In an upcoming storyline, Misbah Maalik will be come the victim of vicious racist abuse from Ste Hay on Hollyoaks.
The actress has admitted that she has herself experienced racism in real life and believes that it is sadly on the way up again thanks to the effects of Brexit.
I feel Brexit has almost given people permission to say something they wouldnt have said before, Harvey Virdi said. All the stuff when I grew up in the 70s, Brick Lane/skinheads/East London, relatives wearing turbans getting grief – I used to think when Im older we wouldve worked through all this, and for a while we did. Is it that they always wanted to say these things, and suddenly you can say it? Maybe it never went away?
Ste blames Misbah for the death of his sister, and his racism becomes more prevalent as hes recruited by newcomer Jonny into a far right extremist group who target families such as the Maaliks.
The more research I do the more frightened I get. What is on screen now with Ste grieving is a prologue to the story, it started with Tegans death. Ste loses his business because of Imrans actions, all those little things feed in, she added.
The actress said that an interesting point in the storyline is that Jonny is behind it – on the surface he appears to be one of the lads and a regular guy, but underneath hes an extremist recruiter.
The joy is seeing someone like Ray Quinn be so sinister, she said. Breaking down preconceptions, these people arent who you think they are. Would be easier to get someone who looks mean and sinister, but hes gorgeous, lovely and friendly with banter.
As the storyline starts to gather pace, how far will Ste take his hatred for Misbah? Could he have deadly intent against the doctor, or will his torment be a much slower burn?