Hollyoaks: Adam Rickitt interview – “Duncan James was more nervous than me about our first kiss!”

The ex-Coronation Street star reveals all about his Hollyoaks character’s complicated love life

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Hollyoaks copper Ryan Knight seemed too good to be true when he rode into town last year as the fiancé of Amy Barnes. Perfect policeman, perfect boyfriend, perfect stepdad… or so we thought.

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Since then we’ve seen him cheat on Amy with Mercedes McQueen, become a suspect in poor Amy’s murder, and secretly bed Nancy Osbourne’s gay ex Kyle Kelly after hooking up with Mercy before Amy was even cold.

Yesterday’s E4 episode showed closeted Ryan set Kyle up for drug dealing in order to get him out of the way and protect his sordid secret, only for it to backfire when Mr Kelly called Mercedes from prison to tell her the truth about her buff boyfriend…

Adam Rickitt, formerly Nick Tilsley in Coronation Steet, discusses the latest twist in the Hollyoaks love triangle that comes to a head in tonight’s E4 episode when Mercedes decides to confront Ryan at his uncle (and boss) Geoff’s birthday party – and what it was like kissing old mate Duncan James…

How has Kyle got to this point?

Basically, Kyle has fallen on hard times because Darren nicked his last bag of weed, so he has been living in his car. Luckily, Nancy and Darren have taken him in but while he’s living with them, he sees Nancy reach a real low point and Darren begs Kyle to help him deal drugs to help with Nancy’s treatment. Kyle is reluctant but he sees how much pain Darren is in, so he decides to help him out. They quickly start going a bit hardcore and the knock-on effect is that Kyle is hanging around the village a lot more, which Ryan does not like because he’s worried the secret about them sleeping together will come out. So in order to shut Kyle up, Ryan gets Kyle locked up for drug dealing.

Why is Kyle so keen to have a relationship with Ryan?

When Kyle was younger he was the life and soul of a party, but then he got diagnosed with MS. He pretends to be this happy, outgoing guy but really deep down he’s quite vulnerable. I think he’s now latching onto things because he thinks it’s a safe option. Ryan is the first guy he genuinely feels more than a friendship with. I also think he knows Ryan is in a dark place, so he wants to be there for him.

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Why did Kyle confess all to Mercedes?

Because Ryan does him over and sends him to prison! In the build-up to Kyle getting arrested, Kyle is threatening Ryan to come out because Kyle can see how unhappy Ryan is. Kyle’s view is that if he gives Ryan a push maybe he will come out and tell Mercedes the truth.

What’s it like working with Duncan James, who plays Ryan?

It’s been funny – we’ve known each other for years. Now I can say my first ever boy-on-boy kiss was with Duncan from Blue! That’s definitely a benchmark! I thought it might be really awkward because I’d known him for so long, but then at the same time it was good because he’s such a nice guy and we are good mates. He was more nervous than me though. It was so weird, like kissing your own brother or something!

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Does Kyle have any idea that Darren knew Ryan was setting him up?

I don’t think he does, no. Maybe later on down the line that will become clear! I hope it does because out of all the relationships Kyle has on the show, I actually think the most interesting one is the one with Darren. They have the capacity to be good friends.

What’s it been like working at Hollyoaks so far?

Awesome! I have had so many friends work on it for years, including my brother who worked in the crew, and every single person has said the relationship between the crew and the cast is seamless. Until you work here you don’t realise how true that is.

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Hollyoaks continues weeknights on E4 at 7pm and on Channel 4 at 6.30pm.