RAY Quinn will leave Hollyoaks at the end of the far right extremism storyline.
The former Brookside star – who plays racist thug Jonny Baxter in the Channel 4 soap – has been a fixture on the soap for a year but with Ste Hay now desperate to escape the group of terrorists, his time is limited.
Soap boss Bryan Kirkwood confirmed the news at a Hollyoaks screening this week, saying: “He is gobsmackingly good.
“He’s 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 it’s 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 don’t want your Muslim hands on me’ – that is the pinnacle of the story.
Jonny has groomed Ste into hating Muslims[/caption]
“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?”
He added: “I’m sure Kieron won’t mind me saying this – he was really worried about being the poster boy for this dark story.
“He did ask that he might have a co-star who could go on morning television sofas with him and share the load. That was understandable, a reasonable request. Getting X Factor’s Ray Quinn in certainly solved that!”
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Fans are upset to lose the former X Factor star from the soap, insisting his evil character could be redeemed.
One wrote: “That’s disappointing. The guy is a good actor and if they can redeem Ste they can redeem Johnny too. I also thought they missed out on putting Ste with Johnny. They would have made an interesting couple once this story is over.”
Another added: “He’s an amazing actor but it was obvious he’d be gone after this story. He has no connections in the village outside of the far right story.”
* Hollyoaks airs weeknights on Channel 4 at 6.30pm with a first look episode following at 7pm on E4
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