Hollyoaks have finally revealed who really murdered Amy Barnes in a shock twist – it was her cheating husband, Ryan Knight!
In an epic whodunit that kicked off back in March when the young mum was found dead on her wedding night, viewers were led to believe Harry Thompson did the deed when he confessed last month to lover Ste Hay – Amy’s ex and father of her kids – that he attacked her during a row about taking the children to live abroad and left her for dead after accidentally knocking her unconscious.
But a flashback after the admission showed Amy woke up after Harry left and a mystery figure turned up at the flat, suggesting they were the person who finished the job and that the Thompson teen was actually innocent.
In tonight’s E4 episode, focusing on Tony Hutchinson’s emotional reaction to his son announcing he was a killer, we finally got the full story in yet another flashback to Amy’s final minutes.
As Amy woke she reached for her phone where she heard a voicemail, just as hubby Ryan walked through the door. Turns out Ry Ry had dialled his new wife by mistake while he was cheating on her with secret lover Kyle Kelly, reavling his betrayal to a stunned Ames who unleashed a tirade of abuse about him sleeping with another man (we bet that voicemail made for an intersting listen…).
With tormented Ryan in complete denial about his sexuality, he violenty grabbed Amy as she threatened to out him as gay and held his hand over her mouth until her lifeless body fell to the ground…
So the sexually-confused copper is to blame for his wife’s death – and he’s kept quiet about it, fitting up innoncent DS Armstrong for the crime and keeping the truth about that fateful night buried.
What does this mean for Ryan’s future in the village? Could he kill again? And how long has actor Duncan James been in on one of soap’s biggest secrets of 2017? Who better to answer all those questions than Mr James himself…
What was your reaction when you found out Ryan was responsible for Amy’s death?
I was gutted because I didn’t want Ryan to be a killer, I wanted him to have really loved Amy and to carry on being the genuine man he came into the show to be. It’s a shame he didn’t get that opportunity to be the good guy – but at the same time it’s great having the storyline that has stemmed from the reveal because it’s actually good fun to play a baddie!
When did you find out?
I actually got told on the quiet a little bit before everyone else in the cast because the producers wanted the suspects to still think they could be the killer for as long as possible, so I’ve sat on it for quite a few months.
How guilty does Ryan feel about what he’s done?
There is deep guilt there, but I don’t think he actually meant to kill her, he just panicked and ran. She had a head injury after the fight with Harry and he put his hand over her mouth and stopped her breathing but the previous injury probably contributed to her eventual death. So Ryan did kill her, but he didn’t mean to… At that moment he wanted to stop Amy saying he was gay because he doesn’t want to hear that about himself as he’s in such denial.
Where does Ryan go from here?
Well, the brutal fact is he has killed a mother of two and so justice must be served… Things get very dark from this point, and there are loads of twists and turns still to come. Ryan is content to have pinned it on DS Armstrong and to try and bury this, but the guilt will start to eat him up and that makes him a complex, troubled and tormented character. Kyle actually returns and starts making noises about their fling, and Ryan needs to shut him up. Look what happened when he tried to shut Amy up! Ryan has become a very bad man…
Do you think Ryan is in love with Kyle?
No. He had feelings for him that he couldn’t deal with and was very conflicted. I think Kyle loved Ryan though, but him being around makes Ryan even more full of self-loathing. He needs Kyle to disappear. In an ideal world, if Ryan wasn’t running away from his feelings, maybe they could’ve settled down together and lived in a nice house with a white picket fence… But this is Hollyoaks!
Could he kill again?
He’s very calculating and as a corrupt copper he knows how to manipulate things to protect his name and his image. There are no decent policeman in Hollyoaks, apart from DS Thorpe! I would say Ryan is capable of doing whatever it takes and he’s only going to get more sinister.
What was it like filming the scene where Ryan kills Amy?
All the suspects filmed themselves murdering her before we knew who really did it and I filmed what ended up on screen, so I actually shot me killing her in two different ways! I spent about two hours pretending to murder Ashley (Slanina-Davies, aka Amy) from various angles. It was quite graphic when it was filmed and we ended up having to tone it down a bit, so what you see is more suggestive. But it’s still a powerful scene.
Are you worried about the reaction from the fans once they know?
I’ll be hated and banned from all the supermarkets in Liverpool! (laughs) The viewers are so involved with the storyline and they love to hate a villain. It will just make it much more fun!
So if justice has to be done, what does this mean for your future on the show?
Watch this space. Other than commenting that there’s no turning back for Ryan now, I couldn’t possibly say…
Hollyoaks continues weeknights on E4 at 7pm and on Channel 4 at 6.30pm.
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