Hollyoaks airs a heartbreaking Cleo McQueen twist as her bulimia story comes to a head

Hollyoaks aired a devastating twist in Cleo McQueen’s ongoing story tonight (October 9) as she had a heart attack on her wedding day.

Cleo (Nadine Mulkerrin) suffered a terrifying collapse as she was preparing to tie the knot with her fiancé Joel Dexter (Rory Douglas-Speed).

Spoilers had revealed that Cleo’s bulimia plot would come to a head in the special World Mental Health Day episode, but this had been kept under wraps until transmission.

Hollyoaks bosses have been putting subtle clues in recent episodes to show that Cleo has still been struggling with her mental health, but the true extent of her ordeal has only really become apparent this week.

Viewers saw Cleo’s wedding day from two very different perspectives as she spoke to psychologist Farrah Maalik (Krupa Pattani) about what happened to her on the day.

The contrasting perceptions showed Cleo’s skewed and idealistic view on events, compared to the tragic way the day had actually unfolded.

Initially, Cleo had tried to claim that her wedding had gone entirely according to plan: that she’d gone for a quick jog in the morning, had eaten a bacon sandwich, and had walked up the aisle with no problems at all.

In reality, Cleo was plagued with self-loathing as she woke up at 4am to go on an arduous and lengthy run, had purged after eating, and had palpable injuries all over her body due to her illness. She also had to pin her oversized wedding dress to her body and was nearly passing out as she walked towards Joel waiting at the altar in the church.

After reciting their vows, Joel watched on in horror as Cleo clutched her chest in agony – before collapsing to the floor.

Although Cleo tried to claim that she’d merely fainted, Farrah was quick to correct her – insisting that she’d had a near-fatal heart attack and was seriously unwell.

©  Lime Pictures

With Cleo clearly in denial, Farrah urged her to face up to the severity of her illness if she wanted to recover and live.

Fans will have to stay tuned to see whether Farrah’s words have the desired effect on Cleo, but Joel will also struggle to come to terms with everything in the aftermath. Will he stand by Cleo in her time of need? Or are their hopes of a happy ending ruined forever?

Hollyoaks airs the special episode on Wednesday, October 8 at 6.30pm on Channel 4.

Beat promotes awareness and understanding of eating disorders, also challenging inaccurate stereotypes and stigma. Find out more at Beat’s website. Beat’s helpline for those aged 18 and over is 0808 801 0677, and there’s also a dedicated Youthline for those under 18 – 0808 801 0711.

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