On Thursday 9 January Channel 4 aired the long awaited episode of Hollyoaks that we have been proud to be a part of developing.
Viewers saw John Paul McQueen, played by the fantastic James Sutton, attacked and raped by his pupil, Finn O’Conor, played by the hugely talented Keith Rice.
Following the episode, social medial platforms such as Twitter and Facebook were alight with fans discussing and debating the episode and the following episode which saw John Paul turn to the Police and be taken to a SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre).
James has earlier told the BBC that his involvement in the story had been difficult but he had felt supported by Survivors Manchester and this had helped him greatly, even just by “being at the end of a phone”.
Keith Rice, whose challenge to play Finn at this time took to social media to thank fans for their support. Keith said
Thank you all so much for the incredible response. It really does mean a lot
As I’ve said before, myself and @thejamessutton will be happy if this sheds light on a truly horrific subject. That’s what we signed up for and thank you @Hollyoaks and @Jessica_Lea1 for providing us with the best possible base to start with. Also @SurvivorsMcr for their massive help in helping us as Actors understand the subject and providing us with enough understanding to therefore go forward and help convey what goes on. The aftermath is the most important part for the Finn and John Paul story and I hope that you continue to watch and be as supportive as you have been. We want to raise as much awareness as possible. Thank you xx.
In the 24 hours following the episode transmission, here at Survivors Manchester we were heavily involved in discussions on social media with 4 tweets that included us being re-tweeted and favourited an incredible 1,288 times! ‘John Paul’ trending on twitter was an incredible moment and reaching 5,500 hits to our website in 22 hours proceeding the episode was incredible
stated Duncan Craig, Survivors Manchester Service Director.