Zak Ramsey (previously Barnes) arrives in Hollyoaks in September 2004 along with the new set of students Zak departed Hollyoaks in January 2005 but later returned well over a year later in August 2006 along with another new set of students during his time in Hollyoaks Zak's storyline's have Included relationships with Bella Manning, Zoe Carpenter, Katy Fox and Michaela McQueen also being the last person to see Sean Kennedy alive (whom was murdered by Warren Fox) also his Sisters arrival and his Brothers death Zak later departed Hollyoaks in August 2010 along with Jake Dean to move to London.
Zak is portrayed as a typical 'blokey' male character who likes football and parties, he also values his close friends and family. Channel 4 publicity describe him as a fun loving man who likes 'a good knees-up' with his good friends, they also explain how he looks after his sister's love life, as Zak is always shown on-screen being protective of his sister.
After being off camera for over a year, he returned in September 2006, the student flat now occupied by Jessica Harris, Joe Spencer, Olivia Johnson, and new arrivals Will Hackett, Zoë Carpenter (Zoe Lister), and Kris Fisher (Gerard McCarthy). Zak drank too much cheap vodka at the Loft and became sick. Ironically, this may have saved his life, since Kris, Zoë, Joe, and Olivia all went to the Dog in the Pond a few days later and were caught up in an explosion. Joe and Olivia were killed, and Zak moved into Olivia's room.
Zak had one night stands with both Zoë and Jess. After realising his feelings for Zoë, Zak tried his best to make things up to her, but this was soon ruined by flatmate Will who wanted Zoë to himself, and so set Zak up to look as though he had stolen from her. Zak soon began to distrust Will, and in April 2007, Zak and Zoë realised the extent of Will's madness. Zak then came to her rescue when Will took her hostage on the roof of the college. This resulted in Will being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Zak then tried to kiss Zoë as he thought this was what she wanted, but she reacted badly because of Will and went home. When Zoë returned, Zak continued to pine for her, but soon realised she was falling for Darren Osborne. Zak had saved Darren from muggers and a guilt-ridden Darren initially stayed away from Zoë, but Zak pushed them together.
In February 2008, Zak got close to flatmate Katy Fox (Hannah Tointon), although she was dating his mate Justin Burton. After Zak and Katy had been playing around with a shopping trolley in the corridors, they shared a kiss. Later, while Zak was helping Katy to study she confessed that she was upset that Justin was spending so much attention on, what had just been revealed, his son Charlie. Later at the Loft, Zak and Katy shared another passionate kiss. They became lovers, and Katy continued to lean on him for a few months, until finally in April 2008, Justin walked in on them kissing. Katy left town, and Zak was once again left alone. On July 14, 2008, Zak failed his degree in Sports Science and now must stay at HCC for another year to finish the course.
In the later half of 2008 Zak drunkenly slept with Michaela McQueen who had been upset though both later regretted the incident and nothing happened for months afterwards. However, on New Year's Eve 2008, they slept together again. Calvin Valentine then arrested Zak and Ash, for supposedly beating up Gaz however this was untrue. Michaela went to protested for Zak's release the two began a relationship in when Zak was cleared. Michaela and Zak have a fight which nearly results in them splitting up until they confess they love each other.
Zak's sister Hayley Ramsey (Kelly-Marie Stewart) arrives. She is in a wheel-chair due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Hayley was in hospital for four months and Zak never went to see her. Zak told him it hurt to much for him to go and he would have done anything for him to get the virus and not her. He told her when he went home he kept hating going because she was always laughing and smiling when she was ill and he did not know what to say to her. They sort out their differences.
Michaela tries to enroll Zak in the Army. Zak and Hayley's brother Caleb arrives. Zak then pretends to be attending training, later revealing he lied. Zak graduates with first class honours and decided to carry on and do a master's degree the next day Caleb was sent to fight in Afghanistan. A year later Caleb dies in action and Zak becomes engaged to Michaela to cope with his grief. Zak has a one-night stand that splits up him and Michaela. He then finds out Caleb died because his friend Tariq Mistry was saving an Afghan boy. Zak beats up Tariq but gets back with Michaela. Racist Des Townsend uses Zak's grief to brainwash him against Calvin. Zak realises that Des is a racist and tries to stop him from planning to attack Ravi Roy. Zak saves Ravi after Des plants a smoke bomb in Ravi's burger bar, Relish. He makes an anonymous phone call to the police for an assault to save Ravi's sister Anita Roy when he thought that Des was planning to attack her in the woods, but he actually got Gaz Bennett to do it for him, which later led to Gaz's arrest.
Michaela finds out about Zak's role in Des's racist attacks and this was the final straw for the pair; causing them to split. Zak is then confronted by Tariq for his attack on him, but Zak apologises for what he has done and so Tariq agrees not to report him to the police as he could see he was grieving for Caleb at the time. Realising he has nothing in the village, Zak left for London with best friend Kris. Michaela soon joins him a few weeks later after she is sacked from her job. On September 5, 2011 Michaela returned and said that she and Zak had broke up and that she has been living in Ibiza for the last 6 months.
- In early 2005, Zak was axed by producer Jo Hallows, alongside Bella Manning (although, Zak would later return in 2006).
- Zak's name was changed from Barnes to Ramsey so viewers know that his no relation to the Barnes family who resided in the village between October 2005 to September 2017.