Gemma Merna made ill by 'Hollyoaks' filming

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Gemma Merna

Gemma Merna

Gemma Merna was made ill when filming for 'Hollyoaks', revealing that the long hours which the stars are forced to work when featuring in large storylines can take a toll on their health.

Gemma Merna says 'Hollyoaks' made her ill.

The 30-year-old actress plays Carmel McQueen in the Channel 4 soap but is set to be killed off in tonight's (12.11.14) episode and she's admitted tough storylines have taken their toll on her during her eight-year stint on the show.

She explained: "When you're on massive storylines, working 40 to 60 hours a week, you can guarantee you're ill by the end of it.

"You'd get really tired and completely run down, you'd need a holiday for a week or two afterwards."

The much-loved character is to die from injuries suffered during the explosion of a train carriage but not before her emotional final goodbyes from teary-eyed family members, Mercedes (Jennifer Metcalfe), Theresa (Jorgie Porter) and Myra (Nicole Barber-Lane).

And now that the blonde beauty no longer has to spend long hours filming for the popular soap, she is eyeing up roles in other series, including period drama 'Downton Abbey'.

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "'Downton Abbey' would be a dream. I'm naturally very pale too.

"I always have a spray tan and I have naturally dark hair and everyone said I looked like a Victorian child when I was little."

Gemma added that although she would revel in the chance to feature in the ITV programme, she would also enjoy more of a challenge.

She said: "I'd love to do a gritty drama and play someone manipulative, conniving, psychotic."

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