Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – Dr Nate Cooper from Home and Away really has traded in Summer Bay for Chester with an exciting new role in Hollyoaks.

Kyle Pryor, who played fan favourite Nate for four years, has landed a regular gig on the Channel 4 soap as Sinead O’Connor’s husband Laurie Shelby and made his first appearance this week.

While Home and Away fans will probably know all about Kyle already, those who don’t watch Channel 5’s sun-kissed daytime show may need a bit of a catch-up. So here, we’re bringing you up to speed with seven fast facts about Hollyoaks‘ newest cast member.

1. He was born in Surrey

Kyle may be best known for his Aussie soap role, but he actually spent the first 22 years of his life in the UK. The star was born in Surrey in 1984, but moved to New Zealand in 2006. After six years in NZ, he made another significant move by heading over to Australia and joining the regular cast of Home and Away as Nate.

When Digital Spy caught up with Kyle this week and asked which country he considers as his home, he replied: “It’s a tricky one. New Zealand was where I started in the industry, so that was a real formative part of my life. I’m really grateful for that and I have really fond memories.

“The big break for me, Home and Away, came in Australia, so that was the first time I felt like I had a really solid home base. I was established and I was doing a job I love. Sydney probably feels the most like home, but generally speaking I’m probably happy wherever I am, if I’m working!”

2. He’s an action man

If Hollyoaks bosses have any more stunts or fight sequences planned (let’s face it, when don’t they?), they can rest assured that Kyle will be able to handle himself pretty well.

At the age of 14, Kyle started training in Taekwondo and went on to win the British and English Championships in his weight and grade category. When he moved to New Zealand, he worked as a stuntman on films like Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

Planning on putting Laurie in a car crash or throwing him off a cliff, Hollyoaks bosses? Sounds like you may be able to avoid paying for a stunt guy.

3. He once lived in a caravan in Dorset

Kyle gave one of his most personal interviews in 2015, opening up to Australia’s Men’s Health magazine about his childhood. Kyle told the publication that his parents split up when he was six years old, at which point he moved to live in a caravan in Dorset with his mum.

“That’s where my work ethic comes from,” Kyle explained as he reflected on his younger years. “Growing up in those surroundings, it gave me a hunger to succeed. If you come from that, it gives you a respect for anyone who’s battling.”

4. He nearly played another Home and Away character

Can’t imagine Kyle playing anyone on Home and Away other than Nate? Well, it nearly happened. In 2015, Kyle revealed that he originally auditioned for the character of Andy Barrett, but lost out to Tai Hara.

Before landing the role of Nate, the star actually came close to moving back to Britain after a rough patch with finding new jobs. Speaking to Aussie magazine TV Week, he explained: “I was close to going back to the UK because I’d run out of money.

“I didn’t have any transport, so I would walk an hour to a casting then walk back. It was mid-summer, so it was baking hot.

“I’d rock around with my clothes in a backpack and change when I got to my audition, but it all worked out in the end.”

5. He nearly faked an accent for his Home and Away role

When Kyle auditioned for the role of Nate, he used an Aussie accent to impress the casting director – with not-so-great results.

Speaking to Australia’s News Corp in 2014, Kyle laughed: “I did an Australian accent at the first audition and it was a bit shocking. I’m not ashamed to admit that it wasn’t great. But I went away and worked on it, and they loved it the second time around.”

In the end, Kyle didn’t have to bother after all, as the storyliners tweaked Nate’s backstory to fit his natural British accent.

6. He predicted his Home and Away role years in advance

If Kyle fancies handing us his best guess at this weekend’s lottery numbers, we’d certainly give it a shot. Back when he was at university in the UK, the aspiring actor made a bold prediction that he’d end up on Home and Away one day. Quite a specific premonition, since he was studying on the other side of the world in Worcester at the time.

In 2014, Kyle told News Corp: Home and Away was always on the TV in our share house and I said to my flatmate Mark ‘I bet you I get on that show one day’. He just laughed like, ‘Yeah whatever mate’ and told me I was dreaming.”

7. He’s not afraid to travel for a surf

Working on Home and Away for four years, Kyle had the luxury of being able to hit the waves for a surf on Sydney’s Palm Beach during his breaks from filming. Keen to still get his fix, he’s decided that he’s willing to travel pretty far to carry on with the hobby now that he’s at Hollyoaks.

In a recent chat, Kyle revealed that he’s hoping to make regular trips to the seaside resort of Abersoch in Wales – even though it takes well over two hours to drive there from the Hollyoaks set in Liverpool.

Speaking to Inside Soap, he revealed: “I’m trying to rope in some of the other Hollyoaks guys to come surfing with me! I’ve found a nice surfing spot in Abersoch in Wales, but I don’t have any transport, so the more people I can get, the more likely it is that I’m going to be able to go!”

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Hollyoaks spoilers, as Mercedes and Russ’s wedding day arrives and there’s a cameo from two Loose Women!

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