Hollyoaks fans want a happy ending for John Paul and Craig as James Sutton quits soap

Yesterday brought with it the sad news that James Sutton is set to leave Hollyoaks  but it seems fans are in no doubt about how they want things to end for his popular character of John Paul McQueen. The Sun reports that 33-year-old Sutton, has quit the Channel 4 soap for a second time, with John Paul is set to depart in an "explosive" new storyline that will see the high school teacher depart the fictional Cheshire village for good. "James is a soap legend and will be sorely missed by Hollyoaks cast, crew and viewers," a source told the newspaper. "Producers have given him a huge, dramatic exit – so it’s going to be the perfect way to see off almost a decade of John Paul on our screens." Sutton originally joined the soap in 2006, and soon found himself at the centre of one of the biggest gay soap storylines of the last 10 years when John Paul came out as gay and began having an affair with best friend Craig Dean (Guy Burnett). After months of angst and simmering sexual tension, Craig eventually worked through his own issues and the popular pair rode off into the sunset together in 2008. When Sutton returned to the soap in late 2012, however, writers were forced to break the couple up off-screen. John Paul has since embarked on relationships with other characters including Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson), who he wed in 2014, and current boyfriend James Nightingale (Gregory Finnegan), who is reported to play a key role in the character's exit.

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However, with Sutton seemingly set to depart once and for all, 'McDean' fans are urging the writers of Hollyoaks to give the John Paul and Craig the happy ending they always deserved. With actor Guy Burnett busy starring in really rather racy US drama The Affair, it remains to be seen whether Craig could whisk John Paul away in what would surely be a hugely satisfying ending for a generation of soap fans. For now, we're keeping everything crossed. Hollyoaks continues tonight at 6.30pm on Channel 4. More stories: First look at Russell Tovey and Andrew Garfield in ‘Angels in America’ George Michael discusses open relationships in frank 2004 Attitude interview