So, the full nomination list for the viewer’s vote at this year’s British Soap Awards was released this week, and while there are several nods to soap stars and storylines which were expected, and deserved, there was a very apparent absence of any of the cast members involved in the Hollyoaks male rape storyline.
The somewhat controversial, and incredibly hard-hitting storyline was announced last year and aired in January 2014.
When the plot played out on our screens nobody could deny the quality of the writing, the sensitivity of the production and the superbly sublime acting that was brought to the table by the like of James Sutton (John Paul McQueen), Keith Rice (Finn O’Connor) and Charlie Wernham (Robbie Roscoe).
Now we admit that the competition for categories such as Best Actor and Villain of the Year is pretty steep this year, with the emotional Coronation Street cancer story’s main players Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson (Hayley and Roy Cropper) both rightfully nominated as well as Emmerdale’s Dominic Power (Cameron Murray) – who was also given a nod for his dramatic siege exit in Villain of the Year category.
But the Hollyoaks male rape storyline – which saw John Paul McQueen subjected to the attack by one of his own students, Finn O’Connor, after months of tireless torment from him and his best friend, Robbie Roscoe – has played out, with so many layers, so mesmorisingly on screen, that even the police were impressed.
Hollyoaks were, and not for the first time in the last 12 months, contacted by official sources to have James Sutton appear in an awareness campaign aimed at helping victims in similar circumstances to come forward and seek help.
Unreality TV have spoken to just about every actor involved in the storyline and all have been shocked and impressed by the public response and awe-struck by how the campaign – and also the helplines given on the shows official website at the end of each episode – has already impacted people and given them the courage to come forward.
Now, if that isn’t worth an award, we don’t know what is…
More so, two of the actors involved, Charlie Wernham and Keith Rice (sorry James, not saying you are old!) are young lads who, up until now have not featured that heavily in the show, yet their outstanding and at times, haunting performances during this plot have shone like they were straight from the big screen, without even mentioning the tireless research and attention all three actors have dedicated to the plot.
And then there is James Sutton who is no stranger to dramatic storylines, but whose vulnerable and self-destructive portrayal of the aftermath for John Paul has been heartbreaking and hard hitting at the same time.
All in all, all three men should be up for awards in this year’s ceremony, but as it is they are not mentioned at all. Why, we hear you ask? We haven’t got the slightest idea.
Some fans of the soap are suggesting that, even in this day of age, real life issues make people uncomfortable. We aren’t precisely sure who, as our Hollyoaks readers have had nothing but praise for this plot…
Either way it is an OUTRAGE and we would like to think there will be at least a nod in the best storyline category when the panel releases the rest of their nominees.
Do you agree? Leave your thoughts and comments below, and to refresh your memory take a look at the official Ministry of Justice campaign video of James Sutton discussing the storyline that the powers that be thought not worthy of a BSA in the clip below: