|Portrayed by||Gemma Atkinson|
|First appearance||13 May 2001|
|Last appearance||13 December 2006|
|Introduced by||Jo Hallows|
|Book appearances||Hollyoaks: Seeing Red|
|Hollyoaks: Let Loose
Hollyoaks: In the City
Lisa Hunter is a fictional character from the long-running Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Gemma Atkinson. The character is noted for her storylines including bullying and self-harming. After her exit from Hollyoaks, Atkinson reprised the role twice in two spin-off series.
Actress Gemma Atkinson was cast in the role of Lisa, a member of the new Hunter family, in 2001. During 2004, Atkinson was reported to have been axed from the soap along with her on-screen family. Despite this, the character stayed onscreen until 2005, before making further appearances in spin-offs Hollyoaks: Let Loose and Hollyoaks: In the City.
Reports of the character's return arose in 2007, with Atkinson supposedly signing a £100,000 a year deal with the show. This was eventually denied by a spokeswoman for the show, who told Digital Spy:"There are no current plans for Gemma Atkinson to return to Hollyoaks in the foreseeable future." Hollyoaks series producer at that time, Bryan Kirkwood, also commented on the speculation of her return: "Gemma's a real star and I have chatted with her and her agent about the possibility of a future return. None of us feels that it's right at the moment but there's a chance it could happen in the future. There's nothing signed and nothing planned for the foreseeable future."
In 2010, Atkinson announced she desired to return to the soap for a guest stint, she said: "I've not been asked to, but I'd love to go back for a few episodes. In the show, one brother has died, my sister is in France and the older brother is now in Emmerdale, so I don't know how they would introduce Lisa back." However, several weeks after Atkinson's statement, it was announced that Alex Carter, who played Lisa's brother Lee, would return to the show later in 2010. In an interview following his return, Carter was asked whether he would like Atkinson to return, to which he said: "Yeah! I don't know if she will and I haven't spoken to her for a long time — I went to her birthday a couple of years ago and I've not spoken to her since. But yeah, why not? Get them all back! It'd be good to see Lisa, wouldn't it?" The serial offered her a 12 month contract for her return, but she turned it down because she didn't want to become "stuck in a rut".
After her departure from the Hollyoaks show, Atkinson and Marcus Patrick (Ben Davies) signed to appear in spin-off Hollyoaks: Let Loose, which saw the characters moving on with their lives following their departures from Hollyoaks village. The series received poor viewing figures and another series was not produced.
In 2006, details of a follow-up spin-off, Hollyoaks: In the City, were announced. Several other characters were cast from actors including Philip Olivier, Leon Lopez, Oliver Lee and Kym Marsh. The series, which followed Ben and Lisa to Liverpool, was aired on Channel 4 sister channel E4 during August to December 2006. Despite fair ratings, the series was axed by E4 in December 2006. However, the character of Lisa was left open for a possible return.
Lisa becomes popular at school, much to the dislike of jealous Steph Dean, who then begins to bully her. Sick of the bullying and after some family problems, Lisa turns to self-harming. Lisa keeps her secret from everyone until Brian Drake finds the cuts on her arms and legs and assumes she is being abused and calls a social worker. Lisa then admits to self harming. She beings to see a counsellor and her life slowly returns to normal. Lisa begins a relationship with Brian, however she becomes rather reliant on his help when family troubles get her down. The pair split up just before their exams start. Cameron Clark arrives and immediately takes a shine to Lisa. Eventually the pair start a relationship. Lisa starts to get threatening text messages from a mysterious stalker. Her friends assume it is Steph due to the bullying and her jealousy over Lisa's relationship with Cameron. Lisa's stalker is revealed to be her jealous ex-boyfriend Brian, who blames her for his exam failure. Cameron and Lisa lose their virginity to each other, but break up. Lisa briefly dates Kristian Hargreaves, however it does not last.
Meanwhile, Steph resumes her relentless bullying of Lisa after discovering that her brother-in-law, serial killer Toby Mills, was responsible for an attack that nearly cost Steph her life and left her with epilepsy, which pushes Lisa closer to the edge once again. However, after Steph unleashes a cruel and vicious physical attack on a tearful Lisa outside the 'Drive 'n' Buy, Steph's father Johnno Dean comes to the rescue. After pulling Steph off her victim, Johnno publicly reprimands Steph for her behaviour and orders her to leave Lisa alone. The two reconcile later on, and Steph apologises to Lisa for her constant bullying. After the death of her brother Dan, Lisa becomes more confident and is determined to enjoy life to the fullest. She begins to go off the rails and has an affair with Dan's friend, Jake Dean, which ends up with him contracting an STD. Lisa decides she wants to be with Jake, however he tells her he loves his girlfriend Becca Dean. Jake confesses his affair to Becca, who then ends her friendship with Lisa. Lisa then turns her affections to Ben Davies, which angers his girlfriend Louise Summers. Ben leaves Louise for Lisa and the pair decide to leave the village together.
After their departure from Hollyoaks, Ben and Lisa start a new life. Cracks begin to show in the relationship as Ben cheats and Lisa ends up self-harming again. Lisa plans to move to Cyprus, leaving Ben, however he stops her and convinces her to give their relationship another chance. In Hollyoaks: In the City, Ben and Lisa return from a holiday to Liverpool, where Lisa begins working as a receptionist and a model. Ben buys a bar and the pair move in with his friend Tank-Top. Yet again Lisa and Ben's relationship struggles as they both cheat. Lisa is kidnapped and, whilst trying to escape, shoots Ben, supposedly killing him.
In 2002, Gemma Atkinson was nominated for Best Actress, Sexiest Female and Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards for her portrayal of Lisa. Atkinson was again nominated for 'Best Actress' in the 2003 awards and also for the award of Best Dramatic Performance From a Young Actor or Actress in the 2004 British Soap Awards.
Virgin Media profiled some of Hollyoaks' "hottest females" in their opinion, of Lisa they stated: "Lisa Hunter transformed from a bullied teenager into the ultimate sexpot overnight. With two steamy affairs under her belt, Lisa eventually left the village with Ben Davies – we bet Ronaldo was mega jeals!" They have also described Lisa as having an "intense personality" and credit "her parents' tumultuous relationship, a missing sister, her affair with an engaged man and her self-harming" have caused Lisa to have an extremely troubled life.
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- Kris Green and Dave West (15 May 2007). "Hollyoaks deny Gemma Atkinson return". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Green, Kris (12 October 2007). "Bryan Kirkwood, Hollyoaks Producer". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (26 February 2010). "Gemma Atkinson wants Hollyoaks return". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Green, Kris (15 March 2010). "Exclusive: Alex Carter returns to Hollyoaks". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (17 August 2010). "More from 'Oaks returnee Alex Carter". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (23 March 2011). "Gemma Atkinson 'turned down Hollyoaks'". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- Wilkes, Neil (19 August 2005). "More details on Hollyoaks spin-off revealed". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Green, Kris (6 March 2006). "Hollyoaks: In the City". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Green, Kris (7 April 2006). "Hollyoaks: In the City line-up revealed". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Green, Kris (2 December 2006). "E4 axes Hollyoaks: In the City". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Welsh, James (16 May 2002). "British Soap Awards 2002: Nominations". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- "2003 UK Soap Awards". Memorable TV. (Little Acorns Publishing). 2003. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- "British Soap Awards nominations". CBBC, Newsround. (British Broadcasting Corporation). 8 May 2004. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- "Lisa Hunter (Gemma Atkinson) – Hollyoaks hall of babes". Virginmedia.com. (Virgin Media Inc.). Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- "Hollyoaks: Who's Who?". Virginmedia.com. (Virgin Media Inc.). 26 January 2007. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- Character profile at Hollyoaks.com