because it affects so many people.[16] Fletcher added that she feels she has a "huge responsibility" to do the storyline justice.[16] The actress later explained that Rob is not that keen on having any more children, because he already has children.[10] Rob will do anything for Diane as she "pretty much stepped in and saved his life" with Sinead and Finn.[10] The storyline looks at how Sinead and Finn cope with the pressure and disappointment of IVF and the potential arrival of a new baby brother or sister.[17] Davis stated that Sinead is upset that Diane is desperate for a baby of her own. She said "I think she and her little brother are thinking, 'Well, aren't we good enough for you?' in a way."[18] Davis added that Sinead is against Diane's IVF treatment.[18] Fletcher called the storyline great because "there's just loads of avenues that they could take it down".[10]

Diane's second round of IVF fails and she breaks down.[19] Sinead comforts Diane, but Finn is glad as he "feels if Diane wants a baby it means she doesn't want him".[19] Diane is "desperate" for a baby,[10] and steals a baby boy from the hospital.[19] She goes to the hospital to see a nurse and when she gets there she finds the baby.[19] Fletcher explained the situation to Soaplife, saying "The baby has been abandoned outside the hospital. Diane thinks it's an animal at first when she hears something crying - and when she looks it's a baby boy."[19] There is not a note left with the baby, so Diane reasons that his mother does not deserve to have him back and takes him home.[19] Fletcher explained why Diane did not take the baby into the hospital: "She believes that, in taking him home, she's doing the right thing and that she'll get in touch with social services."[19] But, Diane "goes past the point of no return" and feels a bond with the baby and falls in love with him.[19] Fletcher defended Diane, saying "She's not a nut job. She's pumped full of hormones and the IVF hasn't worked. She's having a breakdown and she isn't thinking properly."[19]


Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy said he was "pleased" about Fletcher's signing.[13] Holy Soap have said Diane's most memorable moment is "Getting her step-daughter Sinead to administer her IVF injection when husband Rob was tied up at work."[11] The official Hollyoaks website ran a poll asking viewers which member of the O'Connor family was their favourite.[20] Diane received the most votes, with 1,597 (34.13%) people voting for her.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (1 September 2010). "Teasers on the new 'Hollyoaks' family". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/scoop/a270818/teasers-on-the-new-hollyoaks-family.html. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Green, Kris (15 January 2010). "'Hollyoaks' producer Allan quits soap". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a196734/hollyoaks-producer-allan-quits-soap.html. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Green, Kris (18 May 2010). "Paul Marquess (Producer, 'Hollyoaks')". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/interviews/a220221/paul-marquess-producer-hollyoaks.html. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Green, Kris (9 February 2010). "New 'Hollyoaks' producer axes three". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a200599/new-hollyoaks-producer-axes-three.html. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Green, Kris (8 March 2010). "'Hollyoaks' producer axes 11 more". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a207495/hollyoaks-producer-axes-11-more.html. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Hollyoaks team (11 March 2010). "Meet The Producer...". E4. (Channel 4 Television Corporation). http://www.e4.com/blog/hollyoaks/post/cpiwhjbm00i0hlslepfjot/view.e4. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Green, Kris (12 April 2010). "'Hollyoaks' announces raft of new castings". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a213947/hollyoaks-announces-raft-of-new-castings.html. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (19 April 2010). "'Oaks to introduce third new family". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a215244/oaks-to-introduce-third-new-family.html. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Kilkelly, Daniel (16 June 2010). "'Hollyoaks' unveils third new family". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a228059/hollyoaks-unveils-third-new-family.html. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Kilkelly, Daniel (24 August 2010). "Alex Fletcher (Diane O'Connor, 'Hollyoaks')". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/interviews/a261913/alex-fletcher-diane-oconnor-hollyoaks.html. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Holy Soap > Hollyoaks > Cast > Diane O'Connor". Channel Five. (RTL Group). http://holysoap.five.tv/cast/diane-oconnor-9518. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  12. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (30 November 2010). "Fletcher: 'I pinch myself over Hollyoaks'". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a290630/fletcher-i-pinch-myself-over-hollyoaks.html. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Kilkelly, Daniel (23 August 2010). "Alex Fletcher on 'Brookside', 'Oaks and more". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/scoop/a266329/alex-fletcher-on-brookside-oaks-and-more.html. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Interview: Hollyoaks stars Alex Fletcher and Stephanie Davis". OK! (Northern & Shell). 30 November 2010. http://www.ok.co.uk/posts/view/29374/Interview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-DavisInterview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-Davis-Interview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-Davis-Interview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-Davis-Interview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-Davis-Interview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-Davis-Interview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-Davis-Interview-Hollyoaks-stars-Alex-Fletcher-and-Stephanie-Davis-. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Lee, Cara (16 June 2010). "Brookie star leads 'Oaks clan". The Sun (News Group Newspapers). http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/soaps/3016723/Brookside-star-Alex-Fletcher-heads-up-new-Hollyoaks-clan.html. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Collinson, Dawn (18 August 2010). "Alex Fletcher on why she almost quit acting to become a fitness instructor". Liverpool Echo (Trinity Mirror). http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-life/liverpool-lifestyle/2010/08/18/alex-fletcher-on-why-she-almost-quit-acting-to-become-a-fitness-instructor-100252-27082775/3/. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  17. ^ Miles, Tina (16 June 2010). "Former Brookside star Alex Fletcher to head up new Scouse family in Hollyoaks". Liverpool Echo (Trinity Mirror). http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2010/06/16/former-brookside-star-alex-fletcher-to-head-up-new-scouse-family-in-hollyoaks-100252-26659821/. Retrieved 28 July 201. 
  18. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (27 August 2010). "Stephanie Davis (Sinead O'Connor, Hollyoaks)". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/interviews/a263126/stephanie-davis-sinead-oconnor-hollyoaks.html. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Diane's babysnatch drama!". What's on TV (IPC Media). 2 September 2010. http://www.whatsontv.co.uk/soaps/hollyoaks/interviews/dianes-babysnatch-drama/10312. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Norman, Christopher T. (2 September 2010). "Hot Topic: Favourite O'Connor?". E4. (Channel 4 Television Corporation). http://www.e4.com/blog/hollyoaks/post/ulq5gumathhukdznhftbc/view.e4. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 

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