Hollyoaks: Russ Owen returns this summer as Stuart Manning rejoins the cast

What brings Mercedes McQueen's ex-husband back to the village?

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Hollyoaks has announced the return of Russ Owen almost a decade on from his dramatic exit, as Stuart Manning reprises his role this summer.

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Russ fled the country with his young son Max in 2009 following the death of the child’s mother Tina McQueen, who perished after being blown up in a church by her vengeful long-lost brother Niall Rafferty. Max was meant to be Tina’s sister Jacqui’s surrogate child, but Russ kidnapped the lad when he realised he couldn’t let someone else raise him.

During his five years in the show Russ found himself embroiled with other members of  the McQueen clan – he was also married to Mercedes, until her affair with Warren Fox destroyed the relationship. The character also battled testicular cancer and was briefly romantically linked to Nancy Osborne, when she was still Nancy Hayton.

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Details of what brings him back after all this time remain a secret for now, but the McQueens will no doubt have their hackles up after Russ abducted one of their own. Will Max be with him? And what will Nancy make of seeing her old flame? Will she be tempted to stray from husband Darren, unaware of his infidelity with Mandy Morgan?

Speaking about his comeback, Manning said: “After a decade away from Hollyoaks it felt like the right time to come back, particularly when the show is on such a high. It will be really interesting for me to explore how the character of Russ has evolved, and to return as a different actor to who I was back then.”

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Manning begins filming in the summer. Since leaving Hollyoaks, the actor has had guest roles in other shows including Doctors and Ackley Bridge, and in 2009 was a contestant on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

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