James Nightingale hits back after a lifetime of being abused by his father, Mac. He wants revenge, but will he get it? Hollyoaks’ Gregory Finnegan reveals all

After years and years of torment at the hands of his father, James Nightingale finally stands up for himself and hits Mac. And that’s just the start of his revenge, reveals Hollyoaks’ Gregory Finnegan.

Why has James let Mac abuse him for so long?
“These feelings have been buried for a long time. He and Mac [David Easter] haven’t had much contact over the years, but it’s all come back now that they’re living so closely. He felt he had to say something to protect his mum, Marnie.”

But Marnie doesn’t believe Mac abused him, does she?
“No. James thought that of all people, Marnie [Lysette Anthony] would have his back. He hid has much as he could as a child to protect his mum, but she must know something and her desire to side with Mac has shocked him.”

Why do you think Mac was violent with James and not his other children?
“He is the eldest and, when he came along, Marnie and Mac’s relationship was fractured. I believe Mac resented the affection Marnie showed him. He used James as a punchbag, physically and emotionally. By the time the other kids came along, Mac had come to terms with Marnie being a mum and treated them well. James was his whipping boy.”

But now he’s fighting back…
“He’s helping Neeta [Amrit Maghera] sue Mac purely for revenge. He’s never had much time for Neeta in the past, but the idea of joining forces with somebody who dislikes Mac as much as he does appeals to James.”

So what prompts James to punch Mac?
“They’re having a bit of a row outside the Dog. Mac goads him about the whole Neeta business and he snaps. He punches him and, rightly or wrong, he feels good about it. But, unfortunately, his action results in the rest of the family alienating him. It’s hurtful for him to be shut out in the cold. This is the first time in his life he’s needed people to take him seriously.”

So why won’t James let John Paul help him?
“James has spent a lifetime not letting anybody in and John Paul [James Sutton] is the first person he’s confided in. James struggles with that. His stock reaction is to go and find a random guy to help him forget about his troubles.”

Does it work?
“You’ll have to wait and see. He apologises to John Paul about it afterwards and John Paul suggests he goes for counselling. But he is sceptical.”

What lies ahead for him?
“The storyline with Mac continues and it will be focused on John Paul. There’s a lot of Nightingale fun to come at Christmas and James will be spending a lot of time with Joanne [Rachel Leskovac].

Hollyoaks, Channel 4