A BRADFORD actress will be returning to the screen as she takes up a full-time new role in serial drama Hollyoaks.

Rachel Leskovac, who started performing in the city as child, will play the character of Joanne in the Channel 4 soap, a role she previously played in September.

The character was part of a flashback episode on September 17, where she worked as a lawyer 14 years previously and had an affair with the character Louis Loveday, played by Karl Collins.

Now she has landed a permanent role as Joanne in the show, which is set in a fictional area of Chester, and will be on television screens from the end of November.

She said: "I am thrilled to be playing Joanne in Hollyoaks, she is an interesting character with a lot of depth and intensity but she's also very vulnerable too. She is challenging to play and I welcome that.

"Karl Collins and Jacqueline Boatswain - who plays Louis’ wife Simone - with whom I am working closest with are a joy to collaborate with.

"They are both very experienced actors so each scene we do we discuss and there is a genuine sense of teamwork, working towards a common goal which is to make it as good as we can.

"I was called to do a screen test for the role of Joanne and that was my first meeting with Karl, we worked on the scene prior to being on camera and we clicked from the off."

In 2013 the actress performed in Bollywood Carmen, a spectacular production with a supporting cast of Bradford people, staged in City Park to celebrate the centenary of Indian cinema.

Rachel has previously starred in Coronation Street, where she played Natasha Blakeman from 2008 to 2010, and also played serial killer nurse Kelly Yorke in Holby City from 2003 to 2004.

She has also appeared in BBC dramas Happy Valley and the Last Tango in Halifax, which were both set and filmed in Calderdale, and in Accused: Tracie’s Story, alongside Sean Bean and Stephen Graham.

Rachel trained at Scala Kids in Horsforth and Bradford Kids, and appeared in shows at the Alhambra and Bingley Arts Centre, and studied at St Joseph’s College in Manningham before going to the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

She then went on to perform at Buckingham Palace, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as the young Viv Nicholson in Spend Spend Spend in the West End.

"We do have such a giggle on set but still remain professional, we have a good bond and I love going to work with them," the 39-year-old said.

"I am loving my time on Hollyoaks and all the cast and crew have been very welcoming and friendly."