HOLLYOAKS fans have been offered a first look at Ray Quinn in character as Jonny as he attempts to recruit Ste into an anti-Islam group.
The controversial storyline will see Ste being groomed and radicalised into a far-right extremist.
X Factor star Ray, 30, is set to make an explosive entrance in Hollyoaks as the Channel 4 soap addresses the issue of radicalisation.
The development comes after Ste – played by Kieron Richardson – has recently had fraction with Misbah Maalik and her family after blaming her for the death of his sister Tegan.
But as Ste continues to publicly spit venom at the Maaliks, he attracts Jonny who – considering him an easy target – soon tries to befriend him as part of a bigger, more sinister plan.
Jonny’s arrival will get Ste’s radicalisation in motion and see him taking an anti-Muslim stance.
Just days ago Ray confirmed that he would be joining the cast.
The Dancing On Ice champion – who won the skating competition in 2009 – will be welcomed into Ste Hay’s (Kieron Richardson) friendship group when he joins the show.
Jonny vows to support Ste in his plot for revenge on Misbah Maalik (Harvey Virdi).
Ray’s new venture was announced in a new Hollyoaks Winter Trailer, which was released today.
Speaking in the clip, Ray’s character tells Ste: “I know you’re angry, I’ve got your back.”
Ste then says: “Those Maalik deserve everything they get.”
And Jonny adds: “I’m on your side.”
And so sensitive is the topic that Hollyoaks writers recruited experts and charities – such as Exit UK – to advise and guide on how to portray the story.
Hollyoaks‘ executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said: “From the research we carried out, we realised that in Ste Hay we had a character that was disenfranchised and vulnerable enough to be groomed into extreme views.”
Bryan continued: “”It’s also a modern story about protecting young people online who are susceptible to fake news.
“The echo chambers of the internet and the algorithms that can lead people, in this case our much- loved character Ste, down a rabbit hole into a terrifying world.”
Kieron Richardson, who plays Ste, agreed that the storyline was necessary for a modern audience: “After many years of love stories and heartbreak, which has left the character feeling vulnerable and at times isolated
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“It’s very believable for Ste to be receptive to people who might not have his best interests at heart.
“At first, hearing this story, I was unaware of what radicalisation was or meant.
“And after a lot of eye opening research I’m nervous and honoured, but most of all excited, for this very different soap story to be told by our gutsy amazing team and hugely talented new scene partner Ray Quinn.”
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