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Gemma Merna (born 6 February 1984) is an English actress, model and yoga teacher. She is best known for portraying the role of Carmel McQueen in the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks from 2006 to 2014.

Gemma Merna
Gemma Ann Merna

(1984-02-06) 6 February 1984 (age 35)
Manchester, England
OccupationActress, model, yoga teacher
Years active2006–2014, 2017–Present
Notable work
Carmel McQueen in Hollyoaks
TelevisionHollyoaks (2006–2014)
Splash! (2014)
Ian Minton (m. 2012)



Merna joined the cast of the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks in August 2006. In 2007, she won Best Comedy Performance in 2007 at the British Soap Awards.[1] At the 2007 National Television Awards, she was nominated for "Best Female Soap Actress".[citation needed]

In 2008 Merna appeared on the game show All Star Family Fortunes in a Hollyoaks v Emmerdale special. In February 2013, she appeared on All Star Family Fortunes playing against gardener, garden designer and television personality Diarmuid Gavin.

In 2009, Merna appeared in the spin-off show Hollyoaks Later as Carmel. She also appeared in an episode of the game show Hole in the Wall.

In 2011, she appeared in the documentaries 50 Greatest Wedding Shockers and Hollyoaks Best Bits.

In 2013 and 2014, Merna was a panelist in an episode of Big Brother's Bit On The Side.

In January 2014, she was a contestant on the ITV diving show Splash!, fronted by Tom Daley, she was the first contestant to be eliminated from the show in Heat One.

On 24 August 2014, it was announced that Merna had decided to leave Hollyoaks and would leave in November 2014 in one of Hollyoaks' biggest stunts. Jennifer Metcalfe – who plays Merna's on-screen sister Mercedes McQueen – announced her decision to leave the soap opera a few days after Merna's announcement. The character was killed off in an explosive train accident on 12 November 2014, with cast members and television critics praising Merna's performance in her final scenes.

On 8 September 2014, Merna appeared on the panel show Virtually Famous, presented by Glee actor Kevin McHale.

On 25 October 2014, Merna appeared on a special celebrity episode of The Chase.

In 2017 Merna appeared in an episode in TV show Doctors. She also joined former TV mum Nicole Barber-Lane as teammates on the 28 October 2017 "Soaps" episode of Pointless Celebrities.

Personal lifeEdit

Merna was born in Manchester and grew up in Worsley[2] where she attended St. George's RC High School, Walkden.

She was engaged to long-term boyfriend Ian Minton.[3] Merna and Minton married at a ceremony on 27 May 2012; present were fellow Hollyoaks cast members.[citation needed]

Merna formerly shared a house in Liverpool with on-screen Hollyoaks sister Jennifer Metcalfe, who plays Mercedes McQueen.[citation needed]

On Sky Sports,[when?] Merna revealed that she is a supporter of both Manchester United F.C. and Liverpool F.C..[citation needed]

In a 2009 interview with Closer magazine, Merna said that having a breast enlargement at the age of twenty-one was one of the best things she ever did and that it gave her so much confidence.[4]


Year Title Type Role Notes
2006–2014[5] Hollyoaks TV Carmel Valentine Regular role, 567 episodes
2009–2010 Hollyoaks Later TV Carmel Valentine 5 episodes
2009 Hole in the Wall TV Herself 1 Episode
2011 50 Greatest Wedding Shockers TV Herself TV Documentary
2011 Hollyoaks Best Bits 2011 TV Herself TV Documentary
2008, 2013 All Star Family Fortunes TV Herself 2 Episodes
2013, 2014 Big Brother's Bit On The Side TV Herself 2 Episodes, Guest
2014 Splash! TV Herself Heat 1, Contestant
2014 Virtually Famous TV Herself 1 Episode, Panelist
2014 The Chase Celebrity Special TV Herself 1 Episode, Participant
2014 Daily Brunch with Ocado TV Herself 1 Episode, Guest


  1. ^ Green, Kris (27 May 2007). "The British Soap Awards 2007: The Winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Worsley girl made up with TV award". Manchester Evening News. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Gem is all white on her big night", The Sun, 1 June 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2011
  4. ^ "I'm finally happy with my body",, 23 June 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2011
  5. ^ [1]

External linksEdit