Jan Pearson as Karen Hollins (2009)
|Portrayed by||Jan Pearson|
|First appearance||23 February 2009|
|Introduced by||Peter Eryl Lloyd|
Healthcare Assistant (2010-)
Karen Nicola Jane Hollins (née Teale) is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera Doctors, played by Jan Pearson. She made her first on-screen appearance on 23 February 2009. Pearson had made two former unrelated guest appearances in Doctors in 2004 and 2008. Her role in the show is that of Receptionist and Healthcare Assistant of The Mill Health Centre and The Campus Surgery. Karen was created by series producer Peter Eryl Lloyd as a replacement for former receptionist Vivien March (Anita Carey).
Karen Hollins was born in 1966 and is the head Receptionist at The Mill Health Centre and the Campus Surgery at the Letherbridge University. She took over as head Receptionist from Vivien March in March 2009. Karen is married to Sgt. Rob Hollins of Letherbridge Police. They met in 1985 and married on 5 August 1989. Together they have two children; 19-year-old Jack, who is studying Law at Letherbridge University and their 17-year-old daughter, Imogen who is still at school and occasionally helps at the Mill and Campus.
Since her arrival in 2009, she has gone away to spend time with her dad, but that is all that is known about her father. Karen's mother has not often been mentioned, apart from on two occasions in 2011, when Karen revealed that she made her do Home Economics at school and when talking to Dr Zara Carmichael it was revealed that her mother had died when she was quite young and that Karen misses her. On 8 November 2013, it was stated that she died in 1991. On 30 January 2012, Karen received news that her Great great Aunt Violet Mason, her late maternal grandfather's un-married aunt, had died. In the episode titled 'Great Expectations' Bagley Grimsdale, a professional solicitor who deals with deceased clients estates contacted Karen. Karen, who did not have enough information to identify herself to be the Great grand Niece of Violet Mason. It was revealed that her father, still unnamed, is fairly elderly and suffers with his hearing aid and when Karen questioned her father about Violet Mason, he called her "trout-faced" and Karen claimed he was getting confused with his late wife's sister Gwen. Then when Karen found her birth certificate she stated her mother's name to be; Brenda Teale, née Mason, proving there is a connection. Later on in the episode Karen was talking to Rob and she said she could ask "Aunt Eileen", who is believed to be another one of her late mothers sisters. The day after, it was confirmed that Violet Mason, was, in fact, Karen's godmother and that Violet fell out with the family, including Karen's mother. It was confirmed that Violet lived in a care home in Rhyl and was 102 when she died. It was also confirmed that Karen has two middle names; Nicola and Jane. Violet had left for Karen, her large home in the Kingsvale area of Letherbridge, which to Karen's delight has a conservatory.
In November 2009 Karen tried to call her colleague, Cherry to tell her information about her boyfriend, Scott Nielson. However, he had died, with Cherry at his apartment. When Karen found out, she rushed to Scott's apartment to help Cherry. Karen defended Cherry to the police at the flat and then encountered her husband Rob as he arrived at the scene. After Karen saw Cherry arrested and driven off in the police car Karen shouted at him, demanding to know what was going on with Cherry and Scott. Rob refused to tell her. Karen drove back to work where Practice Manager Julia Parsons was wondering where Cherry and Karen were. Karen and Julia together told the rest of the staff; Michelle, Lily and Cherry's close friend, Simon Bond.
In late September 2009, Zara, Karen's colleague at the Mill, and Karen's 19-year-old son Jack were kidnapped and locked in a caravan. They ended up having sex and later embarked on an affair. In November 2009 Jack confided in his father Rob about the relationship. Karen was later part-informed about the situation and at work on the following Monday questioned each of her colleagues, trying to find out if they were sleeping with Jack. Karen confronted Zara and as she was doing this noticed her underwear matched that which she had found weeks ago in Jack's room. The situation escalated into a fight in Reception. Karen was suspended by Dr. Heston Carter but returned the following week. The next day, after Jack told her that he saw Zara 'shooting up'. Karen went round to Zara's house and after an argument found out Zara was injecting herself with testosterone to combat her early onset menopause.
In late January 2010 Karen was approached by 'Gerry Cutler', the father of a University friend of her son, Jack. He asked if Lewis, his son, could stay at their house over the Easter holidays as he was going away. Karen accepted. However, unbeknownst to Karen and her family, Lewis was suffering from an unspecified serious mental health issue. As the week continued it became clear that Lewis was ill as he became violent towards a college friend, Ellie, and his English literature tutor, Sia, as well as frightening Imogen and Jack with his behaviour and behaving strangely towards his younger brother Ned. However, as he covered his tracks very easily, he was able to conceal what was happening, leading each of the characters to believe they were imagining the situation. When Ellie confided in Sia that Lewis had attempted to attack her in the Hollins' kitchen with a carving knife, she informed Karen's colleague, Dr. Simon Bond, and later went round to the Hollins' house to inform Lewis that she would be telling the police about his actions. However, Lewis denied his attack, and as there was no evidence and Ellie would not talk to the police, nothing could be done. Overnight, Sia's office was torched, and the next day Jack Hollins, who had been persuaded by Lewis that Sia was persecuting him, led a rebellion against the teacher, calling for her dismissal. When Lewis' strange behaviour caused her to realise something was wrong, Imogen tried to warn her mother, father & brother, but they ignored her. Jack was the second member of the family to notice Lewis' strange behaviour, but didn't say anything. Then Karen noticed a knife mark in her kitchen table, immediately realising it corresponded with the mark that would have been left by his alleged attack on Ellie. However, she did not act on this. Meanwhile, Rob Hollins informed his son that the police would be keeping an eye on Lewis, as his name had been mentioned too many times for them to be comfortable. The storyline culminated when Imogen then realised that her art project, containing photos of each of the victims of gun crime in the last year was tampered with, with the addition of photos of Jack, Sia and Ellie. She told her mum, who came home and then attempted to contact Jack and her husband. However, Jack had been called to an 'interview' at the University and did not answer his phone. After confirming with the University that there was no such interview, Karen drove there, trying to find Jack. She stumbled across Jack, Ellie, Sia and Ned, Lewis' younger brother, in the same room. All of them had been given a different, false, reason to go to the room at that time. Lewis then arrived with a machine gun and held all the persons present hostage, shooting Sia. Karen tried to talk Lewis out of killing them all, which prompted him to break down, stating that he had not intended her to be there with the rest of the hostages. Karen's husband, Rob entered the building with a colleague and Dr. Simon Bond. Simon stayed to help the injured Sia while Rob went to call backup. After talking again with Karen and Jack, Lewis shot the gun into the air and Ellie screamed, causing Rob to came running back up and charge in, disarming Lewis. Ned took hold of the gun but then handed it over to Karen. However, Lewis was then shot from long-distance by a police sniper. Lewis was killed and Rob was reprimanded for acting unprofessionally and endangering the operation. Karen, Rob, Jack & Immie all burnt Immie's art work the following day.
On 1 February 2010, Imogen, Karen's daughter, met a girl called Elise Stone at school. They were very close and eventually they kissed. Later that evening Imogen told Karen that she was a lesbian, Karen was extremely shocked and dropped the chicken, that she was holding, on the floor. After a while of being confused and experimenting, Imogen decided that she wasn't a lesbian and that it was just a phase. Karen supported Imogen throughout this confusing time. On 16 December 2010, after feeling ill, Karen confronted colleague, Dr Zara Carmichael about her symptoms. After worrying and having some tests Karen found out that she was pregnant and she conceived early in the month. It is unknown what Karen does over the Christmas break, but on 17 December at the Christmas party, she refuses Champagne. She told Rob that she was pregnant and they had a row. Firstly, Rob accused Karen of having an affair as he had a vasectomy in 2005, then he told Karen to have an abortion. Karen then kicked Rob out and after spending the night with Jack at University and then he went to a B & B, telling Imogen that he was staying with PC colleague, Brian. It was revealed that Karen became pregnant in about 1995, two years after giving birth to Imogen. She had a miscarriage, it was a baby girl. On 1 February 2011, Karen went for her abortion. After Imogen told her she couldn't go, as she felt uncomfortable, Jack confronted Imogen to tell her neither did he want to attend. Jack told his dad and Rob had the day off work and turned up at the clinic. Karen revealed that her daughter, who she miscarried in 1995, would have been born on 29 May and this child would have been born on 23 August. Karen also revealed that she is going to stay with her father and that when she returned she wanted Rob to leave as their marriage is over.
After Karen had stayed with her father for a while, she came back and told Rob she wanted to have another go at their marriage. After Rob saved her from a burning building, Rob came over for a romantic meal, which was constantly disrupted, however, Rob and Karen slept in the same bed that night. Even though Karen's friend Angie Briggs tried to get her to see other men, Karen refused and stuck by Rob. In Spring 2012, the Hollins family moved into their new home, left to Karen in her Great-great Aunt's will.
In 2013, Rob accidentally hit Karen with his car, causing her to suffer amnesia. She thereafter cannot remember anything after 1984 and believes she is 18, and acts accordingly. She leaves her husband and does not recognise her children.
Since her arrival in February 2009, Pearson has been praised at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 British Soap Awards. Along with co-star Chris Walker who plays her husband Rob, Pearson won the award for Best On-screen Partnership. In 2011, she was nominated for "Best Storyline" and "Best Single Episode" for her portrayal of Karen, going through her pregnancy and later abortion storyline. Furthermore, Pearson has been nominated for 'Best Comedy Performance' at the 2012 British Soap Awards. She will be up against; Tameka Empson (Kim Fox) of EastEnders, Joe Tracini (Dennis Savage) of Hollyoaks and Stephanie Cole (Sylvia Goodwin) from Coronation Street. Pearson is only the second ever Doctors star to be nominated for "Best Comedy Performance" award in the soaps history, Martha Howe-Douglas being nominated in 2007.