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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > October 15 > 20 YEARS OF HOLLYOAKS


Hollyoaks has celebrated the LGBT community more than any other British TV show. From same-sex marriages to the difficult reality of male rape, and even a HIV diagnosis of a leading gay character, there isn’t much ground it hasn’t covered. It’s even about to host its first ever Pride event. It’s pushed boundaries, tackled unspoken issues, and made us all fall in love with some rather beautiful boys along the way. So with cake and our favourite leading gay characters at the ready, we celebrate two decades of Britain’s most colourful soap...

He was the original bad boy of Hollyoaks who became almost as big a role model as the show itself. Since he joined our screens as a skater boy, he’s been wrapped up in teenage prengnancies, theft, abuse, same-sex marriage and now HIV – Kieron Richardson’s time as Ste Hay has even made headline news. Why? Because his character has shown the country there’s more to a person than just their sexuality…


It’s 20 years of Hollyoaks but TEN years of Ste Hay. You joined the cast way back at the end of 2005, right? My first official filming day was the 2 December 2005. I can even remember my first line and everything!

Go on... “They’re not fish, they’re mammals. Dolphins live in the sea and they swim and that, but they’re not fish.” [Laughs]

Is the journey Ste’s been on with the show something you’d have envisioned?

When I was first on screen, Ste was a bit of a skater boy and used to wear baggy trousers with chains, and walk about with a skateboard. It was all to do with Amy Barnes and her losing her virginity in school, and her family then not liking me. But with the lines, they were all a bit geeky – a bit like the fish line – and I use to think that there’s no way this character was gonna last. I use to say all my lines under my breath and a bit sinister – begging they’d pick it up and see I can do bad boy really well. Next thing, I was in a tracksuit and full on Scouse and, well, cut to ten years later.

He’s been involved with underage sex, drug dealing, baby kidnapping… Oh, and he’s gay, too. Do you think him being gay has ever come first in his characteristics? He’s had such a colorful experience before they turned the character gay. We had the domestic abuse storyline and the teenage relationship. And then his parents and his terrible upbringing. Oh yeah, and he got involved with Warren, pretended that his daughter has leukemia so he could get money to buy a flat screen TV. [Exhales heavily] Lots of messed up things! [Laughs]

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About Gay Times

Two things: it’s the October issue. October, you say? Better start on that Christmas list then! Second: it’s been 20 years since Hollyoaks launched on UK TV. Where has the time gone you ask? We’re not sure either but to celebrate the passing of this year (and the last twenty), we’ve pulled off a blinder and got you not one, two or even three Hollyoaks hotties but a quartet of soapland studs. You’ll instantly recognize both Kieron Richardson and James Sutton – both veterans of GT - having racked up no less than 3 covers and countless in-mag appearance between them; for good reason. Let us also introduce Parry Glasspool and Ross Adams for those of you who aren't yet familiar. Ross is a proper gent in real life but since hitting our screens back in April his character - Scott Drinkwell – has already helped kidnap a baby, lied about his HIV status and tried to come between lovebirds Ste and John Paul (played by Kieron and James). Tsk tsk. We’d say it’s time to stop and catch your breath but before you come up for air, take note: Parry Glasspool. Page 42. GT October. S’all we are saying. Also in this issue – wait there’s more? Yep… We met up with Dannii Minogue backstage before her gig at this year’s Manchester Pride for an exclusive chat. Exclusive means you won’t find it anywhere else, so we’ll leave this here and let you read the full interview, only in this month’s GT. And... Connor Franta Christos Tsiolkas Empire Cuffs Lauren Harries does Sweetie, Darling? Debate: Gay characters Analysis: Heroes: Ben Bradshaw MP Domestic Violence Gay Lego fans James Bond got gay Galantis Also, all stuff you know and love: GT Fitty - Sam Bird Michelle Visage Benjamin Cohen Mikey Walsh Michael Alig The Guyliner Positive Luke PJ Brennan Fit with Chris Jones 2 Lovely Gays Edd Kimber Gastro Gays Edd Kimber Modern Family That should be enough to keep you going for the next four weeks. Enjoy!

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