Fans of Hollyoaks will know how show favourite, Ste Hay, has been on a downward spiral since the love of his life, Brendan Brady, was sent to prison for several murders earlier this year.
Having turned to drug dealing as a means of income, Ste (Kieron Richardson) has managed to isolate himself from most of the people who previously held him in such high esteem, replacing them with dodgy underworld characters.
However, the return of his mum, cancer sufferer Pauline, in an upcoming storyline, is set to rock his moral compass in a different direction – when she asks him to help her end her life.
Pauline (Julie Hogarth) was last seen on our Hollyoaks screens last year, washing her hands of her son after she discovered that he was gay.
However, despite the two not having been in contact since, Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard) convinces Ste to visit his mum after he meets her at a chemotherapy session.
Ste reluctantly goes to see Pauline and is so shocked when he sees how much she is suffering with her illness that he gets her to come home with him to live.
Living together again, mother and son start to bond and, during an emotional heart to heart about Ste’s father, Pauline asks her son to help her end her life.
Discussing his character’s reaction to the request, Kieron Richardson told All About Soap:
“It makes him feel completely numb. She’s gone from telling Ste she loves him in one breath, to asking him to kill her in another.
“Pauline’s lied so much in the past, so Ste needs to question whether she really does love him or whether she’s just using him.
“He turns to his ex, Doug, for some advice about what he should do.”
Surprisingly it is Ste’s sensible estranged husband, Doug (PJ Brennan) who makes Ste consider carrying out his mother’s wishes, as he tells him to put his mum’s needs first, of which Richardson continued:
“Doug’s reaction comes as a bit of a shock to Ste because he just assumes he’ll say, ‘Don’t be so ridiculous!’ But the advice from Doug helps him decide whether he should assist his mum in her suicide.
“If he does go through with it, it will be because Pauline has manipulated him into doing it. Ste is just so vulnerable at the moment. Anything could happen.”
Finally, with regards to Ste’s future, which we previously reported will include his sisters, Richardson concluded:
“Without giving too much away, he’s going to be very busy and there is going to be lots of tears and snot. There’s going to be a big Ste explosion.
“This has definitely been one of my favourite storylines to date and quite challenging for me. What happens in these weeks is just the start of the story.
“There is a lot more to come and Ste’s life will never be the same again.”
Hollyoaks can be seen weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4 / Channel 4 HD.