Yesterday we brought you Emmett Scanlan's thoughts on the 'Stendan' reunion in an in-depth interview, and now we can present a second reaction chat from Kieron Richardson, who plays Ste.
Here, Kieron chats to Digital Spy about Ste's decision, its aftermath and why he wants his character's edgier side to return!
Are you pleased that Ste and Brendan have finally reunited?
"Yeah, I think it's been two years in the making. It's good that we've held off on doing it for so long, because the audience have wanted it since the day they split up. I think if we'd given it to them straight away, there wouldn't have been as much suspense and excitement - and maybe the relationship would have fizzled out last year.
"The two characters needed to be separated for Brendan to go on his journey and for Ste to go on his own journey as well. Brendan needed to deal with his anger issues, while it's also been nice that Ste had the chance to find love with Doug and try taking the 'right' path. But in actual fact, he just needed to follow his heart. Ste did love Doug, but his first and true love is always going to be Brendan."
There's always a big buzz around 'Stendan', but never more so than this week! Are you pleased with the response?
"Definitely - it's just great to be involved in such a big and unusual storyline. It's been a tangled and twisted love story, which shouldn't have happened but then it did. It's a storyline that the audience have really taken to their hearts.
"The response that we get on Twitter is phenomenal, and for me as an actor, I've loved working with Emmett as well. It's been good all round for everybody!"
Did you enjoy the chance to go over to Dublin to film the reunion scenes?
"Yeah, I never really get to go out of the building usually, so it was brilliant! It was also great to have Emmett there as a little Irish tour guide. He had his daughter Kayla with us, too, and she was working behind the scenes. It was really nice to see Emmett as a dad with Kayla, because he's not anything like his character in real life."
Can Ste and Brendan truly be happy in their relationship now?
"Well, I think that's the exciting thing: what happens now? In the past, when Ste and Brendan were secretly together, they were never able to openly and freely love each other in public. Now that two years have passed and Brendan has come out to everybody, it's great that they can be open and free.
"It's going to be interesting to see where the relationship goes now that there's hopefully going to be no secrets. Is it just going to be a love story, or is there going to be more drama down the road? There always seems to be some kind of dark and sinister thing going on with Brendan, so who knows?"
You've had months of people asking you about whether Ste would end up with Doug or Brendan. Is it a relief to have it finally resolved now?
"Yeah, it is. We were told a long time ago that the story was going to pan out to this point, so I always knew it was coming. It was always hard to be asked whether I preferred 'Stug' or 'Stendan', because all three of us had worked hard on the different relationships. You don't want to favour one over the other, as that would feel disrespectful to the work that we'd done, to the fans of the other relationship, and also to the actors involved.
"I've always sat on the fence, because I do think there are pros and cons to both of the relationships. When I was doing interviews, I always knew that 'Stendan' was going to win in the end. So it's been a tough couple of months trying to keep it a secret, and even at this point I still wouldn't say I preferred one or the other. But I know the fans hate that answer!"
Are there any more scenes coming up with Ste and John Paul?
"As it stands at the moment, there's going to be lots of John Paul and the McQueens. There's a lot of years that he's missed, so he's got a lot of catching up to do there. In terms of Ste and John Paul doing things together, I'm not so sure yet. I'd love to work with James, though, as I think he's a great actor."
How involved will Ste be in the storyline with Brendan and his father Seamus?
"Heavily involved, really. Seamus has turned up and it's a question of whether or not Ste lets Brendan keep him a secret. We have to explore that and it's a great story - what would Seamus's reaction be to knowing that Brendan is gay and in a relationship with this little scrawny guy that runs a deli? There's lots of great things to come.
"Brendan has told Ste a little bit about his past, but obviously Ste doesn't watch the Hollyoaks late-night episodes, so he doesn't know anything about the sexual abuse. Ste's had his own turbulent relationship with his stepdad, so he can kind of relate to Brendan because they've had a similar upbringing. Or so Ste thinks, as he still doesn't know the full story.
"If Ste does find that out, I think it would make him feel a lot more pain for Brendan."
Could Ste stay friends with Doug?
"I don't know - it all depends whether Doug comes back or not! It was quite emotional and fraught when they left each other on screen this week, so if he was to come back, would it be water under the bridge? Or would there still be feelings and emotions there between them?"
This week we saw Ste smashing up a pub with Brendan. Could his bad boy side be making a return?
"I would like that to happen, as I think the character has probably become a bit too good. I'd hate to play him as a bit of a pushover, or too soppy and wet. I don't think you should lose the essence of what the character was when he first came into the show.
"When I read the scene of Ste smashing up the pub, my take on it was that he was in his element - it was taking him back to how he used to be, but in a happy place because he's with the love of his life. They were both doing something they love to do - who wouldn't like to smash a glass or throw tables and chairs at walls?
"I secretly would like the character to go back a bit more to how he used to be, because every storyline that I've done so far has been about love, love, and love. He loved Amy, Doug and Brendan. He loves everyone that he gets with! I'm excited for the future and hopefully some more stuff like that will come out."
What kind of a relationship will Brendan have with Leah and Lucas?
"I think it's going to be confusing for the kids. For the past couple of months, they've had 'Daddy Doug' and the marriage. Now Doug has gone and Brendan is in his shoes, it's quite confusing for the kids, so we have to tell that story as well. Plus, Leah as a character can be quite feisty anyway!"
Do Brendan and Ste move in together?
"It's not actually been said yet. There's some episodes where they're both in Cheryl and Brendan's flat, and some episodes where they're both in the council flat. I think they're both having nights over at each other's houses at the moment."
How are you spending Christmas this year?
"I'm spending it in New York with friends. I've never been before, so I'm quite excited about that. Obviously PJ Brennan is from Brooklyn, so we're going to go to his family house and have Boxing Day dinner there. Then it'll be New Year's Eve in the Big Apple!"
> 'Hollyoaks': Emmett Scanlan talks Ste, Brendan reunion and future
> Read the latest 'Hollyoaks' spoilers and news
Hollyoaks airs weeknights on Channel 4, with first look screenings on E4.