11 things you never knew about Hollyoaks' Gary Lucy – aka Luke Morgan

Hollyoaks hottie Gary Lucy is as popular today as he was when he first walked into the Chester village nearly 20 years ago. Since then, the star has rarely been off our screens.

Lucy’s played a bobby on the beat in The Bill, a smooth-talking charmer in EastEnders, and was even brave enough to be a contestant on Dancing on Ice. Yep, you can’t deny that Gaz has got longevity.

The star is about to bow out of ‘Oaks to go and tread the boards up and down the UK in the theatre production of The Full Monty – but we’re pleased to report he will be returning next year.

While we get ready for his explosive exit, we’ve been doing some digging around, and found 11 interesting facts about Gary you may not know…

1. He’s Essex born and bred

Gary Edward Lucy hails from Chigwell, the Essex town propelled to fame by ’90s BBC sitcom Birds of a Feather. Born on November 27, 1981, the Sagittarius star is the son of market traders Ros and Gary Senior, and has one older sister, Samantha.

Growing up, Gary was football mad, and had dreams of playing the great game professionally, even trying out for the Tottenham and Watford youth teams. But when he didn’t make the grade, Gary decided to focus his energies on the other passion in his life – acting.

2. He’s been in the biz for two decades

Mr Lucy’s career in front of the camera began at the tender age of 15, landing bit parts in Grange Hill and footie-based Sky drama Dream Team. Acting teeth cut, Gary moved on to meatier roles, signing a permanent contract with Hollyoaks to play Luke Morgan.

The character made his first on-screen appearance in June 1999, and was an instant hit with the show’s fans, particularly teen girls who were smitten with the easy-on-the-eye Gary. For everyone that had a poster of him on their school locker, here’s Gary’s first scene again. PS. He’s shirtless in it, of course.

3. He played soap’s first male rape victim

Gary was at the forefront of the darkest storyline Hollyoaks had ever tackled, when his character was raped by football rival Mark Gibbs during Breaking Boundaries, the soap’s first late night spin-off in March 2000.

The actor has admitted that he was nervous about taking on such a groundbreaking plot, being only 17 at the time: “When they first told me, I was dubious. I was so young and it hadn’t been touched before, so no-one knew how the public and press would take it. After thinking about it and doing research behind it, I thought it was definitely a subject worth approaching. So we did it and reaped the rewards. I feel very lucky.”

The plot won praise from rape support groups, and two months after transmission Gary scooped the Best Newcomer gong at the British Soap Awards.

4. He had a few famous flings

In his single and ready to mingle days, Gary was linked to a number of pretty ladies. While at Hollyoaks, he dated co-star Danielle Brent (who played Gina Patrick), and at the height of his Footballers’ Wives fame, Gary enjoyed a string of dates with EastEnders actress Michelle Ryan (aka Zoe Slater).

There were also rumours of romances with Liberty X star Michelle Heaton and Where the Heart Is actress Kelly Wenham. No wonder he bagged the prize for Bachelor of the Year in the 2003 Company magazine awards!

5. He’s a pro at playing a footballer

Maybe it’s his love of the game, or the fact that he’s got skill kicking a ball around a pitch, but it can’t be a coincidence that Gary has been cast to play a footballer on more than one occasion. First there was Dream Team and Hollyoaks, and then came the role of Earl’s Park player Kyle Pascoe in the addictive and deliciously outrageous ITV drama Footballers’ Wives, which he played for three seasons.

But that’s not all. Gary was one of the celebs to star in Sky One’s The Match in 2004, where famous faces were trained by former England manager Graham Taylor, and in 2015, he played a footballer called McClain in CBBC show Dumping Ground.

6. He recreated his on-screen wedding

When Gary and former on-screen missus Susie Amy both appeared on Loose Women last summer, the opportunity of re-enacting the extravagant nuptials between their Footballers’ Wives characters Kyle and Chardonnay was way too good to pass up.

The audience lapped up every second watching Gary, who was dressed in a prince’s cloak, sweep his ‘bride’ and her pink veil into his arms. The actors also spoke about their desire to work together again, and just three months later their wish was granted when Susie joined Gary in Hollyoaks, playing Luke’s estranged wife Scarlett. Dreams really do come true in Soapland!

7. He’s a devoted family man

His on-screen love life may be a shambles, but IRL Gary is a loved up hubby and father of three. The star met his wife Natasha in 2004, describing the moment as ‘love at first sight’. Natasha, a qualified nurse who runs clinics specialising in aesthetic procedures, and Gary are proud parents to daughters India, 12, and Sadie, 2, and son Elvis, 7.

Gary popped the question to Natasha on Valentine’s Day after 10 years together, and the couple got hitched at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel in November 2014. The lavish affair was featured in OK! mag, and attended by celebs including Christopher Biggins and former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding.

8. He’s an entrepreneur on the side

Acting isn’t the only string in Gary’s bow – he’s also something of a businessman. Deciding to spend his hard-earned acting salaries wisely, Gary invested in property and built up a portfolio of homes and residential ventures, including a family home in Majorca. “I just enjoy setting up businesses and watching them grow, business keeps your feet in the real world,” he says.

Gary’s property company, Gary Lucy Real Estate, was dissolved in 2014, but he still owns Driving Lessons Finder, which is an internet directory of driving schools and instructors. Could he be a contender for the next series of The Apprentice, we wonder?

9. He loves playing a prank

Practical joker Gary loves nothing more than giving his kids a good scare – in the nicest possible way! When the star’s son Elvis joined him on the This Morning sofa with Eamonn and Ruth, the little lad revealed that Gary enjoys punking his big sister India by jumping out and making her scream.

Gary also cheekily poured an ice bucket over his eldest daughter when she thought they were posing for a family pic on holiday in Dubai. “Basically you got to sleep with one eye open in our household,” Gary laughed. For more funny vids of Gary getting his own back on his kids, check his Instagram account out – @gary.lucy.

10. He’s confident taking his kit off

In front of complete strangers, no less! For the past few years, Gary has been touring up and down the country, playing the lead role of Gaz in the stage production of The Full Monty. And he’s about to go on a nine-month hiatus from Hollyoaks to star in the show once more, alongside an array of former and current soapies, including Louis Emerick, Joe Gill, James Redmond and Kai Owen.

Gary and his fellow cast mates have to bare all in the final striptease scene, although the spectators don’t actually see full frontal. But Gary revealed that during one performance, the front row accidentally got an eye full.

“There’s a trick at the end where the lights blind the audience, so you shouldn’t see anything, but you could tell by the reaction and pointing that the lighting hadn’t worked,” he recalled. “That lighting guy hasn’t been seen since!”

11. He’s raising awareness of dementia

Kind-hearted Gary has taken to his social media on more than one occasion to post pictures of his beloved grandmother Lily, who suffers from dementia and is currently living in a care home.

One of the candid photos shared shows Lily, who once appeared with Gary on Family Fortunes and helped him scoop the jackpot of £30,000, watching her grandson getting grilled by Loose Women, while holding a cardboard cut out of his face.

Keen to raise awareness for his nanny’s condition, the star added hashtags #dementia, #dementiaawareness and #dementiasucks.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Hollyoaks spoilers, as Adam gives into temptation and Alfie gets a new girlfriend.

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