While the storyline has been a divisive and difficult watch, one thing that Hollyoaks fans have been pretty much unanimous on is the incredible performances of Ray Quinn as far right extremist Jonny. As Jonny groomed and radicalised Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson) into the racist gang which has targeted the Maaliks, things recently came to a head when Jonny caused an explosion which badly injured Yasmine (Haiesha Mistry).
The former Brookside actor and X Factor star has given career defining performances in a role which show boss Bryan Kirkwood has admitted he couldnt have had the life experience to prepare for. And thats what makes it all the more impressive, reckons the executive producer.
However, Jonny is a finite character with a shelf life. When we asked if he would have preferred to keep Ray around for a long time or if he is happy with the role he was cast in, Bryan told Metro.co.uk: Both! He is gobsmackingly good. Hes so charming and sweet in real life and he has grown up on television sets and X Factor green rooms – he has got no life experience comparable to what he is performing on screen. Yet, he is so compelling, fierce and horrible, I just think he is extraordinary.
So its a bittersweet thing – I would have loved to have had Ray Quinn for the next 10 years. But equally to have him for one year like this has been a really good thing. That scene where he said to Misbah, “I dont want your Muslim hands on me” – that is the pinnacle of the story. This goes back to Nigel from Small Steps who has been advising us – that was an image he gave us in our first meeting. Some people are so far gone into that hatred that they would rather die and make themselves a martyr rather than be healed by someone of the Islamic faith. We thought that it is disgusting and awful – but how do we get to that point in the story?
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