Does this Hollyoaks casting prove Tony Hutchinson is still alive?

Joe McGann is playing his dad - but maybe he's just visiting for the funeral?

hollyoaks edward tony

Hollyoaks has delivered one of the biggest soap shocks of 2019 with Tony Hutchinson becoming the latest victim of serial killer Breda McQueen, but as fans struggle to accept original cast member Nick Pickard really has been written out after 24 years could there be a clue to the character’s true fate staring us all in the face?

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Back in May, the soap announced a casting coup, with Joe McGann joining as Tony’s long-lost dad, sinister surgeon Dr Edward Hutchinson, setting up a storyline that would lead into Hollyoaks’ 25th anniversary in October 2020.

At the time a show spokesperson said: “The height of Edward’s villainy will built to a huge story running across the anniversary – and beyond.” Pickard added: “What better way to celebrate our anniversary in 2020 than by getting to know some more of Tony’s family? Edward will definitely ruffle some feathers.”

Surely this means Tony is still alive so he can share the screen with his dad, right? Not necessarily.

eastenders tony hutchinson breda mcqueen

Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood has previously enthused Edward’s arrival will shed more light on Tony’s past, but in light of recent developments his comments could be interpreted to mean that the man himself is not actually around…

“Tony is our biggest character and has never needed a father figure less. But in the autumn, events will bring Edward Hutchinson to the village.”

His son’s funeral would be a plausible enough reason for evil Ed to show up, maybe to take control of the family and establish himself as the new baddie on the block. And just because Tone is absent, it doesn’t mean he can’t be at the centre of the narrative – revelations from Edward about the Hutchinsons can still play out without the buffoonish chef being present.

hollyoaks credits tony

As for the smile-y pictures of Pickard and McGann posing together on set, they could be a part of a grand plan Hollyoaks has had all along to put us off the scent they were killing off an iconic character…

RadioTimes.com understands Tony has been removed from the opening credits from Thursday 29th August’s E4 edition, the first episode after his dramatic stabbing, thickening the plot further.

Hollyoaks is known for pulling audacious stunts to keep fans on their toes, and have had made a virtue of faking deaths for characters including Sienna Blake and Warren Fox before now.

Are there more twists to come for Tony’s ultimate fate? Does McGann’s imminent arrival mean Tony survived? Is Edward being brought in to take the iconic character’s place and grieve for his offspring as the family try and adjust to life without him?

Or are we just unable to face up to the fact one of soap’s most beloved faces is no more…?

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