Elize du Toit

Double trouble

SOURCE: The Mirror, 19th April 2003

Hollyoaks clocks up its 1,000th episode this week, but co-stars Elize du Toit and Laila Rouass reveal that being a soap babe is no guarantee of a happy love life. In fact, they reckon it makes men run a mile.

In her three years as Hollyoaks’ upper class barmaid Izzy, South Africa-born Elize du Toit has become one of our hottest soap stars. She has been voted the sexiest female on the telly and has graced the cover of various lads’ mags. But she is genuinely bemused by all the attention, especially since she is currently single.

“I don’t know what this babe thing is all about,” says Elize, 23. “Men don’t even chat me up. Perhaps they are scared of me. I’d love to go out on dates, meet people for dinner and get to know them, but it doesn’t happen. Perhaps dating like that is old-fashioned now, because anyone I’ve ever been out with I’ve met through friends or work.”

Elize has been on her own since her romance with former co-star Ben Hull – who now plays Brookside’s Dr Parr – ended last year after nine months. Gossips had a field day when she was then seen out with co-star Nick Pickard (Tony), who is a friend of Ben’s.

“I was only 22 when my relationship with Ben finished,” says Elize. “He is a lovely guy and we had a great time together. Neither of us called it off, it just came to a natural end. But the story about Nick and I having a thing together was totally untrue.”

In the soap, she is experiencing love troubles of a different kind now that Izzy’s on-off boyfriend, also called Ben, played by Marcus Patric, has caught the eye of cunning cop Dale (Laila Rouass).

For the moment, Elize is happy spending time alone in her 200-year-old stone cottage in a leafy suburb of Liverpool. Her life has changed a lot since the summer of 2000, when she beat 5,000 other girls in an open audition for Hollyoaks in Edinburgh, where she was studying history. For starters, it meant giving up her degree. But she has never looked back.

“When I see myself on magazine covers I feel as if I don’t know the person looking back at me,” she says. “Hollyoaks hasn’t changed me at all. I never thought I’d be here three years on and still enjoying myself, but I am and it’s still a surprise.”

9:26pm on 19th April 2003

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