James Sutton is returning to Hollyoaks after two years away from the soap.
The 36-year-old actor’s much-loved alter-ego John Paul McQueen will be back on the Channel 4 soap five years after his harrowing rape storyline.
James said: “I’m delighted to be returning and reprising the role of John Paul, a character that I care deeply about.
“The cast and crew of Hollyoaks are among the loveliest and hardest working I know and I’m really looking forward to being back with them.”
Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood added: “James Sutton’s creation, John Paul McQueen, is one of the most beloved characters in Hollyoaks’ history.
“We are delighted to have him back, to bring some stability to the chaotic McQueen household and to be a figurehead at Hollyoaks High.
“John Paul has featured in two of Hollyoaks’ biggest ever stories. With so many loose ends in the village and a few ex-lovers, we are looking forward to another ground-breaking chapter.”
On the show’s official Twitter, they teased: “You heard it here first! @thejamessutton is making a return to #Hollyoaks! Could your Wednesday get any better? What do you think is in store for John Paul? Here’s a few words from the man himself… (sic)”
You heard it here first! @thejamessutton is making a return to #Hollyoaks! 😱😱😱 Could your Wednesday get any better? What do you think is in store for John Paul? 👀 Here’s a few words from the man himself… pic.twitter.com/KMV32hEfQS
— Hollyoaks (@Hollyoaks) July 24, 2019
James said he will begin filming in two months’ time.
In the accompanying video, he said: “Alright! I am very excited and very pleased to announce that I am returning to Hollyoaks, John Paul is returning to Hollyoaks.
“I start filming again in about eight weeks’ times and yeah, I can’t wait.
“I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for John Paul and I am super excited to see you all soon.”
John Paul is set to come face-to-face with his rapist Finn O’Connor (Keith Rice) when he makes his comeback later this year.
John Paul was last on screen in 2017, when he left the village for a new life in Singapore, after his relationship with James Nightingale (Gregory Finnegan) came to an end.
It was teased that the teacher was to be reunited with his first lover, Craig.
He previously played the role between 2006 and 2009, before returning in 2012 after a stint on Emmerdale as Ryan Lamb.
He appeared briefy on-screen in Hollyoaks in March of this year on a video link at his mum’s wedding to his transgender father.
Although James moved into working in the theatre, James has remained proud of his soap roots, and he has dismissed any acting industry “snobbery” about starring in the serial shows.
He previously told Metro.co.uk: “Some soap actors have been doing their roles for years.
“There is a reason for that – they are the best in the business, they are professionals. They turn up day after day, week after week.”
Hollyoaks is on weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with a first look episode at 7pm on E4.
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