Last month, Digital Spy exclusively revealed that James Sutton had agreed to reprise his role as John Paul, who will be back on screen just before Christmas.
John Paul's relationship with Craig Dean (Guy Burnet) is still fondly remembered by fans, but as he is heading back to the village alone, it appears that things have not worked out for the popular couple.
Kirkwood, Hollyoaks' executive producer, told Inside Soap: "As writers and producers, we were just as big fans of Craig and John Paul's love story as the viewers were - but the fact is that James wanted to return and Guy Burnet didn't.
"I hope the audience gives us time to prove that it's the right decision. Just because it's the end of Craig and John Paul for now doesn't mean there aren't some great stories we can tell about John Paul as a single man."
Asked to name his favourite character, Kirkwood replied: "That's tough. I've got a really long list right now.
"And we're currently in discussions about which old favourites we can bring back, so watch this space!"
Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.