Hollyoaks star Ray Quinn has spoken exclusively to Digital Spy about the major turning point ahead in the show's radicalisation storyline.
Next week's episodes see Ray's evil character Jonny Baxter come clean to Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson) about his involvement in a far-right extremist group. Jonny and his associate Stuart Sumner confess after realising that Tony Hutchinson has discovered their secret.
In a video interview with Digital Spy, which can be watched in full at the top of the page, Ray hinted that Jonny and Stuart will now be able to keep Ste on side after months of manipulating him. If this is the case, it'll mark a significant new direction for the plot.
Ray explained: "Jonny and Stuart are grooming Ste to get him involved in their way of thinking and their ideology. They reveal to him that they're part of this organisation, but they tell him that they're there for him.
"It's all about playing the puppetmaster – Ste is a puppet on their strings. They want him to be involved because it broadens their horizons and they can get him to do things that they wouldn't necessarily do themselves.
"Again, it's just making him feel protected, making him feel at home, and making him feel like he's got everything he needs."
Asked about the hatred being directed towards the Maalik family, Ray added: "It may get worse. It's going to be uncomfortable to watch but it's an eye-opener and a lesson – don't hate your own, just love and appreciate.
"I think that's the message. Especially for the younger audience – I think Hollyoaks is the perfect advocate for this story to go out."
Ray was speaking to Digital Spy to promote Hollyoaks' nominations at the British Soap Awards 2019.
The special far-right episode which saw Jonny and his gang attack Shahid Shirani has been nominated for Best Single Episode at the ceremony, which takes place in Manchester on June 1.
Votes for the British Soap Awards can be cast via the ceremony's official website. Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Hollyoaks spoilers, as Ste's anger rises and Joel faces an awkward situation with Mitchell and Cleo.