Hollyoaks are raiding the archives to give fans their daily fix, despite the soap currently only showing two new episodes a week due to the pandemic, and James Sutton hopes his character John Paul McQueen’s iconic romance with Craig Dean will be revisited in the Hollyoaks Favourites slot.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Sutton revealed his personal choice of classic episodes to show again. “I’d love to see some of the JP and Craig stuff, that would be fun to revisit.
“That was the original tortured gay romance, the first of it’s kind. It was such a great storyline an went on for a long time – the ‘love square’ with Hannah Ashworth and Sarah Barnes, the big party where John Paul told Craig he loved him, the episode where Craig was really vicious to him in front of Sarah, it was all super stuff.”
Like all good soap romances (Robron, Kana, Vanity, Stendan…) the boys were given their own ship name by fans – ‘McDean’ – and the story remains one of Hollyoaks’ most memorable romances.
Shy, sensitive schoolboy John Paul came out to best mate Craig after starting Hollyoaks High in 2006. JP held a torch for his straight mate despite Craig dating Sarah, but the lads were destined to be together and embarked on a tortuous two-year on/off relationship that explored their sexuality struggles.
Hearts broke in 2007 when Craig left for a new life in Dublin, unable to fully come out and commit to John Paul. Thankfully, they were reunited the following year and left together, as Sutton recalls.
“It all culminated in our ‘sunset ending’ with them going off together! I’d love to see some of that but appreciate there is a lot of other stuff people might want Hollyoaks Favourites to show, so I won’t hold my breath!”
As groundbreaking and moving as it was, this may not be the time to mention that after all that, the romance didn’t last and JP returned to Hollyoaks a single man in 2010.
Off screen they eventually reconnected after the teacher’s marriage to Ste Hay ended in 2017 and lived together in Singapore, but Mr McQueen came home again in December 2019 after splitting with his teenage true love once more. JP is now involved in a love triangle with old flame James Nightingale and newcomer PC George Kiss.
Hollyoaks Favourites airs on E4 at 7pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, but with new episodes set to last until the end of July the popular reruns may move to five nights a week to plug the gap between production hopefully recommencing in the coming months and the show being back in business on our screens.