John Paul McQueen (James Sutton) may be the most sensible member of Hollyoaks‘ chaotic McQueen clan, but he’s definitely one of the unluckiest when it comes to love.
That’s about to change as the teacher embarks on a tentative romance with hunky newcomer PC George Kiss (Callum Kerr), although the spectre of old flame James Nightingale (Gregory Finnegan) and the way their twisted relationship imploded looms large as the lawyer suddenly declares he wants his ex back…
“What he had with James was very turbulent and dramatic and John Paul won’t put up with that now, which is why he turns him down,” says Sutton, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com. “John Paul has come back to the village a more confident, happier version of himself. He has a new mentality and won’t take any rubbish.”
There’s also the small matter of James admitting to trying to kill JP’s big sister Mercedes McQueen last year after mistakenly believing she murdered his lover Harry Thompson. As Sutton points out, that’s quite a thing to get past.
“John Paul is angry at James even thinking he could take him back after the shooting. James has a history of doing some pretty bonkers things, he is very complicated! Although they still care about each other, there’s a lot of history and they’ve been there through difficult times. I’d like to think in the future they will revisit the relationship. But for the moment, John Paul and George is going to be a biggie and will run for a while.”
Criminally-handsome, happy-go-lucky copper George is worlds apart from tortured, uptight James, and Sutton is excited about exploring a different kind of romance for his alter ego, who he’s played on and off since 2006, returning to the cast full-time after three years away in December 2020.
“Every relationship he’s had has been different and brings out new sides to him,” he shares. “We’re keen to make him and George fun. There might be drama to come later on but we want to show two fellas just falling for each other and having a good time.
“A McQueen dating a cop could be interesting as the two don’t really mix!” he laughs. “They all get over it quick quickly when they realise George is a cool guy and is good with JP’s son Matthew-Jesus, so he’s welcomed to the fold which is nice. And he’s quite flirty with Nana – she’s got an eye for a handsome gentleman, and they don’t come much more handsome than PC Kiss!”