Matilda "Tilly" Evans is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Lucy Dixon. The actress announced her casting on 30 May 2011. Tilly was introduced to the show, along with two other characters, during a special storyline shot and set in Abersoch, North Wales. She made her first screen appearance on 21 June 2011. Dixon announced her departure in December 2013 and Tilly made her last appearance on 3 January 2014.
Tilly is a confident, intelligent and loyal teenager. Dixon revealed that she shares a few similarities with her character, including her generosity and positive attitude. Tilly is lesbian and comfortable with her sexuality, which Dixon hoped viewers would be able to relate to. While she is Abersoch, Tilly embarks on a brief holiday romance with Esther Bloom (Jazmine Franks). During the storyline, Dixon filmed her first gay kiss. Tilly's storylines have included relationships with teacher, Jen Gilmore (Amy Downham), Esther, and Chloe (Susan Loughnane), the latter whom she left the village with to live in Dublin.
On 30 May 2011, Dixon announced through her Twitter account that she had joined the regular cast of Hollyoaks. Dixon revealed that she would begin filming the following week, before making her screen debut on 21 June. Shortly afterwards, Hollyoaks producers announced that Dixon's character, Tilly, would be introduced to the show along with two other new characters, Maddie Morrison (Scarlett Bowman) and Jono (Dylan Llewellyn), during a special storyline set and shot in Abersoch. It was also revealed that while Tilly was planning to go to London after the holiday, it seemed likely that she would arrive in Chester with the others in September.
Tilly has a holiday romance with Esther in Abersoch but tells Esther they can not carry a long distance relationship as she plans to move to London in September for sixth form. However she arrives in Hollyoaks village in September and joins the sixth form college but decides not to reconcile her romance with Esther. She begins a friendship with Jason Costello (Victoria Atkin), supporting him through him wanting hormone blockers. Tilly later becomes under pressure from her studies. She does much revision for a presentation, which she eventually gets marked down for. Tilly becomes upset that she is not getting the grades she wanted. Tilly goes on a night out to a gay bar to try and enjoy herself. She kisses Esther, who accuses her of using her. Tilly apologises to her for leading her on and they become friends again. Tilly meets an art teacher at an exhibition and they go on a date. They begin dating, but Jen begins working at Tilly's college. Tilly becomes trapped in a storage cupboard during a fire when she hides from Jen. Diane O'Connor (Alex Fletcher) discovers Tilly and Jen's relationship, but they carry on in secret. Esther captures Jen kissing Tilly and the rumour spreads around the college. Esther protects Tilly by publicly announcing that she made the rumour up.
Jen decides to concentrate on her career and breaks up with Tilly. She is upset by their break up and is arrested for stealing Ash Kane's (Holly Weston) motor scooter. Her father, Kevin Evans (William Ilkley) is angry with Tilly. She fails to support Esther when Maddie begins to bully her. However, Tilly later denounces Maddie's actions before Maddie dies in a bus crash. Jen later convinces Tilly to give their relationship another go. While out on a date with Tilly, Jen finds Esther drinking vodka before she attempts suicide. Jen forces Tilly to keep quiet about it to conceal their relationship. When Tilly threatens to reveal the truth, Jen reports Tilly claiming that she has been harassing her. Tilly is excluded, but she vows to clear her name and exposes their relationship to the school. She then supports Esther through her recovery. Tilly begins spending more time with Esther when she helps her out with an assignment. Esther starts behaving strangely, which Tilly becomes concerned about. She confronts Esther, who admits that she has romantic feelings for Tilly and they kiss. Tilly and Esther begin dating. Tilly supports Esther after she is held hostage and almost murdered by Jade Hedy (Lucy Gape). Frankie is horrified when she catches Esther and Tilly about to take things further, but decides the girls can see each other. When Chloe arrives in the village, Tilly falls for her and decides to break up with Esther, moving to Ireland to be with Chloe.