Brooke Hathaway, played by Talia Grant, made her first on screen appearance on 10 July 2018. The character and Grant's casting details were announced on 23 April 2018. Brooke is billed as "a strong, independent character". Brooke is an autistic girl who is fostered by the Osborne family. Grant is autistic and is the first female autistic actress to feature regularly on a British television series. Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said that Brooke understands how her condition can affect her life. He added, "The best way to describe Brooke's autism is to say that she experiences the world a hundred times more intensely than other people. He explained that while having an ice-cream with someone can become "cherished experiences for Brooke that she will never stop talking about", a nasty remark from a schoolteacher could "cut Brooke to the core". Grant told the Loose Women panel that she and Brooke are different as they have different forms of autism. She added how "exciting" it was to represent autism.
Brooke will attends Hollyoaks High School with Imran Maalik (Ijaz Rana) and Oliver Morgan (Aedan Duckworth). Kirkwood stated that Brooke would be introduced with a secret. Hollyoaks placed an open casting call for an actress to portray the character and worked with charity The National Autistic Society and theatre company Access All Areas during the creation and casting processes, and Grant when developing the character. Grant enjoyed appearing in Hollyoaks and was proud to represent autistic women in television, something which she felt was not portrayed enough. Kirkwood was also pleased with Grant's casting as Brooke.
Further details about Brooke's introduction were released on 1 July 2018. It was revealed that Brooke is the daughter of Fran, who murdered Becca Dean (Ali Bastian) in 2007. Brooke first appears when spying on Becca's sister, Nancy Osborne (Jessica Fox), who Fran has been in contact with. Brooke then signs up for Nancy's tutoring classes and during a session, she reveals that she is Fran's daughter and that Fran is dying. Brooke and Nancy then visit Fran in hospital and Fran begs for Nancy's forgiveness. Fran later dies, leaving Brooke all alone but, not wanting her to be sent into the foster care system, Nancy convinces Jack and Darren that they should foster her instead. Although initially wary, Darren eventually agrees and they convince the social worker to let Brooke stay with them. Brooke develops a connection with Oliver and the two go on a coffee date and she later goes to watch him play football however, after seeing Oliver in the changing room with his coach Buster Smith (Nathan Sussex), she outs him as gay to his stepmother Mandy Richardson (Sarah Jayne Dunn). Unbeknownst to Brooke, Oliver is actually being groomed by Buster and, in retaliation, Oliver shouts at her, causing her to have a breakdown. After Buster is found guilty for abusing Ollie Brody Hudson (Adam Woodward), case doesnot go through after Damon lies in court she gains a crush on ollie
Brooke soon begins dating Ollie after they nearly share a kiss