Former Hollyoaks star Gemma Atkinson was subjected to fatphobic comments following a re-run of classic episodes, the actress has revealed.
Gemma, who welcomed a child with Strictly Come Dancing's Gorka Marquez last year, revealed that viewers tuning in to Hollyoaks repeats had told her she was fat. Gemma made her debut as Lisa Hunter on the Channel 4 soap in 2001.
Speaking to Women's Health's Going For Goal podcast, Gemma recalled that some viewers had contacted her after Hollyoaks aired an old episode featuring her character for the soap's' 25th anniversary series.
"For Hollyoaks turning 25 years old, they've been re-running some episodes, and they've had a week of my episodes, and people have actually DM'd me," she said. "A guy DM'd me, and he said, 'Wow, I never realised at the time, but you were fat in Hollyoaks weren't you?'"
Gemma went on to say that she responded to the message, urging the person to think of their daughter.
"I went back to him and I said, 'Well, I was 15, so I was chubbier than what I am now, but please, please don't let your daughter think that that's your idea of fat. She will have problems for the rest of her life if that's the case'," she argued (via Sky News).
Hollyoaks aired its '00s throwback last week, repeating groundbreaking episodes that saw Lisa self-harm after discovering that her boyfriend Brian (Jonathan Le Billon) had been keeping secrets from her.
Speaking to Digital Spy about Lisa Hunter's brief return to screens, Gemma said she was "thrilled" to be a part of the show's re-run schedule.
"I think it'll be a lovely trip down memory lane," she said. "It's because of the show I'm where I am now so I'm thrilled Lisa is making an appearance again."
Hollyoaks@25 airs first-look episodes at 7pm on E4, with Channel 4 airing Monday through Fridays at 6.30pm.
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