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|Portrayed by||Sonny Flood|
|First appearance||3 October 2005|
|Last appearance||31 August 2012|
|Introduced by||David Hanson (2005)
Emma Smithwick (2012)
Joshua "Josh" Ashworth is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Sonny Flood. He debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 3 October 2005 and left on 14 July 2010, after his character was axed by executive producer Paul Marquess. Josh's storylines have included attempted murder, underage sex, drugs, drinking and joyriding. Flood returned to filming as Josh for 3 episodes airing in May and August 2012.
Josh was created in 2005 by David Hanson and Sonny Flood secured the role. In early 2010, it was announced that Allan had stepped down from the position of executive producer and that Paul Marquess had taken over the role. It was soon revealed that Marquess planned to give Hollyoaks a "shake up", changing the productions team and beginning a cast cull by axing the entire remaining Ashworth family apart from Rhys Ashworth (Andrew Moss). The move was part of his reinvention of the serial and clearing out the "deadwood". Marquess later revealed he axed the Ashworths because he believed The Dog should have a lively family at the heart of it, that the Ashworths had become grim because of their hard hitting storylines.
In May 2012 it was announced that Flood returned to filming for two episodes. Josh will be involved in a storyline alongside the characters of Michaela McQueen (Hollie-Jay Bowes) and Amy Barnes (Ashley Slanina-Davies).
After arriving in the village, Josh and Hannah had a fight over who got the biggest bedroom. Their parents decided to let them sort it out for themselves and a race was on to reach the biggest room. However, older brother Rhys had already moved his stuff in and told his siblings that he would need the room for when his best mate Gilly Roach came to stay. Josh and his cousin Fletch then started a tour in the woods to see the "Hollyoaks Beast". When his older sister, Hannah, discovered what he was doing, she and her two best friends, Sarah and Nancy, played a trick on Josh and Fletch by pretending to be the "real" beast. Josh and Fletch became rather frightened and Josh started to give a speech about how he would miss his sister and that he should have been nicer to her. He was surprised to discover that Hannah was playing the joke. Josh and Fletch tried to get on the Year 12 "Fit List". However, Josh was tricked by Sarah, Amy Barnes, and Michaela McQueen into stripping off in front of a class that was full of students. Josh and Fletch got their revenge on Hannah, Sarah and Nancy by doing an interview with the girls and editing the material to make it look as if their answers were embarrassing. Josh and Fletch made the interview available for the whole school tohear; the three females got their revenge by stealing Josh's childhood toys and putting them on display. Josh decided to end the war; he and Hannah formed a truce. Around Christmas 2005, Josh's Grampa Bill came to temporarily stay with the family. Josh managed to persuade his parents to let Fletch spend Christmas with them. The two friends never get on well with Gramps (though Gramps adores Hannah), and the pair found out that Bill had won some money on the horses. They managed to persuade Grampa Bill to buy some new clothes, but only on the condition that they got the clothes from the charity shops. Bill was unimpressed with any of the clothes and Josh told Fletch that Gramps was past it and there wasn't much point him spending his money as he wouldn't be around to enjoy it. Upon hearing this Bill made a bet with his two grandchildren on the day they thought he would die.
Rhys and Gilly Roach also made a bet and Grampa choice the day he would die as Christmas Day. A few days before Christmas Bill found his war medals missing and blamed Gilly. Eventually he found out that Josh and Fletch had taken them to frame for his Christmas present. Gramps apologised to Gilly and the whole family ate their Christmas lunch together. After lunch the family noticed Grampa Bill wasn't breathing and Josh, Fletch, Hannah, Rhys, Gilly, Suzanne and Neville all stood round Bill assuming him to be dead. He sprung awake and asked Josh, Fletch, Rhys and Gilly for the money he had just won for the bet they had made. Months then passed and Neville forced a reluctant Josh to visit his Grampa in his rest home along with Fletch. When Josh and Fletch saw how sad and lonely his Grampa was in his rest home. Josh then tried to tell his parents about Bill, but his dad was busy with work as he had to make some staff changes at Price Slice while Suzanne was busy with the family. Josh and Fletch managed to persuade Grampa to leave his home and the pair sneaked him into the Ashworth house. A few days passed and eventually Grampa was found by Suzanne, she called a family meeting with the rest of the family and had a vote as to whether or not Gramps could stay in the house. Suzanne was out voted as Grampa Bill had bribed his grandchildren to get them to vote his way. At school Josh and Fletch were confronted by Ste Hay and Wayne Tunnicliffe, who told Josh that they fancied his sister Hannah. They asked Josh and Fletch to hang out with them after school and be in their gang. They encouraged the two cousins to smash up cars before Ste asked Josh if he and Wayne could come by his house to meet Hannah.
The first time they came round Neville asked them to leave but Wayne recognised Neville from working at Price Slice (with his sister) and Neville gave the two lads a lecture in how he manages the supermarket. After going round to the Ashworths' house a few more times Ste and Wayne were bored of Hannah always being at either Sarah or Nancy's houses. Things were looking bleak at the Ashworth House after Neville was fired from Price Slice after refusing to fire a long term employee, to save the shareholders of Price Slice's money. This meant that Suzanne had to do extra shifts for her job as a nurse at the local hospital. Neville wanted to buy the local shop, Drive 'N' Buy after it was put up for sale by the owner Max Cunningham, but the family couldn't afford the shop. Grampa Bill decided to give his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren their inheritance as he wanted to be around to see them enjoy it. Hannah and Rhys were going to spend their share on a holiday while Josh wanted to buy a new mountain bike, but Neville realised that his share alone would not be able to buy Drive 'N' Buy. He asked the family to but all their shares together but they all refused. Grampa Bill, with help from Fletch, managed to persuade Hannah and Rhys to do the right thing (using emotional blackmail). Josh was then told by Fletch that it would pay off for him in the long run and that if he did not do the right thing Neville would have to get a 9 to 5 job and Suzanne would have to carry on doing extra shifts and Josh would never see them, just like Fletch's own parents. This along with a little nudge from Hannah and Grampa Bill, persuaded Josh to give up his share. Though Josh did ask if he could keep a bit of his money. Josh tried again to be cool with Ste, so he copied an adult video for Ste, who had just got back with Amy Barnes. Ste asked if he could go to the Ashworths' house to get it, so he, Amy, Josh and Fletch went round there and Ste noticed Neville had left his car keys on show. Ste then took the boys and Amy for a joyride in Neville's car before bringing it back again. He, Fletch, Michaela and Amy were walking home from school when Ste pulled up in a stolen BMW. Ste told them all to get in the car and he drove the car across town. The police started chasing them but Ste lost them and told the others to get out of the car while he ditched it. In school he and Fletch overheard Amy, Michaela and Ste planning to skip school and go joyriding again. Amy wanted to stir a situation between Ste and the two cousins by telling Ste that Josh and Fletch criticised his driving. Ste told the two that they should come with them so he could prove how great a driver he was, but Fletch refused and Josh hesitated. Ste and the girls went and left them behind.
While walking home from school that day they found Ste and the two girls waiting for them. Ste threatened them with a beating if they didn't get in the car. Josh was easier to persuade then Fletch who only went along because Josh was going. Josh wanted Ste to think he was cool and bought him and the others some beer. Ste's plan was to prove to the two cousins that he was an experienced driver by speeding and swerving on the road and trying to frighten them before leaving them stranded in the countryside. While driving dangerously down the road he turned around to ask Josh and Fletch, "How's my driving?" and took his eyes of the road. The others in the car shouted to him to watch the road. Ste turned around just in time to see a divider in the road; he swerved to avoid it and ended up crashing the car. Ste ran off after leaving Josh, Fletch and Michaela with an injured Amy, who had not been wearing a seatbelt. Ste told the others to keep quiet about him otherwise he would kill them all. Josh and Fletch were arrested at the scene and spent the night in a police cell, while Michaela went to the hospital with Amy. Days passed and Josh, Fletch, Amy and Michaela were convicted for joyriding and sentenced to community service. A few days later Josh and Fletch ran into Ste who was hiding in the village and along with Michaela's brother John Paul managed to hand Ste over to PC Calvin Valentine. A few months later Josh was partnered, for a school assignment, with Amy. The two got on well together during the assignment and Josh took the risk of asking Amy out: to his joy she said yes. Josh doesn't know that Amy is seven months pregnant (though neither Josh nor Ste is the father), or that Amy is only dating Josh as he is a good laugh and is a distraction from her current problem (which was also the reason she went joyriding with Ste and Michaela).
Josh's mum, Suzanne Ashworth, who was a nurse at the hospital at and was attending to Amy, knows of her pregnancy, she told Amy to stay away from her son. So Amy then broke up with Josh and he started moping around the house until his brother Rhys and Rhys's best mate Gilly Roach suggested he write down his heartbreak into a song. This gave Josh an idea and he wrote Amy a song called "I'm in Love". He persuaded Fletch to record the music and together they sang the song at his sister, Hannah's 18th Birthday party. Amy ran out embarrassed because she did not want the school to know she was dating Josh, but she did admit to Josh (who had run out after her, leaving Fletch to sing the song by himself) that she thought it was sweet of him to create a song for her and the two then got back together. After getting back with Amy, Josh invited her round to his house. Rhys gave Josh a condom and told him that girls like a man who is experienced and in control. When Amy came over the two started kissing and Josh tried to take things further but Amy became cross and Josh realised he had done the wrong thing and apologised. They then started talking about the future and Josh asked Amy if she would be attending 6th form. Amy replied that she didn't know and Josh told her he'd be going. The two then started arm wrestling and playing about. The next day Josh noticed someone had dropped a necklace on the ground and gave it to Amy as a present and asked her out on a date, which she accepted. But later Rhys told Josh he'd have to look after the shop because his band had just got a gig. Josh closed the shop and set up a picnic as a surprise for Amy. She was about to tell him something - presumably that she was pregnant - but Frankie Osborne came into the shop to buy supplies for baby Charlie. A few weeks later Josh noticed Amy having stomach problems at school but she told him it was PMS and he invited her round to his house to use Suzanne's therapeutic pillow. He went to get some music for Amy but when he came back into the room he noticed Amy had left and there was a wet patch on his bed. Josh assumed she had wet herself because she hadn't been feeling well, but actually her waters had broken. Josh then phoned Amy on her mobile and left a message to tell her not to worry about the bed.
The following week Amy missed school and had her baby which she called Leah, while Josh was off sick because of the flu. When he recovered he and Fletch set up a party. Josh wanted to invite Amy, but could not find her. He did, however manage to invite Amy's best mate, Michaela. Amy tried texting him but he didn't receive any of her messages. Fletch gave Josh a condom and told him to get lucky with some other girls but Josh only wanted Amy. Amy later arrived with Michaela and started drinking heavily because of her problems with Leah. Josh went up to talk to her and Amy asked him why he did not answer her texts. She then asked him to go upstairs with her to his room and forced herself on him, but Josh did not want to take advantage of her in the drunken state she was in. Just then Michaela burst into his room and assumed Josh had tried to have sex with Amy while she was drunk. She took Amy home, leaving a confused Josh behind. The following day he tried to text and phone Amy to see if she was all right but she was busy dealing with a health visitor. Amy and Josh made up with each other, and started spending more time together, after reading Amy's diary her father Mike came to school and dragged Amy home, mistakenly believing that Josh was the father of baby Leah. He then dragged her to get the pill, despite Amy protests that she and Josh hadn't slept together and then banned them from seeing each other. Meanwhile, at school Amy's sister Sarah had a talk with Josh and believed him when he told her he hadn't slept with her sister. The following day at school Amy told Josh what had happened and they noticed Mike walking around school. They then decided to cut classes and Amy sold her bracelet and Josh his guitar so they could go on an expensive date together. Then they went to a party at Il Gnosh where Mike confronted Amy infont of everyone and dragged her home. The next day Josh went round to the Barnes' house, where the pair found Mike's home brew, and stole some, getting drunk as it was much stronger than they had believed it to be.
Mike burst in on them after they had been dancing and fallen on the bed, getting the wrong idea. He tried to kick Josh out the house and banned him from seeing Amy, but when he implied that Amy was a prostitute (because of getting pregnant, which Josh didn't know) Josh stood up to him for Amy, and as a result, Mike punched him in the face. Trying to hide his black eye from Suzanne, Josh almost managed it, but was found out when she came home from work. After letting slip it was Mr Barnes, his Mum stormed down to see him, and Josh followed her, trying to stop her. After a confrontation at Drive'N'Buy, Suzanne warned Amy to stay away from her son, and Mike dragged Amy away. They still continued to meet, and after references to Romeo and Juliet, they decided to meet in Amy's room, where Josh would climb through the window. They talked while lying on the bed, and Josh bought up the topic of Amy's new baby "sister" and that he didn't think the baby was Kathy's. When Amy asked him who he thought Leah belong to he suggested Sarah and let slip that he thought getting pregnant as a teenager was for stupid people. Amy retaliated, but before anything could happen, Mike came along, and Josh had to hide in the cupboard, hearing the hints Mike was dropping about Amy being Leah's mother. However, he can't have guessed, as they met the next day, this time at the Ashworth's house, where Rhys and Gilly caught them. After bargaining with Rhys, the two were free to go upstairs, as long as they didn't get caught. Josh recently hit girlfriend Amy's dad with a brick while defending himself (but it wasn't his fault!!). No one except Gilly, Rhys, Mike and Josh knew of this. Mike then gave Josh a choice, split up with Amy or he will report him for assault. Josh realised that either way he won't see Amy so in the end just as Amy is about to tell Josh the truth about Leah's parentage he dumps her. Wanting to be together Josh and Amy ran away together, but when they were robbed called Amy's sister Sarah for help. When she arrived she brought the police with her. Josh was arrested for the attack on Amy and Sarah's father Mike Barnes.
He was released on bail, after lying about his whereabouts. Mike Barnes later dropped the charges after an agreement with Josh's mum (Suzanne), which meant that she would not tell anyone about Amy being Leah's mother. At Amy's 16th birthday party, she revealed that Leah was not her sister, but her daughter. Josh didn't know about this, and was annoyed and upset that Amy had not told him this. He later found out that his mum, Suzanne, knew, as she had been Amy's nurse after the joyriding incident. He was annoyed about this, although he later appeared to have forgiven her for not telling him about it, due to patient confidentiality. He later broke up with Amy as he felt he couldn't trust her anymore. When Josh came back late from France with Rhys, he found someone whom he loved known as Felicity, but she wanted nothing to do with him, leaving him really upset. Rhys comforted him, but Melissa said to "get over it", which led Rhys to throw her and Hannah out, causing Melissa to later collapse. Josh was deeply worried about Hannah after the truth of her bulimia was revealed. Josh thought he might be to blame, since he often slags her over her weight. When Hannah and Melissa tried to run away, Josh found them and, out of concern for Hannah, called out for Suzanne. He tried to get Hannah to tell them what they had done wrong but was interrupted by Melissa's heart attack. When Hannah's condition continued to worsen, Josh got more and more frustrated because no one was dealing with the situation. He finally had enough with Suzanne and Rhys's arguing, and out of concern for Hannah, tried to force feed her a cream cake, before collapsing in tears after Rhys managed to pull him off her. Josh is in tears over his lack of family's support over Hannah's eating disorder and is spotted by Amy in the park. At first she is apprehensive about seeing him warning him not to speak to her, but she soon realises he is upset and consoles him. He confides in her about his problems and they nearly kiss, but are interrupted by the arrival of Amy's sister Sarah. After Hannah has been sent to hospital, Amy bumps into Josh again where he confides Hannah's situation to her and the two agree to meet up later the next day. Problem was that while Amy was waiting for Josh he was comforting his mum over Hannah.
After Amy had waited a while, plus phoned Josh's mobile but he did not answer, she crashed into Ste. She went with Ste to his squat so by the time Josh went over to see Amy she was already gone. He wrote her a note and left it on her doorstep but she didn't notice it as she went inside her home and the note blew away. Amy then began a relationship with Ste, but it ended after Ste began to abuse Amy. Josh enters the reformed Baby Diegos (minus Amy) in the battle of the bands but disaster strikes when Fletch turns up stoned and plays Amy Josh Forever, much to their embarrassment. He claims to be drunk, but Michaela finds heroin in his bag and confronts him with it. However, this backfires and ends with everyone thinking the drugs are hers. Josh later talks to Fletch, telling him he will help if Fletch admits to taking the heroin. Fletch still refuses and Josh walks away from him, possibly forever. He tries to continue the band with just him and Michaela, but when at his house for practise, she spots Rhys and Beth kissing. She spends the next day desperately trying to avoid him, but when he confronts her she admits all to him. Later, Josh confronts Rhys and Beth with the rumours, and despite their suspicious behaviour he believes their denial and sends Michaela packing. He is now friendless. It is now apparent that Michaela and Josh are now friends again after finding out that Beth and Rhys were lying about not being together. On 2 April Michaela receives a letter informing her of her HIV test, but she was worried and did not want to go, although after a small confrontation with Josh, he decided to attend with her and found out she had the all clear. After Amy breaks up with Ste they once again become close. In the end, Amy asks Josh to take her to an abortion clinic, which he agrees to do. However, Amy then reveals that Ste was never the father of Leah and Josh runs out. Amy comes to apologise, and tells him that he wants them to get back together. She then tells him to shut his eyes and she kisses him with her hands cupped like antlers (she once kissed him years ago when she was wearing fake antlers).
Josh remembers, and they get back together. After Ste taunts Josh, Josh reveals that Amy asked him to go to the abortion clinic with her. Ste tries to convince Amy not to have the abortion, but she admits that she does not want to go through with the abortion anyway. Ste tries to win her back, but she tells him to stay away from her and her baby, and that she is now with Josh. Although angry with Josh for revealing her secret about the abortion, they get back together while a gutted Ste demolishes his flat. During Hollyoaks Later, he along with Amy, Sasha and Micheala performed in Liverpool, where they met the Saturdays. During the episodes he offended Sasha calling her a druggie and made Amy play drums to hide the fact that she is pregnant. After this he was offered a record label but they only wanted him so he turned it down, in order to stay with Amy and become her birth partner. In early 2009, Rhys became annoyed because Josh does not spend time with him anymore and is constantly with Amy. He occasionally stays over with her. However, their relationship is suffering a little bit because he is spending a lot of time doing band stuff and is beginning to neglect her. Ste sees this as an opportunity to get back with Amy. Josh then meets a lesbian called Lydia who Amy doesn't like, prompting them to have an argument. After Amy gives birth she runs away telling Josh its over. In April 2009, after Josh and Amy broke up Rhys tried to cheer him up by proposing to make a new band for them to play in. A few days later they tried to get a demo CD on the student radio station but Kris Fisher asked them if they could play live instead. It was then that they realised their band didn't have a name so Kris gave them the name The Somethings. After that Kris became the bands agent and said they needed a female lead singer and so put a competition called Voice Idol on the student radio he runs, where women send in voice clips of them singing then the band decided which on they liked the best. However, the one they wanted had sent in their voice clip anonymously. Later that week they were in Kris's flat talking when they heard singing coming from one of the bedrooms which was just like the singing from the voice clip. They believed it Zoe but it actually turned out to be Hayley Ramsey.
Hayley then became their lead singer but not after Rhys made a fuss and tried to put up Lydia as the lead singer who turned out to be a not very good singer. After a lot of complaints and comments about Hayley being in a wheelchair and them losing fans because of that, Hayley gave Josh an ultimatum ; he kicks Rhys out or she leaves. Though Josh felt very guilty about it he kicked Rhys out remarking that they can replace a drummer much more easily than they could replace singer like Hayley. Lydia became the drummer for the something however things did not work out because Lydia had other commitments Josh re appointed Rhys as the new drummer much to Hayleys dismay. Hayley and Rhys spent most of their time arguing until they left alone one rehearsal and ended up kissing, They soon became a couple. The band however later collapsed because Josh sacked Haley because she couldn't dance due to her being in a wheelchair and Micheala became the new lead singer no one would sign them because of Josh's bigotry. In Hollyoaks: The Morning After The Night Before, which followed Josh going to Manchester with Dave Colburn. He was introduced to Dave's friends Gabby and Pippa and fell for guitar playing Ruby, however ended up sleeping with Gabby. Josh discovered Gabby had given him pubic lice. Gilly Roach and Sasha Valentine also turned up to party in Manchester. Eventually, Josh and Gilly got into a fight which led to Gilly falling down stairs and losing his teeth. Josh then drunkenly slept with Sasha after she had a fight with Gabby the next day Sasha refuses to talk to him and Rhys comes to take Josh home. Once back in Hollyoaks Sasha and Josh make up before she goes to visit her brother Sonny. Josh and Rhys's girlfriend Hayley spent the day together devising pub quiz questions, and, after drinking some wine, they shared a brief kiss but Josh pulled away quickly, asking "What are we doing?". Cheryl Brady walked in at the same time and agreed with the statement. Hayley was prepared to dump Rhys for Josh but Josh felt guilty when his brother spoke about how much he liked her. Hayley still dumped Rhys and was jealous when Josh flirted with new student India Longford.
Rhys and Hayley rekindle shortly and when Josh appeared to be jealous, Hayley dumped Rhys for a second time. Josh then began to develop feelings for India and after sharing a kiss at the students Christmas party, they started going out. During a night out at the loft, Rhys spikes Josh's orange juice with vodka. Josh and India decide to move on to another party along with Dave and Sasha, however Josh, unaware that his drink has been spiked, badly crashes the car. India is left unconscious by the crash and is rushed to hospital fighting for her life as Josh is arrested by the police for drink driving. Josh got a suspended sentence, his license revoked, and for 6 months he is instructed to go to AA meetings. Josh is forced to live with Ste and Amy while everyone turns their backs on him. When Suzanne realises how messed up he is she insists he moves back home which causes arguments with Neville who has disowned him. On one occasion on Suzanne's birthday dinner, Josh refuses to do as Neville tells him and this led Josh to punch him. As a consequence, Neville decides that Josh needs to learn some discipline, so decides to report him to the police, much to everyone disbelief. Josh crashes another car whilst drunk, Neville refuses to visit him in hospital but he eventually has a change of heart and has a heart to heart with Josh. India, Dave and Charlotte also forgive him when they find out he is in hospital. Josh was sentenced to prison for his second drink driving offence. When Josh is released from prison he is shocked to find his family living apart due to his mother Suzanne's affair with Darren Osborne which Neville blames Josh for. Suzanne eventually got Neville to forgive her on the condition they emigrate to Spain. Neville also reveals that Josh is not invited to come. The guilt eventually becomes too much for Rhys who confesses to spiking Josh's drink. After some initial anger Josh decides to forgive Rhys as he'll always have to live with the guilt. Neville and Suzanne agree to take Josh with them to Spain. Two years later Josh goes for a drink with Amy, Michaela McQueen and Leanne Holiday (Jessica Forrest). He reveals that he is engaged to someone, has a new flat and studying a new university course. He offers Amy relationship advice and then goes. Josh returned on 31 August 2012 for the departure of Michaela and left with her to go touring. It was also revealed in December, that Josh is unable to return for his brother Rhys' funeral as he is in Thailand with Michaela and cannot get a flight back.
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