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'Hollyoaks' star Kieron Richardson teases Ste's future: Interview

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Ste Hay - played by Kieron Richardson

© Channel 4

Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson has enjoyed another busy year on the show as his character Ste Hay has had more turbulent times in his on-off relationship with Brendan Brady (Emmett Scanlan).

Following the news that Ste may be finding his own path away from Brendan in the New Year, Digital Spy recently caught up with Kieron to hear what's ahead for his character in 2012.

What have been your highlights from the past 12 months at Hollyoaks?
"I think my main highlight from the past year goes without saying - it's been working with Emmett. He's been a great addition to the show, and it's also great for me as an actor to work with someone like him. Emmett's helped me and challenged me, which has been really good.

"It's been another good year, and touch wood, every year I've been here I've had really good storylines - so it's been fantastic to have another successful year on the show."

What do you think of the decision to keep Ste and Brendan apart for the time being?
"I think the two characters definitely needed to split off from each other and do their own thing. I think if you push it in the audience's faces too much, then they'll get bored of it, so I think it's nice that they've stopped that for a bit now and they can both go their separate ways.

"Knowing the relationship that they've got and their past, they will always come back together at some point. But I think it is important that they go off and do their own things. It's nice for us to work with some different people too."

3134: Ste and Brendan
Even if Ste and Brendan are apart for now, could there be a light at the end of the tunnel for their fans in the long-term?
"I don't know whether there's any future in the relationship, but I can definitely see them working together again - whether it'll be in Chez Chez, or Brendan getting Ste to do something dodgy for him. Brendan's obviously that type of character, and Ste's so gullible that he'll just go along and do anything! I can definitely see them having scenes together but as for specifics, even we don't know yet."

It sounds like the writers are planning to explore Ste more in his own right in 2012. Are you excited about what's ahead?
"Definitely. I think this year Ste was very much the victim in every sense - in his career and in his relationship with Brendan. I think in 2012, you're going to see a very different side of Ste and we're giving him a bit of power. He's going to have a new job, he's going to get a new love interest, and he's going to be a brand new person - which is going to be interesting after the year that he's just had!"

Can you tell us about his new job?
"I'm not allowed to say what it is yet! But Ste's always been known as the down and out - he's never had money, and he's never had luck in his relationships. So I think the career choice that he makes is something that you wouldn't expect him to do. Well, you would kind of expect it from him - but it's quite a powerful position as well.

"He's been a binman, he's been a chef, he's been a barman, and an ex-convict! So his CV's not great, but the audience will be surprised by what he ends up doing."

3133: Brendan and Ste
With Ste getting a new love interest, how do you think he'd react if Brendan ever followed suit and did the same?
"I think if Brendan got a new love interest, then Ste would be absolutely devastated and gutted! He likes to put on a bravado and say that Amy was the love of his life because he's got the kids with her, but Brendan is definitely the real love of his life. It's like in real life - if you see somebody with your ex, it absolutely kills you inside."

Will there be more Ste and Amy scenes in 2012?
"Yeah, there's a lot of scenes coming up with Ste and Amy actually. I think that's really nice after everything that they've been through. Ste is gay, they have the kids together - and it's nice how accepting Amy is of it, because situations like this do happen in real life. It shows that you can still be a dad to your kids even if you're gay and you can still get on well with the mother of your children."

Do you think the domestic violence aspect of Ste and Brendan's story could be explored more, or have we seen the last of it?
"My personal opinion is that, yes they've kind of dropped it for now, but because it's such a huge topic and gay domestic abuse had never been done on British television before, it would be a shame if we never went back to it at all.

"But it's a tough one. As it's domestic abuse, the perpetrator needs to get their comeuppance to show the audience that it's not accepted. But then you've also got to look at the character of Brendan. What do you do - put him in prison and lose him from the show? I think we need to find a way of doing it that's right."

3104: Ste, Noah and Brendan
What do you think it is about Brendan that attracts Ste time and time again?
"I think it's because Ste never had a dad - and the stepdad figure he did have in his life used to physically abuse him. So he was brought up alone, he fended for himself and his mum was an alcoholic.

"When Brendan first came on the scene he was this powerful man - a very manly man. Even though it's weird that they ended up having a relationship, I always played it so that Brendan was a bit of a father figure to him. But obviously he fancied him at the same time!"

Cheryl is Ste's other main friend on the show, so will they have more to do together?
"I've been working with Bronagh [Waugh, who plays Cheryl] a little bit, but not massive amounts. Bronagh has also got a new storyline in 2012, so it's nice that everyone's doing their own separate things.

"But I think what you'll see more of in the show in general is that we'll be passing each other in the village, saying hello and having little chit-chats. Everyone's doing their own individual storylines, but then we'll meet up in the middle and discuss what's going on - as would happen in real life."

If Ste could build up a friendship with any other character, who would you choose?
"I'd like him to be friends with Darren. I think Ashley Taylor Dawson is one of our strongest actors, and every time he's on screen I just want to watch him. He makes me laugh, he does comedy really well and he does vulnerability really well. He's been in the show for years and years, but I don't really get to work with him that much - I've probably only done about three scenes with him. So I'd like Ste and Darren to be friends!"

Have you had many scenes with Dan O'Connor, who's just joined the show?
"Quite a few actually. I'm very heavily involved in the beginning of his first storyline, when he first starts."

What would be a dream storyline for you?
"I'd love it if Ste and Amy took the kids to Benidorm, so we could film there. And then something bad would happen, so that we'd have to stay there for a quite a while!"

3206: Sinead, Ste and Leanne
Apart from your own, what was your favourite Hollyoaks story this year?
"Definitely the Silas storyline - it didn't just capture everybody here, it captured the whole country. The ratings went through the roof, the performances were incredible and the whole team pulled together with some brilliant writing. To me, it was us sticking our fingers up to all the negative people out there who thought that we couldn't do it. I'm very pleased to be working where I am!"

Away from Hollyoaks, you and Bronagh have recently started your own radio show on Gaydio each Sunday. How's it all going?
"It's weird, actually! Myself and Bronagh are best friends in real life - we get to work together at Hollyoaks and now we have a radio show as well! We went in the other day and found out that it's the number one downloadable radio show on the station. Apparently so many people log on to listen to it on a Sunday that the system crashes. We get to be ourselves, have a laugh, interview people from work and other celebrities. It's a really fun Sunday."

Your birthday is coming up in January and you had a huge party for your last one. How are you going to top it this time around?
"You haven't even heard anything yet! Because my birthday's in January, I'm having my party in March because of the weather. Basically, I've hired out a full holiday camp, so everybody who comes will get a caravan each. You turn up at 2pm and get a buffet lunch, and then everybody's going to be on Segways and go-karts.

"Then in the night, there'll be a Great British holiday theme with a fish and chips stand, a candy floss stand, an '80s and '90s disco with popstars including S Club 7 - but there's only three of them, so it'll be S Club 3! There'll be some others too, but I don't want to say as it'll ruin the surprise. But it's going to be massive."

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