Hollyoaks airs exit for this important LGBTQ+ couple

LGBTQ+ character Nadira Valli says goodbye to Hollyoaks.

Hollyoaks regular Nadira Valli (Ashling O’Shea) departed the soap opera after admitting her feelings for former flame Lacey Lloyd (Annabelle Davis).

Lacey Lloyd returned to Chester as defence attorney to Prince McQueen after he was accused of murdering Lacey’s childhood best friend and influencer Rayne Royce. While there, she bumped into her ex-girlfriend Nadira, culminating in the two confessing their deep love for one another.

After the murder trial ends, Lacey decided to head back home to Norwich without informing Nadira, to her ex-girlfriend’s devastation. In the latest episode – which aired on Thursday (11 January) on E4 – Lacey changed her mind last minute and raced to find Nadira.

“I already told you how good my life is now. It’s just missing one thing: you. I love you … I know it’s a huge ask, but please, choose me,” Lacey said to Nadira, asking if she wants to move in with her.

“Just try and stop me,” Nadira replied before the two shared a heartfelt kiss. The end of the episode saw both of them bid farewell to their friends before getting in a taxi to start a new life in Norwich – together.

Discussing the exit, Ashling O’Shea told Digital Spy: “She [Nadira] deserves a happy ending and it’s so nice that I’m not the only person that wants her to be happy.

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“I’m really glad she can go into this next chapter of her life happy with less drama and it’s sweet she gets to ride off into the sunset in a really now healthy and kind relationship.”

Nadira has been on a journey of self-acceptance since she was outed by late partner Juliet Nightingale on her wedding day back in 2022. She joins a growing group of LGBTQ+ characters featured in the long-running soap who have celebrated their identity this past year, against the backdrop of Hollyoaks‘ conversion therapy plotline.

In an interview with with Channel 4, O’Shea reflected on her character’s heartwarming development. “I think embracing her sexuality has just been finding a way to be at ease in her skin,” she said.

“She was always confident in so many other ways and I think for her it was just about making this part of her align with everything else, she is more than her sexuality, but it is no longer something that holds her back.”

Hollyoaks airs at 7pm on E4 from Monday to Friday.