As we reported earlier this month, former homeless sixth-form student, George Smith, is about to embark on a one-night-stand with vulnerable Ste Hay.
As fans of the show will know, Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson) is currently heartbroken following the shooting and arrest of his one true love, Brendan Brady (Emmett J Scanlan), and after hitting the bottle to drown his sorrows over the situation, ends up in bed with George.
Unfortunately for George, who was a virgin up until that point, Ste instantly regrets his actions the following morning, leaving a devastated George crying on the shoulder of best friend Phoebe Jackson (Mandip Gill).
George, protecting his lover’s identity, manages to cross-wires with Phoebe, who believes that his fling was with John-Paul McQueen (James Sutton) and sets about having him mugged as payback, which leads to a whole other can of worms being opened when John-Paul reports the crime, and Phoebe is subsequently arrested.
However, despite all the drama it has caused, Steven Roberts, the actor who plays George, admits the storyline is a real awakening for his character.
Speaking to Digital Spy about the plot, Steven explained his surprise at the pairing of Ste and George:
“I was surprised, and I understand that for some fans this one-night stand between George and Ste might be absolute sacrilege! But I’d almost ask that the fans look past however ‘wrong’ or ‘random’ this seems, and look at it more as a catalyst for what’s to come for both characters.
“For Ste, it’s very much the beginning of a downward spiral. For George, it’s an awakening to men and to his sexual identity, which he’s never really had before.”
“I think George has always struggled with having a sexual identity. He’s always just been a good friend to everyone else – trying to cheer people up and be there for other people. However, his romances have always been a bit doomed. With Ryan in Abersoch last year, it was never really meant to be, as George was quite scared by it all.
“George has also been through the sexual trafficking experience with Deena, so there are negative connotations for him when it comes to having a sexual identity. This is why George has built it up as such a massive thing to lose his virginity. When Ste doesn’t want to know the next day, it’s all the more heart-breaking for him.”
Explaining how the situation occurs, the actor continued:
“What’s happened is that Phoebe has stolen a bottle of wine from The Dog, and George has had a few swigs of that. He’s not drunk but he’s a little bit tipsy.
“George then sees Ste and notices that he looks very lonely and upset. With the person George is, there’s nothing predatory or devious about it at all – he just thinks to get him home. Then at the flat, Ste offers George a couple of drinks. The beer goggles are on, one thing leads to another and Ste leans in to kiss George…”
Roberts went on to say how his character becomes hopeful that this night may be the start of something more:
“George is very much taken away by this whirlwind romance. He’s finally lost his virginity – which is a big thing for a lot of teenagers, as you want it to be special. George just assumes that it was special, but when Ste doesn’t want to know, the whole experience becomes tainted for George.
“First of all, Ste makes George feel quite unwelcome the next morning. George doesn’t really think anything of it, though. He goes back home to the Kane’s’ and tells them that he’s met someone, although he doesn’t say who. George is very excited about it, so Martha encourages him to get back out there and claim his man, in typical Martha style!
“George goes back to the deli, but Ste is quite embarrassed to see him again because Doug is there. In the end, it leads to George being chucked out of the deli into the village!”
“The whole week is a whirlwind and it makes George re-address everything. He’s even unsure of whether he wants to carry on studying fashion, as his whole world has been turned upside down. Something that he thought was so special has been ruined. He’s done it now – he can’t go back and he can’t change it.”
With regards to the subsequent mugging of John-Paul, Roberts mused:
“I think George feels quite bad for John Paul! He feels awful when John Paul is brought into the frame, because it had nothing to do with him.”
Hollyoaks can be seen week nights at 6.30pm on Channel 4/ Channel 4 HD.