We had a chat with Cameron about walking the red carpet at the NTAs, why his character, Cameron Campbell, is not just another soap bad boy... and getting bitten by mosquitoes in Vietnam.
Where were you when you found out you'd been nominated for the National Television Awards?
"When I found out I was on the shortlist, I was walking to the train station on a Friday night. It was raining and I heard a very ominous voicemail from our exec producer, Brian Kirkwood. He said, ‘Cameron, please give me a call. It’s extremely important. Here’s my personal number’. So I immediately thought, ‘That’s it, I’m gone, I’m out!’ because the boss never calls. Luckily, I was just outside a pub when Brian told me so I didn’t have to go far to celebrate!"
What's the competition looking like for the NTAs, which are screening live on Wednesday on ITV?
But it looks like you've got some die-hard fans campaigning for you to win...
"The Hollyoaks fans are really loyal. There are some fans on Twitter who are really nice, and are drumming up support. Which saves me looking shameless and doing it myself! And our digital and press team at Hollyoaks are also outstanding."
Which telly stars are you looking forward to meeting at the NTAs?
"I don’t think Broadchurch is nominated this year, but I’d love it if Olivia Colman and David Tennant were there. If there was a surprise appearance from Christian Bale or Leonardo DiCaprio that’d be nice. They are above and beyond. Sherlock, that’s been nominated. Benedict Cumberbatch is awesome. He’s just been nominated for an Oscar, hasn’t he, for The Imitation Game?"
The Hollyoaks cast are good at getting glammed up for a night out! What are you going to wear for your big night?
"I’ve left it a bit late, I’ve been getting hassle about that! But I think someone with more style than myself is going to take me under their wing. Heaven knows what I’ll be wearing! But it’ll be nice to get a suit on for a change instead of tracksuits."
Your character, Cameron, has done some dodgy and deadly stuff since he arrived in Hollyoaks last year. Is he a real soap bad boy?
"I don’t think Cameron's just a bad boy. He’s never malicious. He does bad things and makes bad mistakes, like robbing The Dog. But he had good intentions to save the Lomax home. He does bad things for good reasons. But he’s been in prison for 14 years so he doesn’t take any nonsense either."
What do you like/dislike about Cameron?
"I like how single-minded he is about getting what he wants. It’s fun to play that. What don’t I like? Probably his habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’d be happy to have a scene where I’m drinking a cup of tea and having a chat with Ziggy. But then there’d be no drama!"
Tell us about some of your favourite storylines so far?
"I liked the recent stuff in the log cabin with all the revelations. It was great, we were on location, it was like doing a mini-series with our characters from Hollyoaks but somewhere else. That was really cool. And also the stuff around the start with Sam and Danny Lomax. I did some fiery scenes with Lizzie Roper, who played Sam."
Do you get recognised when you're out and about?
"You get recognised more up north. Not so much in London. But if I’m out walking with Fabrizio Santino (Ziggy) or Danny Mac (Dodger), they are more recognisable. Normally people do a double take. But generally people are really nice."
Leela is the love of Cameron's life. But would you like to see him hook up with anyone else in the village?
"I love working with Kirsty-Leigh Porter (Leela) because we had a good chemistry from the off. But Cameron's only ever had one girlfriend, and he’s getting on! So, there’s about eight McQueens spread around the village. Or maybe he could have a tempestuous relationship with Sienna? It’s always nice to work with new actors. Or he’ll end up with his brother, Lockie’s wife, Porsche?!"
You recently escaped the cold, wind and rain and went on a trip to Vietnam. What was that like?
"I’ve never been away before for Christmas and New Year. So I travelled around Vietnam and it was absolutely brilliant. Although I got bitten to pieces. I think the mosquitoes liked my pasty, Scottish skin!"
Catch Cameron in Hollyoaks, Mon-Fri, on Channel 4 and E4.
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Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters.
Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave?
Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!
Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy.
He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.
Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)
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