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More 'Hollyoaks' chat from Darren Day

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Darren Day who plays 'Danny Houston' in Hollyoaks

© Lime Pictures

I recently had a chat with Hollyoaks' new signing Darren Day to hear all about his role as sinister Danny Houston on the Channel 4 soap.

We've already heard quite a bit about Danny from various characters in recent weeks, and plenty of hints have been dropped that he's certainly not one to be messed with. Tuesday's episode, however, will give us an opportunity to judge for ourselves as he appears on screen for the first time.

Based on Darren's comments in our main interview - which you can read by clicking here - it sounds as if the villagers would do well to stay on Danny's good side once he becomes a regular fixture on the programme later this year…

If you've already seen the main chat, read on as Darren tells us more about Hollyoaks and also shares his thoughts on his acting career in general and recent charity work.

How does working on a soap compare to the acting work that you've done in the past?
"It's hard to say at the moment, because I've still only filmed one episode, and since then I've been busy doing promotion. But I suppose the main difference is that most of the stuff that I've done in the past has been theatre-based, where your day's work starts at about 6pm when you get into the theatre. With theatre, your day's work is between 6pm and 10.30pm. So the biggest difference will be the timing, as the Hollyoaks cast work 7am to 7pm most days. That might be a bit of a shock to the system, but I have kids and they get up very early, so I'm used to being up at that time!"

Is TV something that you've always wanted to do more of?
"Yeah, it is really. I've done a bit of camera action over the years - I did a film and I did quite a few episodes of Doctors. But when I realised that I'd really like to have a go at this was a couple of years ago when I did an episode of The Bill. I played quite an unsavoury character on The Bill, and I really loved it - I found it really creative and I got bitten by the bug for camera action. So I knew a couple of years ago that I wanted to go in this direction, but I had other commitments - I had a tour in 2008 that was pretty much for the whole year, and then I did a couple of shorter tours last year, and was on tour with We Will Rock You, the Queen musical, at Christmas. I've never really had the opportunity where I could commit to a long contract, so this year I've held out and gone to meet various producers for various soaps and dramas, and this is the one that's come off. I couldn't ask for a better part."

What's Paul Marquess like to work with?
"He's fantastic. It's wonderful for Hollyoaks that Paul has gone in there. I think he's already turned it around. When a soap or a drama has been running for that long, it's good for someone new to come in and to inject some new life into it. I think that's what Paul has done - it's become much grittier and has a new edge to it. There's lots of big storylines coming up between now and Christmas - and I've been told that they're going to be quite shocking."

You recently recorded a single to raise money for ABF, The Soldiers' Charity. Why did you choose to become involved in that?
"A few reasons, really. The song was 'No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)', which was written by Brian May when Freddie Mercury died. Having done the We Will Rock You show, I became quite good pals with Brian and he's quite a good mate of mine now, so I knew the sentiment and story behind the song being written. For that reason, I really wanted to be involved in it. When you're famous, you get offered a lot of charity stuff and you have to do as much as you can, but I think it's important to do the ones that you really feel passionate about. I've got a couple of mates - one in particular - who were out on the frontline last year, so it was something that was quite close. I'm a big supporter of the girls and the boys that are fighting for our country, like we all are. It was brilliant to be part of it and try to raise some money for them. The Soldiers' Charity has been running for 66 years and done some amazing work, and the support network that they give to the soldiers is amazing."

Would you like to do more work with the charity?
"I would - I've done a lot for them, gone out and done a few interviews, I've gone out and done the Forces' radio and Forces' telly. It was quite amazing really, as some of the interviews that I did were live to Afghanistan and I was giving messages to the girls and guys that were out there. I would get behind the charity 100% - anything I was asked to do for the charity, I would do."

Finally, have you ever felt like you haven't had enough recognition for your acting skills?
"If I'm going to be totally honest, perhaps yes. I think that tabloid headlines about my private life became the pinnacle of what Darren Day was about, and it was almost like my career was overshadowed and fell into the background a bit. Rather than being known for my work, I became known for my private life, and that was never the plan. As a younger guy, I never wanted to become famous just for being famous - I wanted to act and sing for a living, and be an entertainer. It was quite hard when my career and performances stopped being talked about, and it just became about who I was sleeping with and what else I was up to. But I live my life a lot differently now. I'm happily married, I have children - I'm a husband and a father. It would be lovely to think that my work could now be what's written about, rather than all the old headlines that I've read for years. I'd like my work to finally do the talking - but we'll have to wait and see!"

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