Hollyoaks spoilers: Stars reveal what’s next after shock John Paul McQueen and Sally St Claire twist

From Metro.co.uk – 18th May 2016

Hollyoaks viewers were shocked to learn a while back that Sally St Claire was John Paul McQueen’s real father before she underwent her gender reassignment surgery – but not half as stunned as the lad himself is after tonight’s First Look episode!

Seeing Pete Buchanan beating John Paul up, Sally raced over, blurting for the villain to leave her son alone. And this is just the beginning of the drama as a shell-shocked John Paul faces the prospect of getting his head around the revelation.

With both Sally and Myra having kept him in the dark, it could be a strenuous journey ahead for the characters and we caught up with James Sutton (John Paul) and Annie Wallace (Mrs St Claire) to find out what happens next…

So, tell us about that massive moment where Sally blurts out the truth to John Paul – what is going through both of their heads in the immediate aftermath? 

Annie: I think the instinct just takes over and also, she’s only just come to terms with having him in her life. He’s always been this dream that she thought she would never have. Seeing him being beaten up by a large, brutal man, something just snaps. She stops being a teacher, she stops thinking about Myra and she only thinks about him.

There’s a moment where you see an ‘uh oh, I lost control’ moment. It’s very much been in her head that she wanted to tell him. But she wanted to do it in a way that caused the least stress – and this is probably the worst way for it to happen?

James: He’s so caught up in what’s going on with his little cousin who is about be whisked away by this paedophile and he has been beaten to a pulp. He’s practically unconscious when he hears it. He has this moment where he’s like ‘did I just hear that right?’ Then he passes out so it’s in the hospital when he then starts to remember?

Does Sally have any regret about telling John Paul or is there some relief that it’s out?

Annie: I think it’s a mixture. She’s glad it’s out but now realises she has to deal with John Paul finding out in a very public way. She’s got to do some serious damage limitation. Can she rescue this? Can Myra forgive her? Can John Paul come to terms with it all? It’s a heck of a lot to get your head round. She’s still working at the school with him!

Does he believe what he is hearing? 

Annie: You have to think about the circumstances. His cousin Cleo is in serious danger and that has to take priority. All this madness, he kind of blocks it out. But not for long – he will want to know what it’s all about and will need a big explanation. The next week will be a bit fraught for all concerned.

Did John Paul have any inkling over what Sally and Myra were hiding?

James: No, nobody would. He couldn’t have had any idea. You’d never reach the conclusion so it’s completely out of the blue. It’s a bit of a bonkers storyline but absolutely brilliant too. It’s been an awful lot of fun to play and Annie is just fabulous

What is his reaction over coming episodes? 

James: As you’d expect, he’s furious and doesn’t accept her into his life and he’s obviously really angry to find out that his mum already knew. He’s furious with everybody, as you would be. It takes quite a while for him to forgive her and move forward with her. I’ve been waiting a long time for something juicy to play and I’m happy with it.

Is there a way in which they can rebuild this? 

Annie: It’s not going to be an instant thing. They have to work together which is awkward. It won’t be cleared up in a hurry. Let’s see how long it goes on for – he will take a long time to come round and, to be honest, who can blame him? He’s got the stress of his job, of everything with Cleo and there’s obviously Scott – there are so many distractions and he’s in a real emotional turmoil. There’s nothing Myra or Sally can say that can shut that out initially. They’ve both lied to him – it’s a heck of a lot!

Would you like the characters to have a parent/child relationship down the line?

James: I don’t think that would ever happen that she would take on a parental role – I don’t think Sally wants to be his parent, she just wants to be in his life and that she loves him. I don’t think John Paul needs a parental figure – they just need to find a level of understanding and move forward and that’s where we’re at in filming now. There is some reconciliation and there is some future for these characters.

Annie: I think building a relationship is something we’d all like to see – but there’s so much to overcome. Everyone knows – it’s not a private thing and there’s an embarrassment factor. No matter how open minded he is, it’s a lot to get his head round. We’d like to see a relationship of some kind grow out of this. Sally and John Paul are nice people at heart – they’re compassionate people who just want to be happy so any relationship will likely come out of that. But yeah, down the line, there may be a thawing…

Are you expecting a big reaction on social media? 

Annie: Oh yes, we all hope that the fans will respond well. They seem to want John Paul and Sally to have a relationship of some kind. Hopefully once they see all of this, they’ll it all to happen!

Have you been pleased with the positive fan response to Sally?

Annie: Absolutely. I didn’t quite expect it – I expected way more flack than I get. Everyone I meet are absolutely lovely. I’ve got people right across the board approaching me from restaurants to an airport in Spain saying they love Sally. That’s lovely for me as an actress. Playing a baddie is fun, but I like Sally very much and her heart is in the right place. She’s a nurturing and encouraging person and she wants the best for the kids – so you have to assume she wants the best for John Paul. And what could be better than that? All she wants is to give is unconditional love.

This storyline is something that has never been done in a soap before…

James: That’s what we do at Hollyoaks! We do stuff that hasn’t been done before – we do outrageous and crazy stuff but we also do stuff rooted in relationships and drama and there can be so much emotion. That’s the joy of the show.

You forget it’s a crazy story when you get caught up in the emotion!

James: That’s right! That’s absolutely it – on paper, it’s crazy. But because it’s been played out by three very good actors, I have to say! All three characters are so rounded/ I hope this has been exciting for our audience – another new element to this crazy family!

And of course, John Paul will soon have his head turned by James…

James: We’ve got this new character and he is a strong, powerful guy who gets what he wants – and he wants John Paul! There’s quite a lot to come – we’ve shot some really great stuff. He has quite a power over John Paul – who can never resist an attractive fella! He feels like he wants to be around this dangerous and exiting character – but then you have poor Scott following him around like a lost puppy!

What would be your dream storyline for Sally down the line, Annie?

Annie: Good heavens! Obviously, this has some time to play out but wouldn’t it be nice if Sally found a love interest? Maybe next year sometime – and I’d love to see the inside of Sally’s flat to see if she’s a neat freak or tidy. And it would embed her more in the village rather than her just being a teacher.

What I’d really like to see is Myra and Sally patch up their differences and become bezzie mates again! They were friends before the John Paul incident so I’d like to see some of that again! There’s a little scene this week which is really lovely which proves how close they used to be. They should go in the village and get drunk and reminisce and just be friends again!

Why does Hollyoaks deserve some love at the British Soap Awards this year?

James: Some of the issues that we have tackled – especially the Pete and Cleo storyline. I know how hard those guys have worked on it and the research and writing and production have put their all into it. The beauty of Hollyoaks, because our audience are so young, is that when we do a storyline that is issue based like with sexual abuse, it can really make a huge difference. With the other soaps, it’s more difficult as their audiences are predominantly older – and that’s not a criticism by any means we just have a different demographic.

We and Channel 4 have slightly more power – on that basis and knowing how hard everyone works – certainly it deserves some awards. And our actors are just really f***ing good – often they don’t get the credit they deserve but they’re so good. Vote all things Hollyoaks!

And you can do that by heading to the British Soap Awards website here and logging your Hollyoaks votes!