Hollyoaks delivered another unpublicised storyline twist in tonight's Channel 4 episode (August 16) as newcomer Danny Lomax was revealed as Ste Hay's father.
Viewers discovered the truth as Doug Carter decided to phone Ste's dad following his recent troubles and Danny was at the other end of the line.
Digital Spy recently caught up with Stephen Billington, who plays Danny, for an exclusive first chat about the big reveal.
How do you feel about being involved in such a big Hollyoaks twist?
"I'm absolutely thrilled. For a long time, a lot of the great stories in the show have revolved around Ste. He's such a great character and Kieron Richardson is a fantastic actor. For me, it's a tremendous opportunity and I'm really loving it.
"Now that I've got a pretty big storyline, I feel more like I belong at Hollyoaks. It's going to be a massive thing for Ste's character, because he's never met his dad before. Plus, with his mum dying recently, he's completely alone at the moment. The realisation that Danny is his dad, whenever that happens, will be a really great moment for both characters."
Do you think the fans will be shocked?
"It's definitely a big surprise, and it's great that the audience have found out before any of the characters do. At the moment, Danny knows that his son is living in the Hollyoaks village, but even after he's met Ste, he doesn't realise that it's him.
"Danny will find out eventually, but in the meantime there's going to be big suspense for the audience as they'll probably be screaming at the screen! When it is finally revealed, it'll be pretty dramatic and fun to watch."
Did you know all along that Danny is Ste's dad?
"Yes, I was aware from the beginning. It was always going to be one of the developments for Danny's character. Danny has been trying to get in touch with Ste for pretty much his whole life, but his mum got in the way. It's a great storyline and it's been really lovely to work with both James Sutton (John Paul) and Kieron Richardson."
Does Danny feel guilty that he's missed out on so much of Ste's life?
"He definitely does - who wouldn't? But it really is just because Ste's mum never allowed Danny near him. She had her own reasons for that, but I think Danny would have been a good dad to Ste and might have helped to keep him out of the trouble he got in over the years.
"Hopefully once they know who each other are, Danny will try to take a fatherly role in the future."
We can't give anything away, but we know there are a few more secrets to be revealed about Danny. How do you think the fans will react to those?
"I'm hoping they'll still like him! Time will tell! I think Danny is quite charming and he manages to charm his way out of difficult situations in his life, so hopefully he'll manage to do the same thing with the audience. That's what I'm hoping for, anyway!
"He's definitely not a bad person. He's just a bit of a free spirit and he likes getting his own way. Perhaps he's a bit greedy too, but when it comes down to it, he's a fundamentally good guy so it's not like he's going to start murdering people or being evil.
"I know I'm going to get told off by some of the fans, but hopefully they'll warm to him and like him. It's always exciting to have someone who's slightly naughty in the cast, as it spices up the storylines."
With Danny still a bit of a mystery, what kind of feedback have you received so far?
"I think the viewers are really intrigued. I've had a lot of really lovely messages on Twitter. I signed up for Twitter when I joined the show, so that's been a learning curve for me. A lot of James Sutton's fans have followed me, so it's been really nice to get a reaction from them. I've only been recognised in the street a couple of times, which is quite nice because I'm quite a shy person!"
Do you think Danny and John Paul make a good match?
"I do - I think John Paul appeals to Danny because he's such a genuinely good person and will do anything for anybody. John Paul being such a strongly moral person attracts Danny, because it's some of the goodness that he's lost himself along the way.
"John Paul can also be quite vulnerable, so that brings out a side of Danny that wants to look after him. There'll certainly be times when Danny upsets John Paul, but there's a strong bond there. It actually surprises Danny that he feels so strongly for John Paul."
After being in Corrie a few years back, did you ever expect to be in another long-running soap?
"To be honest with you, I'd been hoping for it over the past couple of years. I've done a lot of work in the intervening years, mainly movies, a lot of theatre and some American series. But I've found that in this country, my telly roles have got smaller and smaller, and my profile hasn't been high enough for some of the theatre roles I've wanted to go for.
"I'd been talking to my agent for a while about joining a soap, and last year I auditioned with Hollyoaks for another role. I'm glad I didn't get that, though, as Danny is so fun to play."
What are your memories of your time on Corrie as Greg Kelly?
"Greg was an amazing character to play, so I have no regrets about that whatsoever. I won the Soap Award for 'Villain of the Year' for the role and we were getting 26 million viewers an episode, which could never be repeated now with so many channels. It was tremendous to be part of that.
"Now I'm on Hollyoaks and Lime Pictures is such a great place to work. Everyone is friendly and professional so it's a joy to be here."
> Read more 'Hollyoaks' news and spoilers
Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
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