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Hollyoaks praised as they cast one of first autistic characters in mainstream role on British TV

Hollyoaks has been flooded with praise after casting an autistic actress for a mainstream role.

The Channel 4 soap has hired actress, Talia Grant, to play new character, Brooke Hathaway, who will enter the soap later this year.

It is thought that Talia – who is daughter of TV presenter Carrie Grant – is one of the first actresses with high functioning autism to land a full time role on British television.

Talia's character will be fostered by the Osbornes [Lime Pictures]

Brooke will find herself in Hollyoaks village after being fostered by the Osbornes, and she looks set to quickly cross paths with the rest of the youngsters on the square, including Imran Maalik and Ollie Morgan.

Talia bagged the part after Lime Pictures advertised for an autistic actress recently with an open casting call.

They also worked with The National Autistic Society in order to research Brooke's character, in order to ensure they portrayed her accurately.

Hollyoaks spoilers: Ollie Morgan is involved in rape storylineTalia will cross paths with Ollie Morgan when at Hollyoaks High [channel 4]

Following the news, fans rushed to raise the soap for their new hire, claiming the move was a "step forward" for British television.

"@Hollyoaks I’m an autistic fan & over the moon to hear you’ve cast an autistic actress to play an autistic character," one fan tweeted.

While another agreed: "Such good news! I don't watch Hollyoaks, but I'm happy for any soap to include autism in there show because I think a lot of people will be surprised at the way an autistic person thinks and feels about everyday things in life and will hopefully have more understanding of it".

Talia Grant said she is excited to join the castTalia Grant said she is excited to join the cast [Instagram / Talia Grant]

Talia Grant will be joining Hollyoaks later this yearTalia Grant will be joining Hollyoaks later this year [Instagram / Talia Grant]

A third fan claimed they were "overjoyed" for the actress, while another gushed about the "amazing news".

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Speaking about her new role, Talia said: "I am so excited to be joining Hollyoaks. I have met some of the cast and being on set was fun and everyone was super-nice and made me feel welcome.

"For a long while, there has been no representation on screen of autistic women – especially autistic women of colour. So I am really looking forward to developing the character of Brooke and representing something that perhaps people are unaware of."

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Scarlett Moffatt sports pretty patterned dress as she spends time with her family in Australia prior to I’m A Celeb’s Extra Camp hosting stint

Scarlett Moffatt is enjoying some downtime in Australia ahead of her presenting stint on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!'s Extra Camp.

Spending time with her family down under – whilst the contestants for this year's series continue to arrive in Oz – the 28 year old looked gorgeous as she stepped out with her younger sister and parents, Betty and Mark.

Opting for a pretty patterned number, the former Gogglebox star embraced the sunnier climates as she flashed her slim pins in the lightweight dress.

Going make-up free for the day, the former Queen of the Jungle scraped her hair back in a messy up-do whilst covering her eyes behind a pair of large sunglasses.

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Scarlett Moffatt spotted on an afternoon stroll near her hotel on the Gold Coast    Pictured:   Ref: SPL5041418 131118 NON-EXCLUSIVE  Picture by: Media-Mode / SplashNews.com    Splash News and Pictures  Los Angeles: 310-821-2666  New York: 212-619-2666  London: 0207 644 7656  Milan: 02 4399 8577  photodesk@splashnews.com    World Rights,   Scarlett was joined by her younger sister for the day [Splash]

The 28 year old is preparing to host Extra Camp during I'm A Celeb [Splash]

Laughing and chatting to her sister, Scarlett looked at home as she returned to the country following her last two years on the show as a contestant in 2016 and then a presenter in 2017.

Meanwhile, the gorgeous brunette has reunited with her co-hosts Joel Dommett and Joe Swash – sharing photos of themselves on set alongside the rest of the crew.

In an excited Instagram post to her 1.8 million followers, Scarlett also revealed a photo alongside iconic Medic Bob as she arrived in the jungle for Extra Camp.

She captioned the snap: “It’s official I’m in the jungle!! My medic bob is here #jungle #doctor #imacelebrity”, before fans flooded her Instagram with excited comments.

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Scarlett Moffatt spotted on an afternoon stroll near her hotel on the Gold Coast    Pictured:   Ref: SPL5041418 131118 NON-EXCLUSIVE  Picture by: Media-Mode / SplashNews.com    Splash News and Pictures  Los Angeles: 310-821-2666  New York: 212-619-2666  London: 0207 644 7656  Milan: 02 4399 8577  photodesk@splashnews.com    World Rights,   The former Gogglebox star touched down in Australia last week [Splash]

Scarlett looked gorgeous as she revealed her golden tan [Splash]

Scarlett Moffatt spotted on an afternoon stroll near her hotel on the Gold Coast    Pictured:   Ref: SPL5041418 131118 NON-EXCLUSIVE  Picture by: Media-Mode / SplashNews.com    Splash News and Pictures  Los Angeles: 310-821-2666  New York: 212-619-2666  London: 0207 644 7656  Milan: 02 4399 8577  photodesk@splashnews.com    World Rights,   Scarlett will present Extra Camp alongside Joe Swash and Joel Dommett [Splash]

Scarlett's appearance comes after she was pictured touching down in Oz just days before, alongside her mum Betty, dad, Mark and her younger sister.

And opening up on her return to the show last month, Scarlett revealed on This Morning: "I’m so excited to be back working with Joe and Joel for another year on Extra Camp, I absolutely adore them both.

"We have such a laugh doing the show together, I can’t wait to get back out there and meet our new celebrity jungle campmates.”

I'm A Celeb will start on Sunday 18 November on ITV – check out the confirmed line-up here.

STRICT EMBARGO - DO NOT USE BEFORE 00:01GMT TUESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2018 - Editorial Use Only  Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (9971714a)  Joel Dommett, Scarlett Moffatt and Joe Swash  'I'm a Celebrity: Extra Camp' TV Show, Series 18, Australia - Nov 2018Scarlett posed alongside her co-stars in the official promo photos [ITV]

Scarlett Moffatt, Joel Dommett, Joe SwashScarlett Moffatt, Joel Dommett, Joe Swash on the set of Extra Camp [Instagram]

Scarlett Moffatt reunited with I’m A Celebrity’s Medic BobScarlett's reunited with I’m A Celebrity’s Medic Bob [Scarlett Moffatt/ Instagram]

Scarlett Moffatt mumThe bubbly reality star flew to Oz with her family [Instagram]

Scarlett revealed her luxurious journey to Australia Scarlett enjoyed a glass of bubbly on the flight [Scarlett Moffatt/ Instagram]

From ITV Studios    I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!: SR18 on ITV    Pictured: John Barrowman MBE, Harry Redknapp, Rita Simons, Fleur East, James McVey, Sair Khan, Nick Knowles, Anne Hegerty, Malique Thompson-Dwyer and Emily Atack.    This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the trThe official I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! line-up has been confirmed [ITV]

STRICT EMBARGO - DO NOT USE BEFORE 00:01GMT TUESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2018 - Editorial Use Only  Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (9972231b)  Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby  'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!' TV Show, Series 18, Australia - Nov 2018Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby pose for their I'm A Celeb promo photo [ITV]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Holly Willoughby arrives at the Gold Coast Airport in Australia.  11.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry Holly touched down in Oz over the weekend [Tim Merry]

Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly enjoy a dinner out together in Australia    Pictured:   Ref: SPL5041010 111118 NON-EXCLUSIVE  Picture by: Media-Mode / SplashNews.com    Splash News and Pictures  Los Angeles: 310-821-2666  New York: 212-619-2666  London: 0207 644 7656  Milan: 02 4399 8577  photodesk@splashnews.com    World Rights,   Holly and Dec have been hanging out in Australia [Splash]

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I’m A Celebrity 2018 line-up: Celebs touch down in Australia ahead of the new series presented by Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly

I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestants have started arriving in Australia ahead of the new series next Sunday hosted by Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly.

Touching down in Oz after the 24 hour flight, a whole host of celebrities have been pictured at Brisbane airport as they prepare for their stint in the jungle.

Leading the arrivals was The X Factor star Fleur East, who was pictured pushing her trolly along with two large suitcases hours after Holly and Dec were snapped arriving in the country.

Next up was Hollyoaks actor Malique Thompson-Dwyer who looked calm and collected, shortly followed by DIY SOS star Nick Knowles.

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Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly posed in the jungle ahead of their TV debut together Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly posed in the jungle ahead of their TV debut together

Declan Donnelly makes dig at Ant McPartlin as he posts picture with Holly Willoughby

I'm A Celebrity 2018 line-up: Fleur East has landed in AustraliaFleur as pictured n Oz ahead of the new series [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Malique Thompson-Dwyer arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  12.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Hollyoaks actor Malique Thompson-Dwyer hopped off the plane in Australia [Tim Merry]

56 year old Nick looked all set for a stint in the jungle as he sported a green khaki cowboy hat as he walked through the terminal – avoiding speaking to anyone.

Coronation Street star Sair Khan has also been photographed at the same terminal, as has football legend Harry Redknapp.

The Vamps star James McVey beamed at the cameras as he hopped of the fight following rumours he was entering the jungle, whilst TV personality Anne Hegerty looked in high spirits.

And one of the last celebrities to touch down in Oz was EastEnders actress Rita Simons, who has less than a week to prepare for her jungle adventure alongside Emily Attack who looked despite the long flight.

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Meanwhile, 37 year old Holly and 43 year old Dec have been settling into life down under – heading out for dinner together alongside Dec's wife Ali Astall and other members of the I'm A Celeb family.

And Geordie star Dec couldn't help but make a playful dig at his best pal Ant McPartlin – who is taking a break from the show to focus on his recovery following rehab stint – as the show's new promotional pictures were revealed.

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Nick Knowles arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  12.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Nick Knowles touched down in Australia [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Nick Knowles arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  12.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Nick looked prepared for his I'm A Celeb stint [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Harry Redknapp arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  11.11.2018   Picture by Ni©Harry Redknapp arrived at Brisbane Airport over the weekend [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Sair Khan arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  12.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Sair Khan was pictured wit her suitcases at Brisbane Airport [Tim Merry]

Sharing the new promo photo on the official Ant and Dec Instagram, he wrote: "Ant’s looking well don’t you think!?"

Before adding: "I’m joking of course, Holly and I are looking forward to welcoming you to Australia next Sunday night. D."

In the shot, Holly looked sensational in a brown suede dress with buttons down the front, as she beamed while leaning on Dec's shoulder, while he sported a simple khaki shirt and black trousers.

I'm A Celeb will start on Sunday 18 November on ITV – check out the rest of the rumoured line-up here.

Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly posed in the jungle ahead of their TV debut togetherHolly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly posed in the jungle ahead of their TV debut together [ITV]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - James McVey arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  12.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©The Vamps star James McVey has landed in Oz [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - James McVey arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  12.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©James looked fresh despite the 24 hour flight [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Harry Redknapp arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  11.11.2018   Picture by Ni©Harry was pictured after the 24 hour flight [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Anne Hegerty arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  13.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Anne Hegerty waved at the camera on arrival [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Sair Khan arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  12.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Corrie actress Sair Khan looked in high spirits [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Rita Simons arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  13.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry © Rita Simons wheeled her suitcase through the airport [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Rita Simons arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  13.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©The Eastenders actress took off her sunnies for the waiting paps [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Emily Atack arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  13.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Emily Atack looked glam as she arrives at Brisbane Airport [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Emily Atack arrives at Brisbane Airport in Australia.  13.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry ©Emily sported a pair of large sunglasses after her 24-hour-flight [Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Holly Willoughby arrives at the Gold Coast Airport in Australia.  11.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry Holly Willoughby arrived at the Gold Coast Airport in Australia[Tim Merry]

Reach - Daily Star - Celebrity Get Me Out 2018 - Holly Willoughby arrives at the Gold Coast Airport in Australia.  11.11.2018   Picture by Tim Merry Holly waved at the cameras [Tim Merry]

I'm A Celebrity hosts, Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby hang out on their hotel balcony in Australia.  Dec, with his wife Ali Astall, had a laugh with the new co-host shortly after her arrival on the Gold Coast    Pictured:   Ref: SPL5040940 111118 NON-EXCLUSIVE  Picture by: Media-Mode / SplashNews.com    Splash News and Pictures  Los Angeles: 310-821-2666  New York: 212-619-2666  London: 0207 644 7656  Milan: 02 4399 8577  photodesk@splashnews.com    World Rights,   I'm A Celebrity hosts Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby hang out on their hotel balcony in Australia [Splash]

Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly enjoy a dinner out together in Australia    Pictured:   Ref: SPL5041010 111118 NON-EXCLUSIVE  Picture by: Media-Mode / SplashNews.com    Splash News and Pictures  Los Angeles: 310-821-2666  New York: 212-619-2666  London: 0207 644 7656  Milan: 02 4399 8577  photodesk@splashnews.com    World Rights,   Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly enjoy a dinner out together in Oz [Splash]

Scarlett Moffatt reunited with I’m A Celebrity’s Medic BobScarlett Moffatt reunited with I’m A Celebrity’s Medic Bob [Scarlett Moffatt/ Instagram]

Scarlett Moffatt, Joel Dommett, Joe SwashThe stars of Extra Camp Scarlett Moffatt, Joel Dommett, Joe Swash get to work [Instagram]

Joel DommettJoel Dommett posed on set [Instagram ]

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Ferne McCann reveals Sam Faiers did NOT attend Sunday’s first birthday – as she exclusively reveals why she wasn’t there despite burying feud

Ferne McCann recently threw a lavish first birthday party for her daughter Sunday, exclusively inviting OK! magazine to join them for their special day.

The former The Only Way Is Essex star also welcomed a whole host of her famous friends, including Liam Gatsby, Danielle Armstrong, James 'Arg' Argent and Mario Falcone – who attended alongside his fiancee Becky Meisner just days before she gave birth.

However, one star who was not in attendance was Sam Faiers, despite the pair recently claiming to have buried their feud on Billie Faiers' hen do.

Sam Faiers was not in attendance at the bash [Jeff Spicer/WireImage]

Explaining why The Mummy Diaries star did not make an appearance, Ferne told OK! magazine that there was a very good reason for her absence.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29:  Ferne McCann seen arriving at the Pride of Britain Awards at the Grosvenor Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images) LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29:  Ferne McCann seen arriving at the Pride of Britain Awards at the Grosvenor Hotel on October 29, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)

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"Sam was supposed to come but sadly her children, Paul and Rosie, were poorly so they stayed at home," she explained.

Confirming that their relationship was back on track, Ferne added: "We spend time together on Billie's hen do and we've put everything behind us and moved on from any problems we had.

Ferne and daughter Sunday on First Time Mum, which Sam accused her ripping offFerne threw a huge party for daughter Sunday [WENN.com]

"Things between us are good now. Billie's hen do was great, we gave her a proper send off into married life."

Rumours Sam and Ferne had fallen out first started in May 2017, shortly after news of Ferne's pregnancy broke, however, at the time the girls denied any reports of a feud.

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While sources close to Sam have originally told OK! Online that their fall out was down to Ferne's jailbird ex, Arthur Collins, Ferne rubbished the claims, admitting their rift was as a result of her new show, First Time Mum.

Sam and Ferne showed that their feud is overSam and Ferne recently made up on Billie Faiers' hen do [Sam Faiers/ Instagram]

Sam Faiers and Ferne McCann used to be the best of friends but have since fallen outSam Faiers and Ferne McCann used to be the best of friends [Getty]

Before their reconciliation, Sam told the Sun Online: "Look to be honest, over the last couple of years, Ferne and I hadn’t seen eye to eye on a number of things.

Before adding: "Sometimes as friends you do just drift apart.

"We were both at my sister’s bridal shower — Ferne was there. It was fine. It was nice. We were just catching up on the babies really. So we are fine."

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