The secret romance currently bubbling between EastEnders‘ Callum Highway (Tony Clay) and Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) threatens to be exposed on Thursday 4th July when Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) spies his little brother receiving a kiss on the cheek from Phil’s bad boy son during Walford’s inaugural Pride event.
Conflicted Callum is engaged to Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) but is hiding in the closet after a lusty liaison with Ben after giving into his forbidden feelings.
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Struggling with his sexuality, Callum is uncomfortable as the community celebrates the Pride party and he’s forced to be a model for his fiancee’s homemade T-shirts marking the LGBTQ-themed celebrations. As talk turns to wedding planning, Whit wonders if Callum wants to invite his parents, leading the ex-soldier to reach out to his estranged dad, Jonno Highway (Richard Graham) who visits his sons on Monday 1st July.
The family reunion starts off well as Jonno charms Whitney but soon goes downhill as he shows his nasty true colours and clashes with Ben and Phil in the Vic.
On Thursday 4th July Callum crosses paths with Ben again, and the moody Mitchell can’t help himself and antagonises the newcomer – which he regrets when Jonno follows him into the pub loos and the pair come to blows.
Later, mortified Callum catches up with Ben to privately apologise for his dad’s aggressive actions, and Ben drops the goading act and displays genuine emotions as he offers some heartfelt advice based on his own experiences of coming to terms with being gay.
Kissing Callum tenderly on the cheek, neither of the lads realise Stuart has spotted the cosy exchange from across the Square… How will Callum react when Stu confronts his sibling on Friday 5th July?
Who is playing Stuart and Callum’s dad?
Viewers will recognise Richard Graham, who is guest starring as Highway patriarch Jonno, from his appearances in high-profile Hollywood movies such as Titanic and Gangs of New York.
His raft of credits also includes Mike Leigh period drama Vera Drake alongside Imelda Staunton, true-life political thriller In the Name of the Father, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. On TV Graham has got soap form from playing Billy Alexander, long-lost father of Mercedes, Jacqui and Theresa McQueen in Hollyoaks.
He’s also popped up in Doctors, Midsomer Murders and New Tricks among many other popular series.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com on the red carpet at the British Soap Awards 2019, Champ teased: “Richard comes in and it’s an explosive little storyline. It illuminates a lot about Stuart and his brother Callum’s upbringing. It was rough!”
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