Hollyoaks' Ashley Taylor Dawson has lost five friends to suicide

Hollyoaks star Ashley Taylor Dawson has revealed that he’s lost five friends to suicide.

The actor – who plays Darren Osborne in the Channel 4 soap – was involved in a hard-hitting male suicide storyline last year, that saw mainstay Kyle Kelly (Adam Rickitt) take his own life.

‘I’ve lost five of my friends to suicide throughout my lifetime,’ Ashley, 39, said. ‘People who have been close that I’ve known.

‘Three were very good friends, they were all male.’

‘The first one was when I was 16, and you’re thinking: “What must he be
thinking to go through that at 16?”

The soap star admitted that the recent Hollyoaks storyline – which also saw Darren contemplate suicide – was like ‘counselling’ for him.

‘The plot was a wonderful education for me,’ he said on Soap From The Box podcast in an episode that will release on Sunday, ‘because I was that guy who had never approached or dealt with it, never understood it.

‘It’s been like counselling, it’s been brilliant.

‘I’m open to learning and speaking about it more throughout my life

The heartbreaking Hollyoaks scenes aired in June last year, as Darren – who was battling depression – headed off to speak to mate Kyle.

However, he later exited The Hutch in an emotional state, as he made a phone call — informing the person on the other end of the line that Kyle had taken his own life.

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