Hollyoaks to tackle extremism storyline as Ste is brainwashed by far-right group

Hollyoaks are set to tackle the topic of extremism as Ste Hay is groomed by a far-right group.

Overcome with anger following the death of his sister Tegan, Ste is blaming Misbah Maalik for the tragedy.

However this makes him the perfect target of newcomer Jonny, played by Ray Quinn, who is part of a radical anti-Islamic group.

Jonny appears to be there for Ste but takes advantage of him and sends him on a dark path.

Executive Producer Bryan Kirkwood said that they carried out research that helped them realise that Ste was a character that was "disenfranchised and vulnerable enough to be groomed into extreme views".

Hollyoaks to tackle extremism storyline as Ste is brainwashed by far-right group

Ste has become overcome with anger over his sister’s death
(Image: Channel 4)

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"The more we learned about how these groups operate and how insidious they are, the more passionate we became about telling this story, which is about how hate and fear can destroy communities," he said. "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."

Meanwhile actor Kieron Richardson, who plays Ste, said that he was "nervous and honoured" about taking on the storyline.

Hollyoaks to tackle extremism storyline as Ste is brainwashed by far-right group

Tegan’s death has left Ste struggling to cope
(Image: mirror.co.uk)

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He said: "After many years of love stories and heartbreak, which has left the character feeling vulnerable and at times isolated, 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."

Actress Harvey Virdi added: "Hollyoaks is taking a bold step to highlight racism from far right extremism. We can make people aware of the far right preying on the vulnerable and manipulating them in to being radicalised. I am glad to be involved in such an important issue."

*Hollyoaks airs weekdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4 and 7pm on E4

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