'Hollyoaks' star Ricky Whittle will make a dramatic exit from the Channel 4 show when his character is shot dead on his wedding day, it was revealed today.
In an episode airing on Monday night, 'Hollyoaks' will “flash forward” to the future, and viewers will see Calvin Valentine killed by a mystery assassin.
After re-marrying Carmel McQueen (Gemma Merna), Calvin takes to the dance floor with his wife, where he is killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Show insiders said all those present at the wedding will appear to be behaving out of character, and could emerge as suspects.
Those with reason to dislike Calvin will include Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalfe), with whom he is currently having an affair, and her husband Malachy Fisher (Glen Wallace), who is best man at the wedding.
Tuesday’s episode will return to the present, and in the following months the mysteries will unravel, with the wedding scenes playing out again over a week at the end of May 2010.
The storyline is a new twist on famous soap whodunits, including the mystery of who shot JR in Dallas, and the shooting of Phil Mitchell in 'EastEnders'.
The BBC1 soap is embarking on another murder mystery this Christmas, when Archie Mitchell will be killed in the Queen Vic.
Whittle, who is favourite to win 'Strictly Come Dancing' tomorrow night, said: “It’s an honour to be involved in such an unprecedented television event. This has never been done in soap and will take the audience on a roller coaster that they will want to ride until the end!”
Lucy Allan, Hollyoaks series producer, said: “This has been a truly exciting project and one that we’re sure will keep the audience guessing well into 2010.”
Camilla Campbell, head of drama at Channel 4, added: “For the first time we saw the opportunity to mix up reality and fiction and rip up the traditional soap format.
“Off the back of Ricky’s superb performance in Strictly, Channel 4 will drop in a special episode that skips forward a few months to a major storyline involving Ricky’s on-screen character, Calvin Valentine.
“It’s an ambitious first for Hollyoaks and promises to be an intriguing and exciting twist for viewers.”
The “flash forward” episode airs on Monday December 21 at 6.30pm on Channel 4.