Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Hollyoaks star Lucy-Jo Hudson has left the show after five years in the role of Donna-Marie Quinn.
Donna-Marie's exit storyline aired in Thursday's E4 episode (September 14), which saw her storyline reach a sad conclusion.
Despite desperately trying to get back on top of things, Donna-Marie spiralled out of control again this week, following another manipulative scheme of her son's girlfriend Rayne Royce.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about her exit, Lucy-Jo said: "Donna-Marie gets to a point in her life where nobody can help her. Her son wants to at the very end but at that point she just knows that she needs to do this herself.
"She needs to leave the village and get herself sorted and she can't do it around her family because they're all watching her spiral and none of them can help. "
Donna-Marie made the decision to leave the village after her best friend Leela acknowledged there was nothing more she could to help her.
Accepting Leela was right, Donna-Marie packed her bags, before sharing a heartfelt goodbye with Romeo.
During their emotional conversation, Donna-Marie promised Romeo that she was going to fight to be the mum he deserved, while also urging him to be wary of Rayne and her dark world.
Lucy-Jo explained: "Leela tried everything, even making her go cold turkey by locking her in the changing rooms, and then her daughter Peri took over and kept an eye on her, but nobody can stop her.
"Donna-Marie is out of control and it gets to a point where enough is enough and she decides that she needs to take herself away and do this on her own time, she can't be pressured by others.
"She doesn't want everybody around her seeing her spiral, so she wants to get help."
Reflecting on what she will miss the most about the show, Lucy-Jo added: "I will miss all my Nightingale family.
"I've already been speaking to a lot of cast members and I still message Steph, Kirsty, Ruby, Owen, Niamh and Greg, all my immediates, and Jen, Chelsee and Harvey – the list is endless!
"People who were in my changing room pod I've messaged so Jamelia was just moving in when I was leaving, I got to know her."
She continued: "I've worked with other people on different jobs, and a lot of the directors I worked with on Hollyoaks, I also worked with on Wild at Heart and Corrie, so it's amazing how your paths cross all the time.
"Of course, I'm going to miss Donna Marie – I've absolutely loved playing her. I loved that she just said it as it was and never cared about who she hurt. She just was matter of fact and had no filter just straight direct, and I loved that because I'm the complete opposite.
"I will not miss the teeth! I have taken them with me because I think I'll probably wear them at Halloween and scare the kids!"
From Monday, September 25, Hollyoaks will stream first online via Channel 4 each weekday. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.
Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.
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