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Kieron Richardson: 'I made myself feel poorly for real' in special Hollyoaks episode

hollyoaks, ste hay

Kieron Richardson turned method actor in an unusual episode of Hollyoaks in which Tony and Harry intervene to try and get Ste off drugs

Lives are on the line when Ste Hay finally confronts his drug demons in a special three-hander episode with Tony Hutchinson and Harry Thompson. Kieron Richardson reveals all to Soaplife…

Cameron (Cameron Moore) got Ste back on drugs to destroy him. Is Ste well and truly hooked now? “Yes. It’s not that he feels great when he takes the crystal meth. It’s that the comedown is so bad so he needs to take more to feel normal. The addiction is spiralling out of control."

How hard is it for Ste (Kieron) to hide his habit? “It’s quite difficult, although it looks pretty obvious. However, he gets a job at the Bean and he tells his friends and family the reason he’s so hyper is because he’s so pleased about this new opportunity. But all he’s really thinking about is his next hit.”

What happens when he starts work at the Bean? “Obviously, he’s in a bad way and he tries to hide what’s really going on from Kim [Daisy Wood-Davis] and Esther [Jazmine Franks] by making out he doesn’t feel well.”

How does he react when he loses his drugs? “He thinks they are somewhere at the Lomaxes' and he panics. He starts throwing cushions around and looking down the back of the sofa and ripping open drawers. He tells Tegan [Jessica Ellis] and Leela [Kirsty-Leigh Porter] he’s lost his HIV medication. They help him look, then he’s terrified they’ll find his crystal meth and realise he’s addicted.”

Then little Rosie is sick… “And Ste’s horrified she’s taken his drugs. It’s an awful moment for him.”

How does Harry find out Ste is on drugs? “He finds him having withdrawal symptoms, curled up on the kitchen floor. That was one of my favourite scenes as it’s the first time you really start to feel sorry for Ste. There’s a point where you wonder if Harry will fight for the love of his life or walk out on him.”

Can you tell us a bit about the special episode? “It’s very exciting and intense. We filmed a special episode with just Ste, his boyfriend, Harry [Parry Glasspool] and friend Tony [Nick Pickard] and it was so powerful. I made myself feel poorly for real. It’s unlike any episode of Hollyoaks you’ve ever seen. It’s a bit of a nod to the film Trainspotting. Harry and Tony are trying to fight for Ste’s life. They lock him in the flat to try and stop him getting more drugs and the comedown is horrific. The audience goes through it all with Ste.”

Will Ste get off drugs? “He goes into rehab for 28 days, but you’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

Hollyoaks, Channel 4