Hollyoaks has given fans their first glimpse of Joe McGann as Edward Hutchinson, ahead of the acclaimed actor joining the cast as the long-lost father of Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard) for a sensational storyline paving the way for the award-winning soap’s 25thanniversary celebrations in 2020.
Charismatic surgeon Edward is set to become the show’s next super villain when he arrives later this year, shedding new light on Hollyoaks’ longest-serving character Tony, who has been at the centre of the drama since the very first episode back in 1995.
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Edward is described as a highly manipulative and narcissistic surgeon who has only his best interests at heart. A show spokesperson revealed to RadioTimes.com: “He could not be more different than lovable Tony. The height of Edward’s villainy will build to a huge story running across the anniversary – and beyond!”
Speaking as he commences filming, McGann said: “I’m looking forward to joining this very good team – the current soap champions!” referring of course to Hollyoaks being crowned Best Soap at the recent British Soap Awards.
BIG NEWS! Who's excited about #Hollyoaks turning twenty-five next year? ??♀️ Let's meet our Tony's father! ? 2020 is going to be HUGE! @E4Tweets @Channel4 #NotGoingAnywhere #LoveOurFans #LifeButBrighter pic.twitter.com/wM2wnN8v0E
— Hollyoaks (@Hollyoaks) June 21, 2019
“After 25 years we finally find out where Tony’s dad has come from. It’s a blessing to be stepping into such a good team with good characters.”
When does Hollyoaks reach its 25thanniversary?
Stalwart Pickard added: “Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Joe who is coming in to play my dad. What better way to celebrate our anniversary in October 2020 than by getting to know some more of Tony’s family? I have to warn you, though, Edward is definitely here to ruffle some feathers! Here’s to the next 25 years!”
The announcement is a confident look to the soap’s future and quashes tabloid claims made on Thursday 20 June that Hollyoaks is facing the axe, with Channel 4 pledging their support in a statement confirming the programme is “hugely valued and not under threat. Our share of the 16-34 demographic on the nightly E4 showing is up, meaning Hollyoaks is the only UK soap to be up year on year.
“We are incredibly proud it was recognised as Best Soap at the British Soap Awards.”
McGann is best known for starring in 1990s ITV sitcom The Upper Hand, in which he played male nanny Charlie Burrows opposite future EastEnders landlady Kellie Bright (Linda Carter) as his teenage daughter Jo.
The actor, the eldest of the famous McGann acting dynasty, also featured alongside Hollyoaks’ Lysette Anthony (Marnie Nightingale) in short-lived ITV soap Night and Day in 2001 and has appeared in Casualty, All Creatures Great and Small and Rockcliffe’s Babies.
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