‘Hollyoaks’ welcomes two NEW cast members including a former ‘EastEnders’ star

Hollyoaks logo
Hollyoaks is welcoming two new faces to the village. (Image credit: C4)

Hollyoaks has announced that two new actors will be joining the cast including Tomi Ade, who will play DeMarcus Westwood, Felix Westwood’s (Richard Blackwood) mischievous estranged teenage son. 

Joining him will be former Eastenders and The Bill star Raji James, who is joining the soap as Ali Shahzad, the father of Misbah Maalik’s (Harvey Virdi) secret son, Shaq (Omar Malik). 

Raji’s character will first appear on the soap on Thursday 2 September on E4 and again the next day on Channel 4. DeMarcus’ appearance will be on a special hour-long episode, aired on Thursday 9 September on E4 and once again the next day on Channel 4.

The village is in for a lot of explosive moments and drama with these two characters’ personalities as they both go on their own personal missions. 

DeMarcus, described as having a 'rebellious nature' is determined to reconnect with his father and have him in his life permanently. But will he be able to form a family relationship with his half-siblings, Celeste (Andrea Ali) and Toby (Bobby Gordon)? And will he be able to fulfill the sense of belonging he’s been missing from his life? 


Tomi Ade will play DeMarcus Westwood, the son of Felix.  (Image credit: Lime Pictures)

Felix has had a turbulent family life as he has not only had a strained relationship with DeMarcus, but also with Celeste and Toby when he abandoned them as children. He also managed to reconnect with his son Mitchell Deveraux (Imran Adams) before the actor left the show.

Tomi Ade is excited to be joining the soap, as he said, “Joining the cast of Hollyoaks has been such an amazing experience. The cast have been so welcoming, and I’ve just had a blast on set so far. I cannot wait for the fans to meet DeMarcus and see what we have in store for him and his journey in the village!”


Raji James will play Ali in Hollyoaks.  (Image credit: Lime Pictures)

Meanwhile, for Ali, secrets will be exposed as he moves into the same village as his estranged son, Shaq Qureshi. Will Shaq discover who his real father is? 

Shaq is still unaware that Misbah is in fact his biological mother, so when Ali turns up, she is thrown into a frenzy. Could spilled secrets jeopardise her and Shaq’s relationship?

When Ali arrives as the new doctor at Dee Valley Hospital, he settles in quickly amongst the staff. He’s described as having 'an air of professionalism, but he’s also full of charisma, charm and a wicked sense of humour'. 

Even though he manages to blend into the village and his job as a doctor, Ali’s darker side is soon revealed as his manipulative abilities allow him to win over anyone he meets and in any way he wants.

Raji is also thrilled to be joining the cast as newcomer Ali, as he explained: “I’m delighted to be joining the cast of Hollyoaks, particularly as I’m part of a very topical and potentially explosive storyline. Ali is a very complex character and I’m thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to explore his darker side.”

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.