After a strong 12 months for the show - including five wins at the British Soap Awards - Bryan gave us an exclusive insight into what fans can expect next.
Read on below to find out about plans for new characters connected to a Hollyoaks favourite, the upcoming 18th anniversary and much more!
We've seen lots of positive changes to Hollyoaks in the past year. What are your thoughts on the show's current state of play?
"I think we're in a strong position, as the audience seems to have responded well to the changes that we've made. I was conscious of not 're-branding' or 're-launching' the show again.
"For me, the formula is simple - it's finding the right mix of big soap stories, rites of passage teen stories, along with big, heartfelt love stories. If we strike that right balance and broaden Hollyoaks out to a family show, rather than focusing on one age group over another, I think that's when we get the best response from the audience."
Do you have any particular aims for the next few months? Is there anything that you feel the show should be doing more or less of?
"It's always a work in progress. Running one of these shows means that you never get to the finish line - there's always something else to oversee. Regarding the three types of stories that I've mentioned, sometimes we veer a little bit too far into one territory over another, but I think we're getting it right most of the time."
Are you approaching Hollyoaks exactly the same way second time around, or has the audience expectation changed?
"I think the audience expectation keeps getting higher, which is as it should be, as it really keeps us on our toes.
"I've done this job for long enough now to be able to draw from my own experience, and I'm lucky that the team around me right now are amongst the best people that I've ever worked with. I believe that we've currently got the most talented Hollyoaks writing, script and story team that there's ever been."
Can you tell us which characters and storylines will be most prominent over the summer?
"It's going to be a huge summer at Hollyoaks, with all of our old favourites in the thick of the action. We'll have Ste facing one of the biggest challenges of his life as his mum, who has been diagnosed with cancer, asks him to help her die.
"We've also got Darren and Nancy in a great, juicy storyline with Sienna as the cuckoo in their nest. I'm keen for that storyline not to be seen as just a love triangle. Sienna wants far more than just Darren - she wants all the colour and the chaos of the Osborne family. As Nancy has been foolish enough to invite Sienna back into her home, this story is going to explode all over the summer.
"Elsewhere, we're going to see the McQueens in peril from Doctor Browning as he focuses in on Myra as the threat to his relationship with Mercedes. That really kicks off with the current stalker mystery, which is going to lead into massive consequences for every single member of the family.
"We're also going to see much more of Tony's cancer storyline, which is playing out beautifully. I'm so proud of Nick Pickard and his work so far. That story will help create a new super-family with the Hutchinsons and the O'Connors coming together at last - and watch out for when Tony finally does tell Diane his heartbreaking news…"
Are you planning to bring back any more faces from the past?
"I've had a few conversations recently, but it's too early to say whether we're going to pursue any more returns. We do have a couple of exits coming up over the next few months and a couple of new characters too, but in terms of returnees, you'll just have to wait and see."
Lots of our readers were wondering whether we'd ever see Silas again. Would you explore his storyline any further?
"The Silas story was one of the Hollyoaks success stories of the past few years and it played out brilliantly for the programme. For me, it felt like the right time when Silas exited for the second time last summer, but never say never. I'd be foolish to rule it out completely when Jeff Rawle was so fantastic in the part."
Can you tell us anything about the new characters you have planned?
"Ste is undoubtedly one of our most important characters and I'm so impressed with everything Kieron has done in the role. He's become a real star in the past few years. I was conscious of the fact that Ste was languishing on his own with no family around him, so that's something we're going to change by bringing in Ste's sisters. Ste's story with Pauline is just the start of a massive journey for the character.
"The Roscoes have got off to a great start as a big, male force at the heart of the show, so I'm eager to bring in an equally-strong female force to become the engine of Hollyoaks for the next few years. We're just casting the characters now and I'm really looking forward to seeing Ste playing alongside these girls."
We've seen less of the university element of the show recently, so will this be picked up again?
"Absolutely. Hollyoaks started as a university show and it will always have HCC as part of the fictional world. We won't see the halls again, but we're introducing a filthy knackered old student house, which one of our residents will become the surprise owner of. That will become our new student digs in September. George, Tilly and newcomer Jade will become our new Freshers. Rather than bring in a whole group of new students, we want to see characters we know and love evolve into the next generation."
Are you doing anything special for the show's 18th birthday in October?
"I'm so emotionally invested in this show, so I am extremely proud we have reached this milestone. Hollyoaks Later will transmit in October and the series will see the return of Kurt, Finn and Dom. It will be a celebration of Hollyoaks past and present.
"Alongside that, a lot of the stories we're playing right now will come to an explosive climax. There'll also be life-changing events for Tony to play out around the anniversary."
Can you tell us anything more about Hollyoaks Later this year?
"The very talented producer Jane Steventon is back working on the new series after last year's success. Jane did a brilliant job in rebooting Hollyoaks Later, making it feel darker and more credible. We're filming the five episodes at the moment and you can expect to see Tony in his own rites of passage story as he looks into his uncertain future, alongside the return of the much-loved characters that I've mentioned.
"Playing alongside that will be a huge storyline involving our current teenagers. Tilly, Esther, Callum and Holly will be in a rip-roaring plot as they all find danger in a cabin in the woods."
The bus crash helped you to win the 'Spectacular Scene' prize at the Soap Awards this year. Do you have any more stunts in mind?
"We certainly do! As part of our spectacular summer storylines, we have a big stunt which we're actually filming right now. We also have something planned for transmission in the autumn, so there's at least two on the way…"
> For even more Hollyoaks gossip, read the second part of our interview with Bryan in Soap Scoop
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