Inside Hollyoaks Rachel Adedeji life – soap exit, racism row and pop star fame

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Hollyoaks fans were left on the edge of their seats last year when Lisa Loveday was brutally murdered by her cousin Toby Faroe.

The 30-year-old actress quit her role in the Channel 4 soap in 2020 but it wasn't her first taste of fame.

She appeared on ITV singing competition X Factor back in 2009 and finished ninth place.

She joined the cast of Hollyoaks in 2016 and took centre stage in several gripping storylines.

In June 2020, it was announced that Rachel had decided to leave the programme, with her final scenes airing later in the year.

As Lisa's murder is set to be revisited in upcoming scenes, Daily Star has a look at Rachel's transformation from pop star to soap actress.

Pop stardom

Most fans may be surprised to learn that aspiring singer Rachel appeared on two series of The X Factor in a bid to catch the winning eye of the public.

The amazing vocalist sang alongside the likes of JLS, Diana Vickers and winner Alexandra Burke and reached the bootcamp final 50 stage, narrowly missing out on a spot at judges' houses.

Undeterred, the star applied yet again the following year and made it to the live shows.

Unfortunately Rachel found herself in the bottom two three times and hard-to-impress judge Simon Cowell ultimately told the star he didn't think she had a connection with the audience.

In week four Rachel sang "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" against Lloyd Daniels, and with Rachel receiving the lowest number of votes she was kicked out of the competition finishing 9th overall.

Rachel had a single due out in April 2011, named "Follow the DJ". The music video for the single premiered on 18 December 2010, but the single was never released.

Soap exit

Leaving her pop star dreams behind her, Rachel put down her microphone and decided to switch gears and pursue a career as a soap star.

She landed the role of Lisa Loveday – the long-lost daughter of Simone Loveday and Louis Loveday on British telly favourite Hollyoaks.

She made her on-screen debut in April 2016 and was longlisted for Best Actress at The British Soap Awards in 2017.

Adedeji was also longlisted for Sexiest Female at the Inside Soap Awards however she did not progress to the viewer-voted shortlist.

She later announced that she was expecting her first child and would take maternity leave, returning to the programme in 2018.

Four years after joining the programme, Rachel announced she was quitting show, with her last scenes airing in October of this year

Throughout her career, Rachel has also appeared on Lorraine on ITV and played Mary Magdalene in Bill Kentwright's touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Elsewhere, the star has also appeared in one episode of medical drama Doctors In October 2021, Adedeji also portrayed the role of April Lewin in an episode of the BBC soap opera Doctors.

Family life

Rachel tied the knot with her partner Jason Finegan back in 2015 in Buckinghamshire and took to her Twitter page just before she walked down the aisle to thank people for their wishes.

She wrote at the time: 'Can't believe the day is finally here. In the next few hours I'll be a blushing bride. Thank you to everyone for your wishes. Xx.'

The happy couple celebrated the big day with a honeymoon in Indonesia and welcomed baby Adedeji-Finegan just a week before Christmas in 2017.

She revealed at the time: “I feel ready to be a mummy,' while Jason added: 'We are both really excited, nervous of course but we both feel ready. A Christmas baby!'

Racism row

Hollyoaks was embroiled in a racism scandal in June 2020 after actress Rachel hit out at the Channel 4 show's Black Lives Matter social media post and podcast.

Hollyoaks went silent for 24 hours on its platforms in response to the death of George Floyd in the US.

Rachel, 30, claimed the programme's stance was “performative and disingenuous” and said “systematic changes must be put into practice".

She made a series of shocking allegations about incidents backstage, including the lack of diversity in the directing team and shocking slurs from a senior member of production, that were backed up by other members of the cast.

The soap launched an investigation to deal with any racism, releasing a statement saying: “Hollyoaks has been deeply shocked and saddened by issues that have been brought to our attention over the weekend.

“Lime Pictures strives to have zero tolerance of racism or any form of discrimination across all of its shows but it is clear we have further work to do.”

Rachel decided to quit the soap after four years playing Lisa Loveday.

Rachel's spokesman insisted that “It had always been our intention for Rachel to leave the show after a period of time.

“She loved her time on Hollyoaks and the exit storyline was openly discussed with the producers and her together, in a collaborative format”

Hollyoaks airs weekdays on Channel 4 at 6.30pm followed by first look episodes on E4 at 7pm

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  • Hollyoaks
  • X Factor

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