Peri Lomax is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks. She is played by Ruby O'Donnell, who made her first screen appearance on 4 October 2013. The character and O'Donnell's casting was announced on 17 September 2013. O'Donnell auditioned for the role of Peri and was invited back twice, before she learned she had got the part. Her mother commented "When we got the call I started crying and then we started jumping up and down in the kitchen. The more I see the scripts the more I think Ruby is quite similar to her character Peri and I think she's fitted in well with the family." O'Donnell began filming during the summer months.
|Portrayed by||Ruby O'Donnell|
|First appearance||4 October 2013|
|Introduced by||Bryan Kirkwood|
|Home||2 Oakdale Drive|
Peri's storylines include discovering her sister, Leela (Kirsty-Leigh Porter), is actually her biological mother, being diagnosed with a brain tumour, falling down the stairs in the village because of the tumour and becoming pregnant at the age of 14. Another well-known storyline is her relationship with Tom Cunningham (Ellis Hollins). In July 2016, Peri was involved in a bullying storyline where she and her friend Nico Blake (Persephone Swales-Dawson) taunted teenage cancer patient Jade Albright (Kassius Nelson). Later that month, Peri and Nico became trapped in an abandoned bunker, where the ceiling collapsed on Peri, getting pregnant again but it turned out to be a false alarm, becoming homeless and starting a relationship with Harley Frater (Mollie Lambert)
Peri arrives with her mother, Sam (Lizzie Roper) to surprise her father, Danny (Stephen Billington). Her sisters, Leela (Kirsty-Leigh Porter) and Tegan (Jessica Ellis), soon join them and Tegan gives birth to her daughter, Rose. Peri is shocked to learn she has a brother, Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson), but only begins to bond with him after he moves in with them. Peri also makes friends with Tom Cunningham (Ellis Hollins).
Peri later starts seeing ghosts and sets up a camera to catch one but is shocked to see footage of Danny and John Paul McQueen (James Sutton) kissing. While confronting her father, Peri faints and falls down the stairs in the village, and is then rushed to hospital, where she is diagnosed with a brain tumour. Just before her operation, Tom sneaks her out and they kiss. Peri then faints again and Tom returns her to hospital where her operation is successful. Danny then convinces Peri what she saw with him and John Paul was because of the tumor. After Sam and Danny split up, Peri starts to depending on Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) for comfort. Sienna assumes Peri is her long-lost daughter after finding out that Peri is adopted and she has the same birthday as her daughter. However, Leela reveals to Sienna in confidence that she is Peri's biological mother and Sienna agrees not to tell Peri. Peri later befriends Sienna's long-lost daughter, Nico Blake (Persephone Swales-Dawson), when she arrives looking for Sienna.
Peri is devastated when Sam and Danny reveal their plan to emigrate to New Zealand to get their relationship back on track. Peri gets drunk with a bottle of wine and is found by her biological father, Cameron Campbell (Cameron Moore). He takes her home and Sam and Danny panic and try to leave quicker, scared that Leela and Cameron will tell Peri the truth. Peri says emotional goodbyes to Tom and Leela but just as they are about to leave, Leela comes racing to the car, having been told by Cameron that Peri confided in him about not wanting to leave. This causes an argument between Leela, Cameron and Sam and Danny, with Leela telling Peri that she and Cameron are her biological parents. Peri runs away and is found by Tegan. They then ring Sam and Danny to pick them up so they can go to New Zealand as planned. However, just moments after they phone, Sam and Danny are killed. This devastates Peri and she rebels. However, she tearfully confides in Cameron that she thinks her brain tumour is back and he goes with her to a scan. Fortunately, the scan shows that Peri's brain tumour has not returned. After Sam and Danny's funeral, Peri starts to bond with Leela and Cameron establishing a parent-child relationship.
On 19 December 2014, Peri has sex with Tom losing her virginity . Peri befriends Dylan Jenkins (James Fletcher) and when Nancy Osborne (Jessica Fox) falls asleep while supervising detention, Peri steals her painkillers. Peri and Dylan sell them to other students, with Dylan, Nico and Tom taking some but they make everyone sick and are rushed to hospital. Peri admits what she did and she is suspended. The day before her birthday, Peri wishes that she could spend time with her father so Dylan suggests that he, Peri and Nico to visit him. She collapses in Dylan's arms and he takes her to hospital where she learns that she is pregnant. Tom sees them and thinks she is cheating on him. Meanwhile, Tom tells Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) that he thinks Peri is cheating on him, so Darren tells him to talk to her. When Tom confronts Peri, she tells him that she is pregnant, leaving Tom speechless. On her 15th birthday, she is thrown a surprise birthday party at The Dog, with Nico, who shares her birthday. She goes to the hospital with Tom, and finds out she is 10 weeks pregnant. Celine McQueen (Sarah George) tells her she can have an abortion and Peri leaves. Tom asks for a picture of the baby and puts it in a white envelope which he leaves among the birthday cards after showing the picture to Dylan and Nico and Leela finds it. She realises it is Peri's, but Nico tells Leela it is hers. Peri considers an abortion but during the school play, Tom proposes and she runs home in tears after Leela discovers that her daughter is pregnant. Leela and Peri talk about the possibilities of having a baby so young and Peri decides not to have an abortion, choosing instead to have the baby adopted. In July 2015, Peri is frustrated by Leela's constant fussing and learns that Tom is not sure about having the baby adopted. Eventually, Peri and Tom resolve their differences and Tom supports Peri, agreeing to let Peri's cousin, Angela Brown (Adele Silva) and her husband, Mark (Ben Faulks), to adopt the baby. Frankie Osborne (Helen Pearson) knows how much Tom wants to be a father and suggests to Peri that the baby live with them but Peri refuses because she doesn't want to be close to the baby. In August, Peri and Angela go to a scan and Tom storms in, high on legal pills. Peri has a scare when she thinks she is going into labour but learns that she has high blood pressure. However, Tom doesn't want Peri to give their baby up and blackmails Cameron, telling him to persuade Peri to keep the baby or he will tell Peri that Cameron killed Danny and Sam. Cameron fails to do this so Tom gives Cameron an ultimatum. In late August, Angela visits Peri and tells her that the baby is a girl. Peri tells Angela that she wants her and Mark to take the baby immediately after the birth.
When Peri returns to school, she and her other classmates are sent an anonymous video that shows Leela confronting Cameron about the death of her parents. Peri is distraught and she calls the police, reporting Cameron for murder but then realises that she is in labour, supported by Cameron and Leela but she is soon joined by Tom as she gives birth in a classroom. Peri and the baby, later named Steph after Frankie's deceased daughter Steph Cunningham (Carley Stenson), leave in an ambulance but witnesses Cameron being arrested for the murders of Danny and Sam. It is revealed that Tom intended to send the video but it was accidentally sent by Ste and Harry Thompson (Parry Glasspool) while they were having sex. However, after realising how much Tom loves her and the baby, Peri apologises to Angela and Mark and tells them that she is keeping Steph. A fortnight later, Peri and Tom attend Dylan's funeral together and then go to the wake at The Loft. In October 2015, Peri finds it hard to cope with motherhood and starts bullying Tom anonymously about his parental responsibilities but reveals that she is responsible for the bullying after she posts a picture of Tom online. The Osbornes realise that Peri is not coping and Nancy suspects that Peri could have post-natal depression, especially after she leaves Steph on Angela's doorstep. The rest of the family are determined to make sure Peri gets help but Peri reveals that she doesn't have post-natal depression, she simply is not ready to be a mother. Cameron tells her to make Tom choose: her or Steph, which she does and Tom chooses Steph, leaving Peri heartbroken. Peri moves out while Tom keeps Steph.
When Tom becomes close to his foster sister Jade Albright (Kassius Nelson), Peri becomes jealous and starts bullying Jade, alongside with Nico. Peri makes advances towards Jade's boyfriend Alfie Nightingale (Richard Linnell) as revenge against Jade. Peri and Nico plan to set Jade and Alfie on a date and they also give Jade a deliberately awful makeover. Alfie is surprised in Jade's sense of style, leaving Jade upset. Peri attempts to make Alfie feel guilty about what happened and begins to shake a bottle of lemonade. The lemonade explodes on Peri's clothes and she changes into one of Alfie's T-shirts. Jade is shocked to find Peri and Alfie's T-shirt and she lies that she has had sex with Alfie. Jade is furious but later discovers what Peri and Nico are doing. Just as Jade goes up to the school's assembly, Nico nastily pulls Jade's wig off, leaving her humiliated and extremely self-conscious. Peri reports Nico to the headteacher Sally St. Claire (Annie Wallace), believing the wig stunt was a step too far, and Nico is expelled. Nico discovers that Peri told on her and as revenge persuades her to go on a camping trip with her in the woods. In the woods, Nico deliberately locks them up is an abandoned bunker deep within the forest and when Peri realises that they are trapped, she screams for help. Nico begins scaring her with horror stories and later reveals that she did purposely lock them up as revenge on Peri getting her expelled. When Peri bangs on the door for help, the ceiling collapses on her, knocking her unconscious. She awakens, but passes out again from dehydration. Peri and Nico are later found by Leela, Cameron, Sienna and Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) who rescue them, and they are taken to hospital.
Weeks later, Nico tries to kiss Peri but she rejects her, saying they are friends and nothing more. As Peri runs away she stumbles onto Patrick's corpse. Tom returns a few days later with Steph, who learns about Peri and Nico bullying Jade and refuses to let her see Steph. The pair later reconcile after Peri earns Jade's forgiveness. Cameron later discovers that Nico held Peri hostage in the bunker, and so at the village's "Halloween Spooktacular" funfair, he sets fire to a wooden maze, where Nico and Sienna become trapped. Sienna is rescued, however Nico is killed when the entire structure collapses on her. The fire also leads to the death of Joe Roscoe (Ayden Callaghan), when an explosion caused by the fire results in him falling from a ferris wheel.
In December 2016, on her wedding day to Cameron, Leela gives birth to Peri's half-brother, Daniel, named after Danny. There, it is revealed that Daniel is mixed race, meaning that Cameron is not his father, and furiously leaves the village. Peri begins meeting with Cameron in secret, helping his reconcile with Leela by organizing a holiday in a cabin in the woods. However, Tegan and Cameron's cousin, Courtney Campbell (Amy Conachan) arrive, too. Tegan, Peri and Courtney later walk by the lake. However, they find the corpse of Celine McQueen (Sarah George), Cameron's ex-girlfriend, floating in the lake. Cameron then locks Peri and Leela in the cabin, and threatens to kill them all by setting the building on fire. He also confesses to murdering Sam, Danny, Ziggy, Lockie, Celine, Nico and Joe. Ste then arrives and wrestles with Cameron, allowing Leela and Peri to escape. As they cross the bridge chased by Cameron he is hit by a camper van driven by Mac Nightingale (David Easter) and Lisa Loveday (Rachel Adedeji), and is subsequently arrested.
Cameron begins blackmailing Lisa, forcing her to convince Peri to visit him in prison, however Peri expresses her hatred towards her father before leaving. Overwhelmed she steals from Dirk's emporium. Months later Zack and Leela begin a relationship. One day when Peri comes back from school, Peri finds a bracelet from Zack addressed to Leela but Peri thinks it for her because it says "sexy momma". Tom confronts Zack obviously jealous he asks Peri to get back together with him but she rejects him. Peri is also caught up in the school explosion and Prince McQueen puts out a ladder over a hole in the floor. Peri , with help from Louis Loveday (Karl Collins), successfully made it to the other side along with Lily Drinkwell (Lauren McQueen).
While Lily is in hospital after collapsing, Peri sleeps with Prince. She later takes a pregnancy test and it comes back positive, making Prince the father. She later discovers that Prince and Lily plan to elope in Las Vegas, and is enraged at him for leaving instead of helping her. She tells Yasmine that the father is Hunter and not Prince, but Yasmine confronts Hunter, causing Prince to tell Lily about his night with Peri. Prince and Lily split up, and Peri is shunned by Leela, who is disappointed with her actions. Peri later discovers she isn't pregnant, that the test was faulty.
Later, Diane discovers Peri is not pregnant but persuades Peri to keep lying, so that this will keep Lily away from Prince. Peri agrees to follow Diane's plan. Still believing her to be pregnant, Prince invites Peri to move in with him which she accepts. Later on Leela pushes Prince to talk to Lily by using the fact Lily used to self-harm and that she could still be vulnerable after their break up. Leela not long after tells Peri that Prince is with Lily. When Peri finds them, she fakes having stomach pains to get Prince's attention.
Peri soon after fakes a baby scan by cutting off the top from the one she had of Steph. Prince's mother Goldie (Chelsee Healey) figures it out by finding the top of the baby scan and confronts Peri and Peri admits the truth. Peri returns home but things quickly escalate between her and Leela and she is kicked out. Peri asks Tom can she stay with him, but he confronts her for abandoning him and Steph. Peri later boards a train and is last seen walking along the streets. Leela struggles without Peri and her boyfriend Louis gives Leela five grand as a reward to anyone who has information about Peri. Leela makes a video for social media asking Peri to come home. Darren and Tom's sister Mandy Richardson (Sarah Jayne Dunn) discover Peri on CCTV. Peri returns to the village and it is revealed she is homeless after Mandy finds her at the hospital when she is visiting Tegan. Mandy who has experienced being homeless persuades her to return home. Peri returns home but see's Leela and Louis kissing and is convinced there happy without her. She then goes off with a mystery person. Leela is devastated when the police tell her that they've found a body. Leela identifies the body but it is not Peri. Leela reveals to Louis that she wished it was Peri to put her out of her misery. A girl called Harley Frater (Mollie Lambert) arrives in the village with information about Peri. Leela later lets her stay despite objections from Louis. Harley later robs her purse and runs and she steals her credit card before Louis catches her.
In a special episode focusing on Peri's homelessness, it reveals what happened in her seventy-one days on the street. Having fled the village after a row with her mother, Peri books into a hotel. After running out of money, Peri is kicked out of the hotel and she checks into a homeless shelter where she is threatened leaving her scared. After leaving the shelter, Peri befriends fellow youths Harley and Dean (Alfie Kingsnorth). Peri is shocked at their tragic backstory that made them end up on the streets. Peri is forced to beg for money and realises how no one cares about homeless people. Their tent is taken over by two men who attack Dean. They later walk to another town but Dean and Harley find a poster and realise that Peri's family are looking for her and want her home. They tell Peri to go home and they leave. Peri returns to the village and see's Leela and Louis kissing and is convinced there happy without her. Peri is reunited with Harley and Dean. They decide to get the reward that Leela is offering but Harley only comes back with her credit card which is no use. They sleep in the rain and freezing cold and they notice that Dean isn't waking up. They cry for help but everyone ingnores them. Dean's is pronounced dead and taken away. Harley tells Peri that a guy leaves her stay with him if she sleeps with him but Peri stops her. Peri decides to finally return home.
Peri returns home, delighting Leela. Harley arrives and Peri announces that Harley is staying with them but Leela refuses. Peri tells her that if Harley goes then she goes so Leela allows her to stay. Leela finds it hard to reconnect with Peri with Harley around. Peri tells Harley that she appreciates her help and Harley kisses her. Peri tells Leela that she thinks Harley should go but Leela tells her to give her a chance. Peri confronts Harley about the kiss and is shocked when she reveals that her mother kicked her out because she's lesbian. Peri makes up with Harley and is shocked when Harley considered making contact with her mum but backed out. Peri calls her mum and she agrees to meet up with Harley. Harley is disappointed when her mum doesn't show up, leaving Peri guilty. Peri apologises to Harley for getting her hopes up and she kisses Harley but then pulls away, leaving Harley upset. Peri later apologises to Harley for leading her on and plans her birthday party. Peri finds it hard to get people to attend so she pays them. Nico, who was revealed to be alive, hears that Peri has a new best friend so comes to the party. Since it is a fancy dress party no one recognises her. While playing spin the bottle, Harley kisses Hunter making Peri jealous. She confronts Harley which is witnessed by Nico. When Harley is alone outside, Nico confronts her and tries to push her down the steps but Peri interrupts her. The next day, Harley decides to move out, but her and Peri have a heart to heart and they sleep together. Peri and Harley start a relationship but Peri wants to choose the right time to tell Leela. They are given jobs at a Pop Up cinema by Brody Hudson (Adam Woodward) and Damon Kinsella (Jacob Roberts) but they are unimpressed with their uniform. Nico escapes and spies on Peri and Harley. When they are alone inside the garage, Nico comes in and knocks Harley out before tying them up. Nico convinces Peri to run away with her and their baby, but Peri reminds her of the bad things they did together. Harley wakes up and tells Nico she's crazy, angering Nico. Peri refuses to run away with her so Nico leaves to get her some "farewell flowers" like she gave Tom. Harley starts to get dizzy so Peri screams for help but no one can hear them. They are eventually saved by Damon and Dirk Savage (David Kennedy) and Harley is rushed to hospital. At the hospital, Harley asks Peri about the bad things her and Nico did and Peri tells her that she was a bad person back then. Peri is distraught when Nico dies again. Harley is annoyed at Peri for feeling bad and they argue so Harley walks out. They later make up but Harley is angry when Leela ruins her coat so she walks out again and she leaves with an old friend called Ron who supplies her drugs.
Casting and creationEdit
Peri is the youngest member of the Lomax family, which consists of parents Danny (Stephen Billington) and Sam (Lizzie Roper) and siblings Tegan (Jessica Ellis) and Leela (Kirsty-Leigh Porter). Describing Peri, a writer for the show's official website commented "Don your shades, ladies and gents – 'cos this girl is sunshine all year round! As the youngest of the Lomaxes, Peri should be making mistakes left, right and centre, but – in actual fact – she's usually the only voice of reason in her family." They observed that she has "the wisdom of seven Yodas" and is happy to give out advice to her family and friends. In an article published by Metro, it was confirmed that Peri was named after Doctor Who character Peri Brown.
It is revealed in August 2014 that Peri's sister Leela is her biological mother. Peri finds out and does not forgive Leela, but finally does. O'Donnell spoke to Digital Spy after the reveal that Leela was her mother, "For Peri's character, it's completely the wrong thing to do because it's just shocked her and made her hate [Leela] even more." O'Donnell also said, "Peri's going to obviously be really confused, because she doesn't understand how they've lied to her and why they've lied to her. Peri's meant to be very nice and sweet and her life's meant to be very simple, but obviously not!" Kirsty-Leigh Porter (Leela Lomax) said, "I think, if anything, Leela thinks she's done kind of a good thing by going, 'Right, there you go, I'm your mum and it's out there in the open'" Leela had first told Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) about Peri's true parentage. Porter had mentioned that she knew the truth when she got the role. In June 2014, Peri's biological father and Leela's childhood lover, Cameron Campbell (Cameron Moore), was introduced to the serial.
In August 2014, after the deaths of Sam and Danny, Peri bought drugs on a night out with Nico. Cameron tried to stop her.
In November 2014, it was announced that Peri was to have a teen pregnancy storyline with Tom Cunningham. The storyline was devised as an effort to promote safe sex. This storyline along with Ste's HIV plot was a part of the safe sex for 2015 said Bryan Kirkwood. Hollyoaks are working with charity Brook during the storyline.
Ruby O'Donnell has said, "Some of the scenes have been hard to tackle because I am still quite young and I’ve had to do a lot of research for them. I am younger than Peri, as she is just turning 15 and I’m only 14 myself. So I’ve done the research to help with my performances and to find out how teenagers actually do react in these situations." She also said, "When I was first told about the story, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but then I had a lot of meetings about it with the show’s executive producer Bryan Kirkwood, the storyliners and the other producers. They explained it to me and made me feel a lot more comfortable about it. Now I’ve got into it, I’m very excited about the storyline and I’m really enjoying doing it."
During the storyline, Tom proposed to Peri and revealed to the whole school and town that she was pregnant to Leela, Ziggy and Tegan's surprise. Also during the storyline, Leela called cousin Angela (Adele Silva) as a candidate to adopt the baby.
Peri gave birth to her daughter on 1 September 2015.
In the Hollyoaks Autumn Trailer, it was shown that Peri won't be able to cope with being a teenage parent.
O'Donnell has been nominated twice on the Inside Soap Awards for best Young Actor in 2014 and 2015. In August 2017, O'Donnell was longlisted for Best Young Actor at the Inside Soap Awards. She did not progress to the viewer-voted shortlist.
When talking about the actress O'Donnell receiving award nominations, Warrington Guardian described O'Donnell as a "starlet" for her role of Peri Lomax.
O'Donnell has also been nominated for Best on-screen partnership with Ellis Hollins in the 2015 British Soap Awards. In the same award ceremony O'Donnell was also nominated for Best Young performance. She subsequently was nominated for and won the best young actress award at the 2016 British Soap Awards !! The future is very bright for Ruby O'Donnell..
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