Hollyoaks actor James Sutton has announced he’s quitting the Channel 4 soap after two years.

James arrived in Hollyoaks in 2006 as John Paul McQueen and quickly established himself as one of the show’s most popular characters.

Last year, James was at the centre of a controversial storyline when John Paul finally admitted to being gay and began a secret relationship with best pal Craig Dean (played by Guy Burnett).

As Craig and John Paul’s affair was exposed, Craig left for Dublin and John Paul was left to mourn the loss of his mate – but it wasn’t long before he started a second clandestine relationship with Father Kieron (Jake Hendricks).

Guy will be returning to Hollyoaks as Craig tries and win back John Paul. And viewers will be wondering whether John Paul will go back to his first love or remain loyal to Father Kieron.

James said: “I’ve had a really great time working on Hollyoaks but after much thought I’ve decided that it’s time to bring it to an end. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bryan Kirkwood and everyone at Hollyoaks for making my time here so memorable.

“I’m also really grateful to the viewers for their continued support and commitment to the character and the storyline.”

Producer Bryan Kirkwood added: “In two short years James Sutton has achieved amazing success in his role as John Paul McQueen. His sensitive, honest portrayal of a young man coming to terms with his sexuality and dealing with the aftermath has captivated viewers and critics, won many awards and has been at the heart of Hollyoaks’ recent success.

“James will, I’m sure, go on to great things.”