There’s a blast from the past in Hollyoaks as Kurt Benson (Jeremy Edwards) makes a shock comeback from beyond the grave as part of the soap’s explosive 25th anniversary week.
Roaring into the village on his motorbike, just like he did in the first ever episode back in 1995, his unexpected appearance is a huge surprise to Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard), who believed his best mate perished off screen in 1999 – as do the viewers. So what’s the story?
As Kurt explains where he’s really been for the last few decades, here’s a reminder of his iconic character and some of his most memorable moments.
When did Kurt Benson first appear in Hollyoaks?
Leather jacket-clad cool dude Kurt was among the original seven main characters when Hollyoaks launched on Channel 4, and was in episode one which aired way back on 23rd October 1995. The show initially revolved around a group of bright young things living it large in an affluent Chester suburb, and Kurt – and Edward himself – was an instant breakout star with his model looks and rock star charisma.
Kurt knocked about with bezzies Tony and Jambo (Will Mellor) but was definitely the leader of the pack. Early plots saw him chasing It Girl Natasha Anderson, who tragically perished after being drugged by evil Rob Hawthorne, who became Kurt’s nemesis for the next four years.
The rest of the Bensons became central to the show including younger siblings Ollie, who died in a car crash, and Lucy, also targeted by aforementioned Hawthorne who got her hooked on heroin.
The big love of Kurt’s life was Natasha’s cousin Ruth Osbourne (Terri Dwyer). They tied the knot in 1997 and became Hollyoaks’ answer to Neighbours Scott and Charlene. Sadly the power couple’s happiness didn’t last and Kurt cheated on his wife with her stepsister, the comely Kate Patrick (Natasha Symms), and grew increasingly aggressive as his vendetta with Rob deepened.
What happened to Kurt Benson?
Edwards moved on in January 1999 to join the original line-up of another successful continuing drama, BBC1’s Holby City (he also notched up appearances in Celebrity Big Brother and Dancing On Ice). Alarmed by his own brutish behaviour and obsession with Rob, troubled Kurt decided it was best all round if he left town and eventually parted on good terms with Ruth.
Six months later, tragedy struck when the gang received news their pal had been killed in a jet-ski accident. However, it turned out rascal Rob had caused the incident and murdered his arch-enemy, only for that to be exposed a double bluff when it then emerged the horrid Hawthorne lied to make it look as if he’d finally won the feud.
As part of Hollyoaks’ 18th birthday in 2013, Kurt appeared as a ghost with Edwards returning to film the spectral scenes. Tony was battling cancer and dreamt he was reunited with his old friend as he slept – but fast forward seven years later to the soap’s golden anniversary and this is no dream…
When is Kurt Benson back in Hollyoaks?
The character makes his first on-screen appearance on Wednesday 21st October in the E4 showing (a day later on C4). Tone’s life is at rock bottom, with his marriage to Diane Hutchinson (Alex Fletcher) all but over thanks to the manipulations of evil dad Edward Hutchinson (Joe McGann).
After picking his jaw up off the floor, Tony – and fans – learn the truth about Kurt’s fake death, and the real reason he has come home (apart from a nice bit of nostalgia for the anniversary, of course).
How long Edwards is back for remains a closely-guarded secret, but as other long-serving characters such as Mandy, Darren and Cindy discover Kurt is back in town expect shocks and revelations aplenty as Hollyoaks welcomes back one of it’s most famous faces…