|Portrayed by||Paul Opacic|
|First appearance||19 July 2010|
|Last appearance||15 February 2013|
|Introduced by||Paul Marquess (2010)
Emma Smithwick (2012)
Bryan Kirkwood (2013)
|Hollyoaks Later (2010)|
Pub landlord (2010–11)
Carl Costello is a fictional character from the British soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Paul Opacic. The character was introduced by executive producer Paul Marquess and he debuted on screen during the episode broadcast on 19 July 2010. Carl arrived in the village as the new owner of The Dog in the Pond and the father of established character Jem Costello. Carl departed from Hollyoaks on 1 December 2011 with his son Jason. Opacic later reprised his role and returned to Hollyoaks on 26 September 2012 and left again on the 5 October 2012. Opacic reprised his role once more in January 2013, which coincided with the exit of Mitzeee (Rachel Shenton). He returned on 25 January 2013 and departed again on 15 February 2013.
Creation and casting
Lucy Allan quit the role of executive producer in January 2010, Paul Marquess is then quickly employed as her replacement. Marquess revealed his plans to give Hollyoaks a "shake up", and initiated a cast cull along with the introduction of several new characters. In April 2010 Marquees announced his intentions to introduce the Costello family. Speaking about the new family Marquees stated "They're only one of three families. They're family number two. The thing about the Costellos is that The Dog has to be somewhere the audience wants to be. [...] I'm not saying the Costellos won't have serious stories but I think you'll want to be there. He branded Carl and Heidi Costello (Kim Tiddy) as good looking. The Costellos were a built on family to the all ready established Jem Costello (Helen Russell-Clark). Opacic was cast in the role and during an interview with E4 he stated: "It's a very exciting time at Hollyoaks right now. Paul Marquess has got a proven track record, and I think it's turned the whole thing around. [...] It seems like a re-birth of Hollyoaks."
E4 publicity describe him as being "self-assured smooth operator who's charming, but will play things underhand." Opacic brands Carl a "legendary philanderer" and a "naughty boy" but defends him stating "He would never leave Heidi, he loves her enormously, but he just can't help himself." He also calls Carl a "bit of a dinosaur" when it comes to sensitive issues such as Jamine's identity issues. Remaining optimistic of Carl's views he stated: "He might become a new man and start to be more understanding, I'm sure it will be a huge learning process for him." E4 later shed more light on Carl during the third series of Hollyoaks Later adding that he "is known for his fiery temper."
On 1 August 2012, Opacic's management revealed that he had reprised his role of Carl and had begun filming his return scenes. Carl will appear from September 2012. Tom Eames from Digital Spy later revealed that Carl would return when his grandson Bobby goes missing. A show insider explained "Carl agrees to put aside his differences to be there for his son and Mercedes" upon his return.
On 20 December 2012 it was announced that Rachel Shenton would be leaving her role of Mitzeee in 2012 and that Carl would return as part of her exit storyline. It was revealed that the storyline would feature Carl returning to seek justice for Riley's death and that he would enlist Mitzeee in helping him punish Simon Walker (Neil Newbon). An official statement by Hollyoaks teased that Mitzeee could get a happy ending or that it was possible "her involvement with Carl has put her life in danger". Carl returned on 25 January 2013.
Carl is an ex-premiership footballer, whose first wife died when Jem was young, he then went on to marry Heidi, to which he has three more children; Riley (Rob Norbury), Seth (Miles Higson) and Jasmine (Victoria Atkin).
Carl first arrives in Hollyoaks after buying The Dog. Jem is not happy to discover her father has moved to Hollyoaks, but agrees to forgive him for breaking her ex-boyfriend Liam's legs, which ended his football career, and for having numerous affairs. Carl is shocked to see his previous fling, glamour model Mitzeee Minniver (Rachel Shenton) in the village. Mitzeee, who is Heidi's cousin, begins to flirt with Carl, who rejects her. When Mitzeee reveals Jasmine's relationship with Bart McQueen (Jonny Clarke), Carl is angry and threatens him. However, Jem convinces him to calm down. Carl becomes suspicious of Doug Carter (PJ Brennan), believing he is dealing drugs. When this is proved true, Carl forces him to move away from Hollyoaks. Mitzeee reveals to Heidi that she slept with Carl. Jem rejects her father, and is angered when Heidi forgives him.
It's later revealed Carl broke Jem's ex-boyfriend Liam McAllister's (Chris Overton) leg to ruin his football career, Jem could not cope with this and left to go travelling. Carl continues to push Riley into training for football. Riley and Seth go cage fighting with Liam and his brother Nathan McAllister (Michael Bisping), they go to a party where they lock them in a cage. They kidnap Carl and make him watch his children beat each other, whilst Carl stands on a box with a rope around his neck. He escapes and Nathan dies.
Jem decides to leave the village when she tries and fails to set Carl up with Mitzeee Carl finally lets her go. With Jem gone Carl becomes more obsessive of his other children. Over Christmas Carl's daughter Jasmine reveals she wants to be a boy called Jason. Carl is upset about it at first but soon begins to accept Jason.
Carl is unhappy when Riley starts dating new barmaid, Mercedes Fisher. Carl kisses Mercedes and later offers her money to stop seeing Riley which she rejects. Carl begins sleeping with Mercedes until Carl finds out Heidi has also been having an affair with Gaz Bennett. Carl forgives Heidi after threatening Gaz. Seth finds out about Carl's own affair but is stopped revealing all to Heidi and Riley by Mercedes lying that she's pregnant. Mercedes sister, Jacqui McQueen, also finds out about the affair but Carl manages her to convince her to keep quiet by offering her husband, Rhys Ashworth, a job.
Much to Carl's horror, Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) discovers Carl's affair with Mercedes and blackmails Carl into giving him £50,000 or he will reveal the affair to Riley during the wedding. Carl frantically attempts to gather some money together. On the day of the wedding, Mercedes' guilt becomes too much to bear and she tells a furious Riley about the affair at the altar, and apologises but says that she cannot marry him. Afterwards, unknown to everyone, who believe that Mercedes is in Dubai on the honeymoon, she was actually kidnapped by Riley's grandfather Silas Blissett (Jeff Rawle), who plans to kill her once she gives birth. Mercedes is eventually found and she gives birth to a boy, whom she names Bobby McQueen. After a paternity test, it is revealed that Riley is Bobby's bilogical father.
After Riley disowns Carl, he decides that there is no future for him in Chester and decides to emigrate to America, and asks Jason and Seth if they would like to join him. Seth refuses, unable to forgive his father, but Jason decides that there is a better future for him out there and agrees to go with his father. After saying their goodbyes, and Carl makes an emotional apology to Riley, Jason and Carl leave for America, and are last seen boarding the aeroplane. Carl returns when he learns Mercedes and Riley are getting married and attempts to persuade Riley not to marry Mercedes. Mercedes hears a conversation between Riley and Carl in which Riley admits that he does not love Mercedes and that he recently had sex with Mitzeee. Bobby is abducted with Mitzeee as the prime suspect. Mercedes accuses Mitzeee of kidnapping Bobby later a letter is delivered to Riley asking for half a million pounds ransom money. Riley asks Carl for help and he says he can only give 200.000 pounds as the rest of his money is tied up in investments. Riley discovers Mercedes kidnapped Bobby and she is arrested before she is taken to a psychiatric unit. Riley is shot and killed by Walker. Bobby is left without either parent so is left with Mercedes mother Myra McQueen (Nicole Barber-Lane). Carl decides Myra is not the right guardian for Bobby and she agrees Bobby would be better living with Carl. Carl returns to America with Bobby.
When Mitzeee continues to struggle with Riley's death, her sister Maxine (Nikki Sanderson) rings Carl for help. Carl returns to the village but is unaware that Walker has also returned.
Soap opera reporting website Holy Soap describe Carl's most memorable moment as being: "When his wife Heidi was left devastated when it emerged he had slept with Cheryl Cole lookalike Mitzeee." E4 ran a poll asking viewers if they think Carl can be trusted, the results showed that more than half felt he couldn't.
- Green, Kris (15 January 2010). "'Hollyoaks' producer Allan quits soap". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Green, Kris (11 February 2010). "New 'Hollyoaks' boss shakes up production". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Green, Kris (8 March 2010). "'Hollyoaks' producer axes 11 more". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Green, Kris (12 April 2010). "'Hollyoaks' announces raft of new castings". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Green, Kris (18 May 2010). "Loads of 'Hollyoaks' gossip from Paul Marquess". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Interview with Paul Opacic (Carl Costello)". E4. (Channel 4 Television Corporation). July 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Carl Costello (played by Paul Opacic)". E4. (Channel 4 Television Corporation). July 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "Hollyoaks Later - Carl Costello (played by Paul Opacic)". E4. (Channel 4 Television Corporation). October 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "August 2012 Newsletter". Associated International Management. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Soapland's joiners, movers and leavers". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- Eames, Tom (9 September 2012). "'Hollyoaks' Mercedes accuses Mitzeee after Bobby goes missing". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (20 December 2012). "'Hollyoaks': Rachel Shenton leaving Mitzeee Minniver role". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- "Holy Soap > Hollyoaks > Cast > Carl Costello". Holy Soap. (Five). July 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Norman, Christopher T. (27 July 2010). "Hot Topic: Carl Costello". E4. (Channel 4 Television Corporation). Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Character profile on the E4 website
- Character profile on the Holy Soap website
- Character profile on the Hollyoaks Later website