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Rachel Hardy was the fiancée of Nathan Nightingale. She was killed in a car explosion, following a car accident caused by Holly Cunningham.


Arrival, Friendship with Porsche & Breakup and Reconciliation with Nathan[]

Rachel arrives in Hollyoaks village when the Nightingale family took over the local pub, The Dog in the Pond. Rachel and Nathan's relationship was shown to be strong and Rachel enjoyed her position behind the bar.

In December 2015, Rachel books for herself and Nathan to spend Christmas in Marbella, to the jealousy of Nathan's sister, Ellie Nightingale who tries to stop it. Rachel befriends Porsche McQueen and invites her on a night out at The Loft with herself, Nathan and Ellie. Rachel dresses in a sexy Santa outfit, but when Ellie deliberately spills a drink over her, she is forced to change. They continue to The Loft, where Nathan and Porsche get involved in a challenge which involves them passing an object using only their mouths. Rachel arrives and misinterprets the situation, declaring their engagement over. An upset Nathan comes home with Porsche and kisses her, but nothing else happened because he fell asleep. Porsche reveals their kiss and Rachel pours water over a shaken Nathan, threatening to leave him. However, they later forgive each other and they leave for Marbella.

Finding out about Alfie's cancer, 2nd Breakup and Reconciliation with Nathan & Death[]

Several months later, Rachel overhears Nathan's younger half-brother Alfie Nightingale talking to his cancer-stricken girlfriend Jade Albright and discovers that his cancer has also returned. She asks Alfie to tell his family, but he makes her keep it a secret so that she and Nathan can go on their trip to South America without any distractions. When Nathan finds out, he breaks up with Rachel but with some persuasion from Alfie, he gives Rachel a second chance and they leave for South America.

On their way to the airport, Nathan and Rachel experience car troubles, stopping by the roadside. As Nathan attempts to fix the car, a drunk Holly Cunningham crashes into it, knocking Rachel unconscious. Rachel's legs are trapped under the dashboard when the car catches fire. Nathan races to get a firefighter to put the fire out but the car explodes, killing Rachel instantly. Mac, Ellie and Alfie visit the hospital after receiving a phone call from the hospital. Nathan informs them of Rachel's death, leaving them devastated. Cleo McQueen takes the blame for the crash, knowing how much trouble Holly would be in due to her intoxication. However, when Mac informs them of Rachel's death, Holly tries to prevent Cleo from taking the blame, but Cleo refuses to.

Death Aftermath[]

In order to help Nathan move on from Rachel faster, Ellie and Nathan's mum Marnie Nightingale lie that Rachel was having an affair with a man called "Damien", which makes Nathan grow closer to Holly, and they eventually begin a relationship. However, Nathan later discovers that Marnie and Ellie were lying about Rachel's affair, and that Holly knew.

In May 2016, Cleo attends court and pleads guilty to the manslaughter of Rachel, where she receives a fine, a driving ban and community service as the charge against her is reduced. In June 2016, during Pete Buchanan's sexual abuse trial, Cleo is asked about the crash that killed Rachel and if she was driving the car. Since she was under oath, Cleo was forced to reveal that Holly was the one driving the car, which prompts Nathan to break up with Holly and form a friendship with Cleo.

Other information[]

  • Rachel was a vegan.

Introduction shots[]

  • 2015: Rachel and Nathan stand next to each other on a white background.

List of appearances[]



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