Hollyoaks introduces James Nightingale’s secret son Romeo!

Flashback episode sets off huge new plot for the framed lawyer

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Hollyoaks has confirmed James Nightingale has a secret son, as teenager Romeo Quinn arrived in the village looking for his long-lost father.

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In a special episode showing on E4 tonight, Friday 29 June, the focus was on James and his dysfunctional family as he discussed his traumatic childhood with guilt-ridden mother Marnie. Desperate to figure out who was trying to frame him for the murder of lover Kyle Kelly, the eldest Nightingale offspring led us to a flashback to when evil dad Mac was so ashamed of having a gay son he forced him to sleep with a prostitute on his 16th birthday.

Donna-Marie, who Mac had paid for services rendered, was shown later in a clandestine meeting with Marnie who paid her to have abortion as she had fallen pregnant after the encounter with James.

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But flash forwards from the flashback (keeping up?) revealed Donna-Marie had kept the baby and continued to sporadically blackmail Marnie for money, with the moneyed matriarch vowing James never finds out he has a son.

We then met Romeo, Donna-Marie’s teenage son, who arrived anonymously in Hollyoaks to find his father, crossing paths with Marnie unaware it was his grandmother. But Romeo couldn’t face knocking on James’s door and turned away…

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Playing Romeo is newcomer Owen Warner who has been confirmed as a cast regular, as has ex-Corrie star Lucy-Jo Hudson as Donna-Marie, so how long until we get a showdown between father and son where James discovers he has a child he knew nothing about? And what will his reaction be when he discovers Marnie’s part in keeping this huge secret?

Added to all this was James finally realising Sami Maalik was behind the hate campaign against him, as yet another glimpse into the past (Hollyoaks impressively packing what is possibly the most amount of timelines ever crammed into a single soap episode) showed James recalling Mac had made him steal money from the law firm where he had his first job and frame the friendly accountant Kashif who later killed himself in prison – with the penny dropping that Kashif was Sami’s dead dad, and framing James for murder was part of an elaborate revenge plot.

But with James’s sister Ellie set to discover she’s pregnant by boyfriend Sami, what does the future hold for the vicious vendetta?

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