Neighbours’ Jemma Donovan joins Hollyoaks cast

Jemma Donovan, best known for playing Harlow Robinson in Neighbours, has joined the cast of Hollyoaks and will make her first appearance later this year.

She’s joining the show as Reyne, who is described as an “outgoing party girl”, and a social media sensation who has already achieved “celebrity status”.

Lime Pictures

Viewers don’t have long to wait to see Jemma’s debut on the UK soap, as she’ll be arriving in Hollyoaks village before the end of the year, and she quickly makes friends with a number of the show’s existing younger characters.

She isn’t the only new character set to arrive. Rayne is joined by her childhood friend, and the pair will cause mischief with the younger residents of Hollyoaks, forming part of a new character group that will play a major part in the show’s storylines next year.

Digital Spy has revealed that Rayne will be living under the same roof as Nadira Valli (Ashling O’Shea), Romeo Nightingale (Owen Warner) and Prince McQueen (Malique Thompson-Dwyer) in a new 20-something sharehouse.


Of joining the Chester-based soap, which is filmed in nearby Liverpool, Jemma said: “I am thrilled to be joining the cast of Hollyoaks!

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be able to bring something unique and fun to a new role and I can’t wait to be a part of the Hollyoaks family.”

Jemma told that her character Reyne is very different from the character she portrayed in Neighbours:

‘I’m diving into a whole new character amongst the social media world with Rayne so it will be interesting to see how that will play out,’ Jemma explained. ‘I love creating characters and bringing them to life so I’m really looking forward to doing that with Rayne.’

Jemma starred as Harlow Robinson in Neighbours, seen here filming scenes in London alongside Amanda Holden

Jemma starred as Neighbours‘ Harlow Robinson from 2019 until shortly before the show ended in July of this year.

Her character left Erinsborough just a few weeks before the show’s final episodes.

Harlow decided to move back to London to be reunited with her aunt Harriet (Amanda Holden), after a traumatic few months in which she was kidnapped by Corey Smythe-Jones (Laurence Boxhall), a member of mysterious cult ‘The Restoration Order’, and which saw her deal with the tragic death of her ex-boyfriend Hendrix Greyson (Benny Turland).

While Jemma may not have featured in Neighbours‘ final episode, her father, Jason Donovan, did return to Ramsay Street for one final goodbye.

Jason starred in Neighbours between 1986 and 1989, and, alongside Kylie Minogue, made Scott and Charlene the show’s most famous couple. Their wedding was watched by almost 20 million people when it aired in the UK in 1988.

Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue returned to Neighbours for the final episodes

While they were never on screen together, Jason’s character Scott was Harlow’s great-uncle. Harlow was the daughter of Robert Robinson, who was the estranged son of Paul and Gail Robinson.

Kyle Pryor starred in Home and Away before joining the cast of Hollyoaks in 2018.

Jemma Donovan isn’t the first Australian soap star to make a move to Hollyoaks.

Fellow Brit Kyle Pryor played Nate Cooper in Home and Away, leaving the show in 2017, with his character Nate taking up the offer of a job with aeromedical company Careflight.

He joined Hollyoaks as Laurie Shelby in 2018. Laurie was introduced as the husband of Sinead O’Connor, and was eventually exposed as a sexual predator and imprisoned, later dying of a head injury nine months after his character’s first appearance.

Hollyoaks airs Monday-Friday 6:30pm on Channel 4, with a first look at 7pm on E4.

First look episodes are also available to stream on All4, added every weekday morning.