As Hollyoaks explores the traumatic shared history of Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) and Felix Westwood (Richard Blackwood) a face from their past has been introduced, and the actor playing him will be familiar to many viewers.
Backstory tells us that Cormac Ranger worked at the children’s home where Foxy and Felix both grew up, and after Mr Westwood confided in his rival he was physically abusive towards him Warren tracks him down intent on dishing out punishment for the crime.
Playing seemingly kindly Cormac, who Warren worshipped and had no idea was a violent bully, is James Gaddas, best known for his roles in Coronation Street and cult drama Bad Girls.
The actor spent just over a year on the cobbles from 1999 to 2000 as Rovers Return barman/cellarman/Lothario Vinny Sorrell, who romanced landlady Natalie Barnes but two-timed her with her sister Debs Brownlow.
Vinny and Debs eventually ran away to Southampton together, unaware heartbroken Natalie was pregnant by her cheating ex. Natalie left Weatherfield and gave birth to their daughter, Laura, off screen in 2001.
Gaddas had an earlier, smaller role in Corrie in 1989 as Robert Prescott, a business rival of entrepreneur Mike Baldwin.
After his stint as Vinny came a long sentence in ITV’s gritty Bad Girls as closeted women’s prison governor Neil Grayling, from the fourth series in 2002 to the final season in 2006. Gaddas appeared alongside a number of fellow Corrie stars, past and present, including Claire King (Erica Holroyd), Eva Pope (Tanya Pooley) and Amanda Barrie (Alma Halliwell).
The character met a sticky end, killed off after an outbreak of legionnaire’s disease in Larkhall prison with his corpse discovered in his office by colleague Lou Stoke – played by a pre-Emmerdale Amanda Donohoe before she was scorned spouse Natasha Wylde.
The Emmerdale connection doesn’t end there, as Gaddas also cropped up in the Yorkshire soap in 2015 as killer Ged, who was sent to prison by Harriet Finch in her copper days. You may also have seen him Outlander, Doctors, Casualty, Waterloo Road and The Bill among his numerous other credits.
Seeing Cormac again opens old wounds for Hollyoaks hard men Warren and Felix and is set to have a huge impact on both their futures, explaining how they became the tough guys they are today. Cormac denies Felix’s claims of abuse, but is he telling the truth?