John Paul McQueen and Craig Dean are fictional characters and a supercouple from the long-running British Channel 4 television Soap opera Hollyoaks.[1] John Paul is portrayed by James Sutton, and Craig is portrayed by Guy Burnet. On Internet forums, the couple is referred to by the portmanteau "McDean" (for McQueen and Dean). Supporters of "McDean" are often referred to as "McDeaners". The love story has been cited as "one of the biggest and most successful that Hollyoaks has told".[2]


Writing and portrayalsEdit

The love story between characters Craig Dean and John Paul McQueen began when Craig, originally detailed as heterosexual, kissed best friend John Paul. This one event empowered the UK soap opera Hollyoaks to embark on one of daytime television's most successful romances, which gained a prominent following amongst fans and praise from LGBT rights groups.[3][4] At first, actor Guy Burnet (Craig) was stressed about portraying a gay character. "I'll always be completely honest," he said. "I'll always be real. The truth is that it was difficult to play. It was talked about for a long while and I felt uncomfortable with the idea because I didn't think it was justifiable. I thought 'how can you make a straight guy who's a bit of a cheeky chappy, loves the girls and has a sort of camp sense of humour, gay?'" [3] Burnet cited talking with the show's producers for having eased his reluctance about the change in his character. "It was sitting with Bryan and the other producers, discussing it and saying 'right, if we're going to do this, it's not a story about a character being gay, it's a story where we have to justify the guy's sexual confusion – why is he like this? And the most important thing is that he still has the love for the woman in his life.'"[3] Burnet revealed that he did not necessarily see his character as gay or being romantically/sexually attracted to men, but rather solely romantically/sexually attracted to John Paul, and that he wanted the audience to be confused as to Craig's sexual orientation. Craig would still be "after" women.[3]

James Sutton joined the show in September 2006 as newcomer John Paul McQueen, a then-seventeen-year-old school boy confused about his sexuality.[4] The storyline revolved around John Paul struggling with his sexuality as he fell for best friend Craig Dean. Craig was written to initially reject John Paul, but "the two students eventually embarked on an affair which explosively came to light during a party to celebrate Craig's engagement to aspiring model Sarah Barnes".[5] In an interview two years after his debut, Sutton discussed his take on the storyline, and the aspects of his character John Paul in detail. "He’s very, very quick to take offense sometimes," Sutton relayed. "He’s a typical 19-year old lad. His hormones are all over the place. He’s a bit up and down, so that’s a side of him I’m not too keen on, but he’s also very sensitive and loving and he cares a lot about his family and his friends and that side of it is very true to me as well and that’s kind of what I kind of brought to the table."[4] Sutton revealed that, despite sexuality differences, he is not "too far removed" from his character. "I like to think I’m a bit more mature. Like I say, he’s very quick to boil up and get really emotional. We both have similar sense of — We are both very heavily into our music. I mean, John Paul’s a DJ and I play a number of instruments, so we’ve got that in common as well."[4] Unlike Burnet, Sutton found comfort in portraying a gay character. When asked where he acquired "that attitude" for the role and whether he started out with it, Sutton replied, "I’ve always kind of had that. I spent a good part of my youth [in the theater] and there were a lot of openly gay men … so I was always around that kind of environment and always kind of comfortable around the gay community."[4] He further relayed, "I still occasionally go to a gay bar with people and hang out and stuff, so I’ve never had any kind of [discomfort] or anything with it. And I’m just an actor and it’s just a part and … if they need me to kiss another guy or be physical with another guy or whatever it may be … I’m comfortable with myself to do that. I’m quite comfortable in my own skin, you know?"[4]

Burnet cited Sutton as making it easier for him to play the part of Craig. "James was always good about it," he acknowledged. "James has played gay characters in the past from my understanding, in theatre roles and the like. He was quite comfortable with it, which, in turn, made things easier for me because I wasn't comfortable. It was difficult for me to do. James is a good actor and he's also very understanding."[3] Burnet stated, "I can sit and talk to him and I'll give him advice and he'll give me advice and we won't ever take it offensively. We work well together because we can both tell each other 'actually, I don't think that was right, do it like this' or he'll say to me 'listen, Guy, do it like that'. In turn, we balanced each other out."[3] Sutton gave incite to their working dynamic as well, stating, "Guy’s a very different kind of actor than myself and as far as our backgrounds go, he hadn’t really done any acting before Hollyoaks, so he didn’t have that kind of experience to draw on. He’s never shown to me in any of our scenes that he was particularly uncomfortable or anything. He’s a fantastic actor."[4] Sutton elaborated, "I know he has made a comment before in the press about feeling uncomfortable with the kissing and the physical side of it, but I think that just goes down to — Guy’s very, very proud of his heterosexual masculinity, if you will. … He was a bit more uncomfortable than perhaps I’d prefer but very, very quick-thinking and he was always very professional."[4]

One of the most significant storylines surrounding the couple's union was the aftermath of John Paul and Craig's affair being revealed to other characters within the series, particularly Craig's girlfriend (Sarah).[3] "A lot of the aftermath stuff is really good," Burnet cited. "We changed a hell of a lot of it. It came out initially [at script stage] and it's in the same week as another major storyline so we went and spoke to [the producers] and manipulated the scripts slightly with the director, Nigel Keane, and the consequence was a fantastic four episodes to end it on, I think. Something real."[3]

"When Sarah discovers Craig and John Paul together, it's almost about her, I feel. Everything's been about Craig and John Paul and I thought that it was important in the aftermath to remember that a Sarah isn't forgotten," Burnet stated.[3] "It's easy for everyone to love the JP and Craig storyline for the two of them being together, but it has to be understood that what makes the story is Craig's love for Sarah and Sarah's love for Craig. So it was important in the aftermath to show the confusion of Sarah – forget the confusion of Craig for a minute – the confusion of Sarah who's been as much part of this storyline as we have."[3]

Even with the relationship out in the open, the pairing's romance did not go smoothly, and ended when Craig went to Trinity College in Dublin.[5] Burnet had decided to leave the series in 2007, stating, "Initially, the thing that threw me over the edge to say 'right, I am going to leave Hollyoaks' was when I was sat at home thinking 'I'd love to go to Tokyo; I'd love to go and live in Mexico; I want to go and live in Costa Rica; I want to go and do these things now while I'm young and can still do them.'"[3]

Craig's departure left "John Paul free to embark on an even more scandalous fling with Father Keiron Hobbs".[5] Viewers witnessed the priest being publicly outed by John Paul's mum, and viewers wondered what other surprises were in store for John Paul. However, in 2008, Burnet agreed to briefly reprise his role as Craig, which led to speculation that John Paul and Craig could be romantically reunited. This, upon recent news that Sutton would now be leaving the series, his final scenes due in September.[5]

Sutton stated his reasons for leaving: "It’s not an easy decision to make. But I’m twenty-five-years old and I’ve done this character for two years now and I feel like I’ve made my mark and I’ve got to get off my soapbox now. I kind of feel like I’m ready to take a risk before I hit 30 and realize that actually I’ve missed my opportunity. A calculated risk."[4] At the same time, Burnet issued his own reasons for returning. He told The Sun: "I’ve had so much support from fans since I left the show, so it’s great to have the opportunity to reprise the storyline and give viewers a resolution to the Craig and John Paul story."[2] Sutton stated that he wanted Burnet to come back. "I was always very keen for Guy to come back and I know that Bryan Kirkwood and the writers, everyone was always keen for him to come back," he relayed. "It was just a question if the logistics of it could work out because Guy’s been living in L.A. since he left the show, so it was just a case of scheduling it in and making sure that if I was going to leave, he could come back and film. It’s worked out perfectly."[4]
File:Craig and John Paul airport-goodbye in 2007.jpg
Sutton had planned on leaving sooner, but stayed around longer so that Burnet could come back. "I never really imagined myself staying on a show for two years," he revealed. "It’s a great place to work because everybody’s so young and so up for the job … and you kind of get caught up in it and before you know it, you’ve been there for two years. Which isn’t a bad thing."[4]

It was stated that the characters' reunion would start off with John Paul meeting up with Craig and John Paul not being pleased to see him because of the way "they left it at the airport".[4] Craig comes back for John Paul "and some terrible things happen to John Paul and his life and Craig is there to comfort him".[4]


John Paul arrived in town in 2006; he met Craig while saving him from a beating by bully Sonny Valentine. The two became close friends. With some pressure from Craig, John Paul began dating schoolmate Hannah Ashworth. John Paul was reluctant to be with Hannah; he knew that he "should" fancy her, but also knew that he didn't. Despite this, he ended up having sex with Hannah, both losing their virginity to each other. However, they split up when John Paul revealed that he was harboring affections for someone else, which was mistakenly believed to be Craig's girlfriend, Sarah Barnes. This sent Hannah on a downward spiral and put a strain on John Paul and Craig's friendship, but due to the chaos John Paul's revelation caused, he began dating Hannah again. Soon after, on Hannah's 18th birthday, John Paul broke up a fight between Craig and Rhys Ashworth when Craig saw Sarah kissing Rhys. John Paul shouted that she wasn't good enough for Craig. He ran outside in tears and was confronted by Craig. John Paul confessed to Craig that he was in love with him. The following day, Craig was distant towards John Paul, but allowed John Paul to explain his feelings. Craig said that he still wanted John Paul as a friend, but only as a friend; John Paul said that he would continue to date Hannah and keep up the charade that he was heterosexual. But John Paul eventually revealed to everyone else that he was gay. At one point, Craig bullied him. Despite apologizing to John Paul for this, John Paul stated that their friendship was over.

In early 2007, John Paul embarked on a relationship with Spike, a DJ whom he met during his sister Jacqui's wedding reception. John Paul and Spike's relationship was the source of much jealousy from Craig, who immediately took a disliking to Spike and grew furious when John Paul tried to speak about his fears about having sex with Spike. During his exams in May 2007, Craig had trouble concentrating, as all he could think about was John Paul and Spike. He had been struggling to understand his romantic feelings for John Paul while maintaining a romantic relationship with girlfriend Sarah.[6] Storming out of the exam, he went to John Paul's house. After talking with each other, Craig frustrated and in tears, both revealed their true feelings and slept together. Afterwards, however, Craig got out of the bed and shouted homophobic obscenities before storming out. Subsequently, Craig's relationship with Sarah began to deteriorate, as Craig struggled with his apparent homosexual tendencies. Unwilling to "come out", Craig concluded that he was not gay, stating instead that he only had romantic feelings for John Paul rather than actually being gay or bisexual. Craig negotiated an uneasy few months with Sarah, a situation further exacerbated by Sarah's modeling career, a source of even more jealousy from Craig.

Craig met up with John Paul under a tree; he insisted that he had sorted everything out in his head, he wasn't gay, and never would be, but this didn't mean that he and John Paul couldn't have sex from time to time; they could still continue to see each other, and no one would get hurt. John Paul reminded Craig of his love for him, and told him that he was sick of being used. An unfazed Craig told John Paul whether he liked it or not, they both knew how it was going to end up: he'd knock at John Paul's door, and John Paul would open it.

A few weeks later, two of Sarah's friends from the modeling industry met with her and Craig for a friendly get-together. Craig acted cold to the friends, particularly the male. The four dined at Il Nosh and bumped into John Paul who stayed to chat for a short while before leaving, followed by Craig. Back at John Paul's house, Craig told John Paul that he couldn't stop thinking about him, and although he loved Sarah, he loved John Paul too. Craig then lead John Paul upstairs where they once again slept together. Later, as Craig lay with John Paul in bed, his mobile phone rang, the caller ID showed that Sarah was calling him. However, Craig ignored it and went back to sleep in John Paul's arms, leaving John Paul with a smile on his face.

John Paul eventually told Craig to leave Sarah, and in turn he promised to leave Spike. Whilst John Paul and Spike broke up, Craig and Sarah did not, leaving John Paul furious and frustrated. Craig then arranged a last minute get-away for Sarah, without telling John Paul. Angry and upset, John Paul wrote a letter to Frankie Osborne saying that he had been sleeping with her son and that he was sorry that she had to hear about it from him.[7] Later, once he had calmed down and realized his mistake, he managed to retrieve it with Spike's help. Despite no longer being a couple, Spike still offered John Paul something more causal, but he quickly realized he no longer had romantic feelings for Spike (despite Craig's betrayal) and told him it was over for good. When Craig returned from his holiday, and told John Paul that he still had feelings for him, John Paul snapped back that he had had enough and intended to end it with Craig for good. Despite this, they soon got back together again and the relationship continued in secret.

When Spike found out about John Paul and Craig's secret relationship, he teased and mocked Craig about it. When Craig confronted him, Sarah overheard and thought that he was having an affair. In an attempt to convince her that he loved her, Craig proposed marriage to Sarah, asking her to keep their engagement a secret. Throughout their engagement, Craig continued to see John Paul (who knew nothing of the engagement) and gave him a watch that once belonged to his grandfather. Once John Paul learn of Craig and Sarah's engagement, he became convinced that Craig would never leave Sarah for him. At an impromptu engagement party thrown by Frankie, John Paul and Craig hid upstairs and began to be intimate. Secretly, John Paul texted Sarah on Craig's phone and told her to come upstairs. She left the party and walked in on the two of them kissing. Completely in shock, Sarah ran downstairs and outed Craig to the party-goers, leaving John Paul to face the wrath of the Dean family and Mike Barnes. He later tried to apologize to Sarah, who demanded to know the details of the affair. After telling her, Sarah said that she could never forgive him. John Paul called Craig a coward for not accepting his sexuality.

Frankie and Sarah made attempts to reconcile the relationship, but it was no use, as Craig finally announced to his family that he was in love with John Paul. Craig's announcement lead to a show-down style confrontation between the McQueen family and the Dean family, from which John Paul and Craig ran away and discussed their feelings for each other. Craig told John Paul he loved him, but denied being gay with the words that "it's not about being gay, its about who you fall in love with"; this took place before asking John Paul to come with him to Dublin, an offer which John Paul accepted. As they prepared to leave together, Craig told his brother Jake that he was not gay, and he only cared for John Paul. John Paul overheard this and expressed concern at Craig's reluctance to come out; this was further exacerbated by Craig not being able to bring himself to kiss or hold John Paul at the airport as they waited for the plane to Dublin. Although John Paul loved Craig, he realized that he needed more than to be with a man who could not display affection towards him in public. Heartbroken, John Paul returned home, leaving Craig to go to Dublin alone. On Christmas day 2007, John Paul got a text message from Craig, wishing him a Merry Christmas, asking him to visit Dublin sometime and that he missed him. We don't see if he texts back.

John Paul moved on with Kieron Hobbs. However, on September 2 2008, Craig returns.[2] John Paul's romance with Kieron was threatened when he confronted John Paul about any lingering romantic feelings he may have for Craig.

On 5 September, Craig and John Paul ended up in bed again and JP decided to tell Kieron he was still in love with Craig, but when he found Kieron he was dead. John Paul mistakenly believed that Kieron had taken his own life. Consumed with guilt, John Paul totally rejected Craig. However, they later agreed to stay mates. Craig later slipped a one way ticket to Dublin into John Paul's pocket.

On the 19th of September 2008, John Paul realized that he still loved Craig. He rushed to the train station, arriving in time to see a train leaving. He was devastated, until he looked over onto the other platform, where Craig was standing. John Paul ran round to him, and ranted at Craig. However, after he said that he loved Craig, Craig kissed him in front of everyone on the platform, proving that he didn't care what people thought. They were later seen on the train, where Craig told him that when they get to Dublin, he is to tell everyone that he is Craig's cousin Steve. John Paul looked shocked, but Craig laughingly revealed that he was joking. They were last seen cuddling on the train.

Timeline of eventsEdit

(SOURCE: with some minor edits)

6/09/06 Craig and John Paul's first meeting. Craig is bullied by Sonny Valentine and JP sets off a fire alarm to help Craig.
7/09/06 Craig and John Paul have an early heart to heart about school and life in general. Craig invites JP to lunch.
06/10/06 The Loft has a competition to find a new DJ, JP wins when Sonny is exposed as a cheat.
09/10/06 JP lines up his working dates as DJ in the loft. Craig and JP have football team tryouts at school.
10/10/06 Craig and Sonny are summoned to the headmaster after their fight.
24/10/06 Justin Burton rallies himself to return to school, but is faced with a vehement attack from Nancy Hayton.
27/10/06 The Deans stay at the McQueens because of the fire in the Dog after they get kicked out of the B&B.
30/10/06 JP is working at The Loft. Craig and Sarah bond, as do Hannah Ashworth and JP.
31/10/06 JP and Craig go around to Sarah's and do spooky Halloween stuff. Sarah and Craig make out, even scarier.
1/11/06 Nancy doing her best self-righteous Hermione impression, and JP has a fight with Hannah.
2/11/06 The gang have detention. JP wrestles Ste Hay to the ground.
03/11/06 Mercedes McQueen has a party and everyone gathers together for the event.
20/11/06 Craig wants to ask Sarah out. JP wants to go to a football camp in America, and he convinces Craig it’s a good idea. Craig eventually asks Sarah out.
21/11/06 Craig and Sarah have their first date which goes awkwardly. They kiss and "become" a couple. When they get back to the village, JP turns up.
22/11/06 JP is having problems as home. Hannah tries again to entice JP to be more than her friend. Craig/Sarah/JP/Hannah make plans to go on a double date the following night.
23/11/06 It’s the day of the double date, they agree to go bowling. Everyone has a really good time, and Hannah and JP eventually have their first kiss. Craig expects sex with Sarah, but she doesn’t invite him in.
24/11/06 Craig/JP/Sarah talk about the previous nights events. JP reassures Craig that Sarah and Rhys Ashworth's relationship is over. Craig goes around to Sarah’s and forces himself onto her. She repels him
27/11/06 Craig tries to make it up with Sarah. JP and Hannah end up separated from the second planned double date. They start an awkward first kind of relationship in JP's room.
28/11/06 Hannah and Sarah talk about the night before. JP and Hannah get closer. Sonny picks a fight with Craig. Craig is saved by JP.
29/11/06 Hannah pretends she has arranged a double date. Nancy turns up and it’s a case of three’s a crowd. JP and Hannah end up in her room. They don’t have sex, but just cuddle instead.
01/12/06 (no JP) The build up to Craig and Sarah sleeping together.
18/12/06 JP and Hannah go for a meal. They go shopping then back to Hannah's room. JP touches Hannah’s boob, then knocks over a candle. JP goes home. They don’t have sex.
19/12/06 JP and Hannah both lose their virginity (To each other)
20/12/06 Hannah comes for tea, Hollyoaks style “Meet the parents”. They talk about having sex the night before. JP and Tina McQueen have a heart to heart. He almost tells her something ...
21/12/06 JP is extremely cold to Hannah. Mean even. He splits up with her. She thinks she wasn’t good enough in bed.
22/12/06 Craig and JP talk about him splitting up with Hannah. JP tells his family he has split up with Hannah.
27/12/06 JP and Sarah are in the Dog talking about Hannah/Xmas. Through a misunderstanding, Craig thinks JP split up with Hannah so he could be with Sarah. The tense atmosphere spirals into Craig hitting JP, when he sees him dancing with Sarah.
28/12/06 Craig regrets hitting JP. Craig and Sarah try to coax Hannah out of her depression about being dumped. Carmel McQueen confronts Craig about hitting JP. JP apologies to Craig and Sarah in front of Hannah. She is furious to find out JP supposedly likes Sarah.
29/12/06 John Paul tells Hannah that he fancies Sarah. Hannah doesn't react too well. New Year's Eve.
04/01/07 Hannah is still fuming at Sarah for JP fancying Sarah (because her state of constant semi undress led him on). Hannah tells Craig that Sarah is a manipulator, causing Craig to doubt Sarah. JP and Sarah make up (as friends). Hannah and Craig see, and Hannah casts further doubt in Craig’s head. Craig goes around to JP’s and they verbally fight. Craig and Sarah split up.
05/01/07 Mercedes tries to force JP to have a heart to heart. Russ Owen tries to offer some girl advice. JP goes around to Craig’s to try and sort things out. Hannah goes around to Sarah’s to sort things out. Craig and JP fight some more, before Craig assumes he’s in love with Hannah. JP agrees.
08/01/07 Craig and JP make up properly. They plot ways to get Hannah and Sarah back. With Nancy’s help they all return to their respective other halves.
09/01/07 JP and Craig are talking about the girls. JP suggests a party for Hannah’s 18th. JP gets a headache and leaves the common room. JP and Myra McQueen have a night of mother/son bonding.
10/01/07 JP and Craig are having a night out at the Loft. Sonny and Justin confront Craig in the loo. Craig gets seriously drunk and picks a fight with Sonny and Justin. JP saves Craig from Sonny and Justin. He runs off when Craig compares him to a brother.
11/01/07 Craig is hungover. The story of last night gets more and more exaggerated by Craig. JP is the hero.
23/01/07 JP/Craig/Hannah/Sarah go around to Nancy’s. Craig/Sarah go and have sex in one of the bedrooms at Nancy’s. JP kisses with his eyes open. He rejects Hannah’s suggestion of sex.
24/01/07 JP feeling guilty, takes Hannah on a magical day of couply fun. Hannah falls into the pond outside the Dog. Back at hers, she wants to get warm in bed. Reluctantly (On JP’s part) the pair have sex again.
25/01/07 Preparations for Hannah’s 18th are underway. Craig cancels the football camp in the summer holidays. JP flips at Hannah when he finds out she has been talking about their sex life.
26/01/07 Hannah gets sung Happy Birthday while she is in the toilet. JP arrives and says sorry, they make up. Craig/Sarah arrive. The “I love” you episode. JP eventually comes clean to Craig about his feelings for him. (This scene was featured in the National Television Awards 2007 when James Sutton was shortlisted for the Best Actor award).
29/01/07 The Monday after the party, JP wants to explain to Craig, but Craig doesn’t want to listen. Eventually JP gets Craig alone in an art classroom and they talk. JP believes he can switch his feelings off, and wants things to return to normal. By the end of the episode things are exactly as they were several days ago.
30/01/07 JP pretends all is well. Craig isn’t convinced and is really moody. Hannah and JP have a great time dancing in preparation for the Dance Off competition much to Craig’s annoyance.
31/01/07 JP continues to pretend things are normal. Craig finds out Sonny and Justin have stolen Charlie Dean. JP goes to Craig's to find out if he is OK. Craig wants to know once and for if he is or isn’t straight. JP says he isn’t gay.
05/02/07 JP and Craig are over the top macho in front of one another. Craig and JP go upstairs to Craig's room to change into their tuxes. Stripping in front of one another makes things go very chilly. Frankie growls at the boys in their suits and insists on photos. JP finally makes an excuse and leaves.
06/02/07 The day of the eagerly awaited Dance Off competition arrives. This week’s episodes were heavy advertised by Channel 4 and E4. Ratings soared. JP and Craig end up alone in a disused gym. Drunk, they get closer. Craig kisses JP and Hannah sees. (although in later episodes, the kiss is seen as John Paul kissing Craig, according to the characters' perceptions).
7/2/07 The fall out. Hannah is the first person JP tells about him being gay.
08/02/07 The McQueen girls and Russ try to stop Myra finding out about JP. Suzanne Ashworth tells Myra about JP. Myra orders everyone away, she wants to talk to JP alone. JP slowly reveals the truth to her. JP comes out to his mum. Jacqui McQueen arrives home. JP comes downstairs and has a touching scene with Myra.
09/02/07 Jacqui gives JP a pep talk. He decides to go back to school and face everyone. Craig wants JP to lie about the kiss. JP refuses. JP faces anti-gay attitudes from Sonny and other classmates. He stands up for himself. During a football game Craig attacks JP. JP breaks down.
12/2/07 It's the day/weekend after the fight. Sonny and Craig are suddenly best of friends, Sonny pleased that Craig beat up a "gay". Hannah and JP make progress in making up. JP tells Craig their friendship is over.
19/2/07 A special episode which is set totally at night. JP, Carmel and Jacqui all have a late night chat around the kitchen table.
26/2/07 Carmel, ever helpful, signs JP up to a gay website. Carmel goes over the top with rainbow-style sister love. JP and Russ make plans to go gay clubbing.
27/2/07 JP and Russ and everyone else go to a gay bar. JP isn't overly keen, open-minded Russ loves it. Mercedes causes a scene over her fiance being at a gay club with her brother.
28/2/07 Mercedes and JP are at each other's throats. They bicker, then make up.
12/3/07 JP rants about his anti-gay classmates. Jacqui is upset and JP wants to know why.
14/3/07 John Paul tries to talk Aleksander Malota out of marrying Jacqui. He is pushed into helping them prepare for the immigration official. Michaela McQueen and Sonny are found out by JP.
19/3/07 JP is back! He struts it up the school corridors. He and Hannah make first contact. Hannah seems to think she can "convert" him back. JP runs away.
20/3/07 Hannah and JP go shopping as "friends". Hannah seems pleased when she finds out JP is still single.
21/3/07 Alek's stag party. McQueen girls dress as cartoon heroes. JP is sulky about the wedding going ahead the next day.
22/03/07 JP tries suggesting to Tony Hutchinson he stop the wedding. Jacqui and Aleksander get married.
25/3/07 First look at Spike. JP meets Spike and they talk about music, as both are DJs. JP buys Spike a drink and they arrange to meet up in the future.
6/4/07 JP comes home shouting about how everyone is still calling him a queer and interrupts Myra's tea with her priest. Myra confesses to Father Raymond that JP isn't turning out as she'd expected.
9/4/07 JP and Spike get closer. Both JP and Spike come out to one another. The boys have a spark.
10/4/07 Hannah tries to get closer to JP again. JP and Spike go for a bite to eat. Spike gives JP a peck on the cheek
11/04/07 It's JP and Spike's big date. Hannah plots to ruin it. Hannah's plan works, Spike leaves.
12/04/07 JP has had enough of Hannah and her Spike bashing. Craig defends JP from Sonny. Craig and JP start to get back on track
13/04/07 JP and Craig carry on getting back to normal. Spike and JP take part in a DJ competition at the Dog. Spike and JP end up kissing.
16/04/07 It's Snogfest 2007. JP and Spike kiss. A LOT. Craig spends a fortune on gig tickets for him and JP when its made clear he isn't that keen on gigs (possibly the first time in mainstream soap gay kissing happens a great deal in a single episode).
17/04/07 Craig bickers with Spike. Sarah comforts Craig and he comes around to the current JP/Spike situation.
8/05/07 After a long break the gang return. Everyone is revising and stressed. Craig doesn't like the girls talking about JP's sex life, and storms off.
9/05/07 JP prepares for Spike coming around. They eventually go upstairs and have sex.
10/05/07 JP is on top of the world until he finds out Carmel and Alek are a secret couple. Myra thinks Alek is JP's new boyfriend.
14/05/07 With the first exam out of the way, Spike finds out about JP and Craig's past. Spike shuts JP out then lets him back in, with passion.
15/05/07 Spike, Mercedes and Myra dance to S Club 7's "Reach". Craig gets a bout of green eye while he, JP and Spike hang out waiting to go watch "McNugget" (actually MC Nugget).
16/05/07 Craig is so upset by thoughts of JP and Spike together that he leaves his exam and goes to JP's. He asks if JP still loves him and when the answer is yes, kisses him. They go up to JP's room and have sex. (Dubbed "McDean Day" by the majority of message boards and websites in support of the coupling).
17/05/07 The morning after the night before. Craig is disgusted at what he has done. JP is confused about it all. Craig tells JP he is filth and to stay away
18/05/07 JP can't get Craig out of his mind. Craig can't get JP out either, but wants Sarah there instead. Craig denies ever sleeping with JP.
1/06/07 Craig continues to give John Paul the cold shoulder. Sarah discovers she's won a modeling contract with Ripple Magazine, and she turns to JP for advice. Craig sees JP and Sarah in the Dog talking, he fears JP has revealed all.
4/06/07 Sarah goes to Ripple HQ. JP questions Craig again about his feelings. Craig can't chose between Sarah and JP.
5/06/07 JP tells Craig to be honest. Craig gets angry at Sarah's gay friend Freddie, thinking he wants her to be more than just his "fag hag". JP and Craig have a mini fight that almost ends in something sexual.
6/06/07 JP and Craig bicker. JP supports Sarah. Craig makes up with Sarah.
7/06/07 Craig and JP make up and again have passionate sex. While JP is sleeping, Craig leaves.
8/06/07 The fallout from the night before. Craig uses Dean logic to make sense of everything. JP becomes Craig's bit on the side. Craig becomes JP's bit on the side, as both are still dating other people.
11/06/07 Craig is dreaming about John Paul. Craig wants to cheat with JP. JP is strong and refuses.
25/06/07 It's Craig's birthday. Sarah gives him a watch. JP touchingly holds Craig's hand while pretending to admire the watch.
26/06/07 Sarah, JP and Craig meet some of Sarah's new friends (Melissa and Evan) for a drink. Craig goes around to JP's for some sex fun.
27/06/07 The boys plot their master plan which involves dumping Spike and Sarah so they can be together. Spike gets the chop.
28/06/07 Final Exam Day. Craig doesn't dump Sarah. JP gets mad, but Craig brings him around.
29/06/07 Sarah makes the Ripple front page. Her dad makes her cry. JP tells Craig not to dump her today.
17/07/07 JP and Spike meet up as friends. JP leads Spike on to make Craig green eyed.
18/07/07 Craig decides to split with Sarah. Sarah decides to split with Craig. Sarah gets the pleasure of doing the dumping.
19/07/07 Craig can't stand being thought of as "gay". Craig can't live without Sarah and tries to win her back. JP is shocked when he finds out they are back together and runs after the lovers. Craig urges the taxi on to escape from JP and Hollyoaks village. They go on a short holiday.
20/07/07 JP and Nancy tour HCC. JP is grumpy, he decides to write a letter to Frankie telling her all about his and Craig's relationship.
23/07/07 JP tries to get the letter back. At the same time he gets close to Spike again.
24/07/07 JP and Spike meet up for a drink. Melissa throws his records into the river. Spike offers some strings-free sex, but JP can't stop feeling guilty and declines his offer.
30/07/07 JP can't forgive Craig for running off. JP tells Craig he just wants to be himself.
31/07/07 JP drops an iron on his foot. Craig kisses it, along with other things, better. The boys are happy.
10/08/07 "The Classic Romeo and Juliet" [8] and "Bunny Cricket" [9] scenes. Craig starts to drift (sexually) away from Sarah. JP and Craig have couple fun, but are almost caught by Jake.
13/08/07 The lads bicker, JP wants Craig to "come out," but Craig maintains he isn't gay. JP storms off and is told by Spike to "move on." But Craig say's sorry and things go back to normal ... Spike is suspicious.
14/08/07 The boys have fun in Craig's bed. Jack essentially catches them ... but thinks the person huddling under the blankets is Sarah. Spike works the truth out.
15/08/07 JP, Craig and Sarah go and get their exam results. It's depressing for JP as Craig and Sarah are couple-like.
16/08/07 Spike and Craig confront one another. JP finally accepts things with Craig might not work out, but he tells Spike he wants to enjoy the time he does have with Craig. To keep Sarah from finding out about his affair with JP, Craig asks her to marry him.(This is the last we see of Spike, played by Tom Vaughan)
5/09/07 Everyone blames JP for Hannah's eating disorder. Craig gives JP a special watch. JP thinks Lincoln Burrows/Dominic Purcell is "fit"
6/09/07 It's all over for Sarah as she finds JP and Craig (almost having sex) in bed together. Many anxious McDeaners resent the weekend.
9/09/07 The fallout from the reveal. Craig is outed publicly in The Dog. JP admits setting the situation up so that they would get caught in the act. Craig's step-father Jack comforts him. Craig is angry at JP and begs Sarah for forgiveness. Sarah has only anger for Craig.
13/09/07 Craig admits to all that he loves JP. The boys, together, tell one another's families about their legendary love. Craig's sister Steph is the only member of his family who is supportive.
14/09/07 Craig doesn't like all the attention now he has a boyfriend, especially from his step-brother Darren. He asks JP to "run away" with him to Dublin.
17/09/07 Myra discovers that John Paul and Craig are going to Dublin together. Frankie and the rest of the Deans continue their frosty attitudes. Jake is very homophobic towards Craig.
18/09/07 Craig is feeling depressed when everyone bar JP rejects him. He asks JP and Myra to talk to his mum. Myra and Frankie have mother bonding.
19/09/07 Craig and Sarah part ways forever. John Paul is John Paul with jokes about Brokeback Mountain.
20/09/07 Craig and John Paul say goodbye to their families. They head to the airport ... It's crunch time as John Paul asks Craig to kiss him in public. Craig can't and JP knows that Craig doesn't know who he is or what he wants. They part ways possibly forever. (This is the last we see of Guy Burnet AKA Craig).
21/09/07 It's bad for JP as he is left alone to pick up the bits. Sarah can't believe her eyes or ears when she hears JP's story. When all else fails, he has a hug with Myra.
25/12/07 JP receives a Christmas text from Craig wishing him a Merry Christmas, telling him Craig misses him and asking him to visit in Dublin. JP does not appear to reply.
Jan 08 - July 8 JP embarks on a new relationship with Father Kieron Hobbs.
02/09/08 JP cools things with Kieron before he sees Craig. JP and Craig are "friends", but Kieron is livid when he watches the boys hugging outside the Dog.
03/09/08 Craig's return causes friction for JP and Kieron. After Niall gets involved, Kieron tells JP it's over.
04/09/08 It's the morning after and the boys are reflective. Kieron goes hunting for details about Matthew and finds out its Niall. JP spends time with his family and avoids Craig.
05/09/08 Kieron confronts Niall about his secret identity. Craig pesters JP until he gives in and the pair end up in bed together again, meanwhile Kieron is slowly dying at the hands of Niall. JP gets to Kieron just as he dies.
08/09/08 The Village slowly finds out about Kieron's death. JP is suffering from grief and guilt, he rejects Craig completely. Myra is horrified to find out he has been sleeping with Craig and kicks him out.
19/09/08 John Paul rushes to Find Craig, at the train station they miss each other several times before John Paul sees Craig on another platform and goes to meet him. They meet and embrace, John Paul gives Craig a fake rant before telling Craig he loves him, Craig kisses John Paul mid-sentence in public. They board a train hand-in-hand and secure their sunset ending

Cultural impactEdit

In what began with character Craig Dean kissing best friend John Paul McQueen, a long-running storyline between two male lovers, portrayed by Burnet and Sutton, was initiated and became a "massive hit, gaining a cult following amongst fans".[3] The John Paul/Craig/Sarah love triangle was also an aspect of the storyline intriguing viewers.[3] Hollyoaks was named Broadcast of the Year at the 2007 Stonewall Awards, held at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. "The Channel 4 soap was honoured for its sensitive depiction of the gay love affair" between Chester teenagers John-Paul and Craig.[10] Stonewall, an organisation that campaigns for equality for gay men and women, praised the show for its "sympathetic and convincing handling" of the "gritty and emotional" storyline.[10] Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood stated, "I'm really chuffed that Hollyoaks has been recognised at the Stonewall Awards. It's a really prestigious award and one that means a lot to the show, to James and Guy, to our writers and most importantly the audience that engaged with the story."[10]

Sutton added that he was "incredibly humbled" by the award, saying, "Stonewall is such an important organisation and it's amazing that we've been recognised by them for all the hard work we put into the storyline."[10]

Despite the show's plotlines sometimes being over-the-top, the romance between John Paul and Craig remained rooted in believability.[4] Sutton’s performance "so resonated with viewers" that he was voted “Most Popular Actor” at the 2008 Digital Spy Soap Awards.[4] In addition, John Paul and Craig's love story was named “Storyline of the Year”.[4] cited Sutton for being "much of the reason for the storyline’s success".[4] They stated that when they did a poll of their readers in 2007 for The 25 Best Gay Characters on Television, John Paul came in at #21.[4] Sutton had not known about the poll, and when told of it stated, "Wow. That’s really cool. I don’t tend to read too much press and stuff, but I mean I’m aware that we’ve sold the program to other countries and surfing through the Internet, I’m aware that there are people who really, really watch it. I mean I’ve heard from the States and there’s a couple of people who are in the Far East, actually, who regularly post on forums about me and stuff. And that’s just incredible.[4]
File:Craig Dean returns.jpg

John Paul's relationship with Kieron Hobbs created a certain rivalry between the fanbases; the ones wanting John Paul and Kieron together and the ones rooting for John Paul and Craig to end up together.[4] When asked of his choice between the two, Sutton stated, "You’re setting me up for a f**king fall now. Some people are going to be upset if I say Craig and some if I say Kieron. Oh, God. I’ll have to say Craig, I suppose."[4]

Burnet and Sutton, have had different experiences with the fan reaction to the storyline, but both positive. "I don't get to see the forums much," revealed Burnet, "and I don't read too much [on the Internet] but I do through James – he reads a lot of the online stuff – and he lets me know. It's so moving that so many people actually care about the storyline."[3] Burnet stated his appreciation for the fans making the storyline what it was. "From my understanding," he cited, "DS is a community of fans – without the fans, there is no show so I think the genuine way to move forward is to base a lot of plotlines – obviously if they're realistic – around what fans and communities want. At the end of the day, it's purely based around them.[3] He voiced that "one thing [he's] learned is that there's a lot of politics around television and awards shows – a lot of it is bullshit. But when it comes to the fans, they're genuine. You can't beat the people. It's not a communist society. There's a great power there".[3]

Sutton spoke of his amazement to all the fan reaction. "Very, very surprised. I never prepared myself for that to happen – for such attention to be given to this character and I was a bit overcome by it all, to be honest."[4] He felt that no one warned him what he was in store for: "This just sort of happened. It just really did. Nobody warned me that I would be the focus of so much attention. It’s all been a bit mad, to be honest, in a really positive way. But no, no one could have prepared me for the interest that it’s gained."[4] Sutton stated that he had spoken to young gay men and had e-mail conversations with people about the storyline and being gay and that it "really" opened his eyes to how difficult it can be and the prejudice out there, even still in Middle England, toward homosexuality.[4]

The Internet has made shows like Hollyoaks more accessible to audiences around the world. When John Paul and Craig first slept together, it was not seen as significantly controversial, though prominent controversy was expected, and was rather seen as "incredibly, incredibly popular".[4] For any series to be on at half past six, which is the time that Hollyoaks broadcasts (in the evening), controversy is typical when it involves two young men going to bed together, but this was not a prominent factor for the John Paul and Craig love story.[4] The actors were not slighted in national press, and it was all "fairly positive" and "a story that needed to be told".[4] Producer Kirkwood relayed: “The Craig and John Paul story is one of the biggest and most successful that Hollyoaks has told, winning many awards and legions of fans."[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. "The latest breaking news about Hollyoaks", Soaplife. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Green, Kris. "EXCLUSIVE: Craig Dean returns to 'Hollyoaks'", Digital Spy, 2008-06-09. Retrieved on 2008-08-19. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Green, Kris. "EXCLUSIVE: Guy Burnet", Digital Spy, 2007-09-11. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 Jensen, Michael. "Interview with James Sutton",, 2008-07-08. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Cooper, Lorna. "John Paul Quits Hollyoaks", MSN. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 
  6. Green, Kris. "Gay relationship for Hollyoaks' John Paul and Craig", DigitalSpy, 2007-03-07. Retrieved on 2007-03-07. 
  7. JPMQ (2007-07-20). John Paul's letter to Frankie transcribed. Retrieved on 2008-03-08.
  8. JPMQ (2008-08-10). JPMQ's definition of 'The Classic Romeo and Juliet' scene. Retrieved on 2008-07-13.
  9. JPMQ (2008-08-10). JPMQ's definition of the 'Bunny Cricket' scene. Retrieved on 2008-07-13.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Green, Kris. "'Hollyoaks' honoured at Stonewall Awards", Digital Spy, 2007-11-03. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 

Fictional LGBT characters