Hollyoaks has always pioneered above other shows on TV at the moment to bring us hard-hitting and gritty storylines, helping to raise the awareness of issues no matter how uncomfortable they may seem.
The most recent example of this is the rape of John Paul McQueen (James Sutton) at the hands of one of his teenage college students, Finn O’Connor (Keith Rice).
This storyline has been played out exceptionally, with so much care, attention and purpose that the Ministry of Justice have even used it as part of a new campaign to help victims of male sexual crime come forward.
Both actors at the centre of this story, Keith Rice who plays Finn and James Sutton who plays John Paul, have performed their hearts out to bring us this emotional and, at times, distressing story earning them both high critical acclaim across the board.
But, as in any crime portrayed in the world of soaps, this story will come to a conclusion, with Finn getting his comeuppance as James Sutton has previously revealed to us, and according to Alex Fletcher, the actress who plays Finn’s stepmum Diane, she hopes that it will be her who hands him in, as she has been explain to Unreality TV EXCLUSIVELY!
We asked Alex how she thought Diane would react if she were to find out about the rape:
“I honestly hope, with it being such a sensitive storyline, that when she does find out – If she finds out because that hasn’t even been talked about yet, I hope she does the right thing, obviously.
“Of course I do, I don’t want her to be one of those mums who covers up for their son, like in the film ‘A Mothers Son’ which is where a mother covers up a murder her son has committed, but in the end she does hand him in, which is what I hope Diane does.
“I imagine if Diane was told what had happened she would be in total denial, I think that’s what would happen, and I think they would want to explore that side of things but hopefully in the end he will get his comeuppance. He has to, doesn’t he?”
On finding out about the storyline initially, Alex revealed:
“I was really worried for Keith [Rice who plays Finn] because he hadn’t been in the show that long and he is a cracking little actor, and so level headed.
“After they had approached him over the storyline I asked him ‘Are you OK with all this?’ and he was like ‘You know what Al, I am an actor, this is what actors do’.
“But knowing that he was up against James Sutton, who is such an amazing actor, I knew that he was in safe hands. They have done all the research, and met with all the right people.
“I just wanted him to be alright, it is such a big deal, it is huge!”
The storyline has had a great deal of attention since airing last month, which Alex went on to say is a real positive:
“The most positive thing to come out of it was at the end of the episode where the rape took place I think a few people came forward and got in touch with the helpline, the story had given them the confidence to speak up. If it makes a difference in that sort of way then that can only be a positive, can’t it?
“I was worried because it was on at 6.30pm and there is obviously only so much that they can show, but I actually thought it was done really, really well.”
Hollyoaks can be seen weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4 / Channel 4 HD – Watch James Sutton’s, who plays John Paul McQueen, Ministry Of Justice campaign video in the clip below: