Ste Hay hopes a bonding afternoon with his ex, Amy Barnes, may help him share custody of their kids in Hollyoaks. But if it doesn’t work, he has a vicious Plan B, as Kieron Richardson tells Soaplife

Recovering addict Ste Hay is far from a perfect parent. But his kids are everything to him and Amy Barnes’s bid to go for full custody is a painful blow. Kieron Richardson tells Soaplife how he deals with it…

So Ste is afraid Amy will get full custody?
“It’s a real possibility as he knows that on paper and in front of a judge, he doesn’t look like a good dad. He’s made terrible mistakes with drink, drugs and bad decisions. He wishes people could see what he’s like behind closed doors when it’s just him and the kids. They are the only people who really matter to Ste.”

Does Ste blame Amy’s new partner, Ryan Knight, for this?
“Absolutely. Ryan [Duncan James] keeps getting in the way. The first time they met, they punched each other. He blames Ryan for getting into Amy’s head. In the past, it’s been easy for Ste to manipulate Amy [Ashley Slanina-Davies], but that isn’t happening now Ryan’s in the picture.”

Has he got a lawyer?
“He asks James Nightingale [Gregory Finnegan] to help him.”

What happens when he spots Amy after a tanning disaster?
“Ste sorts Amy’s tan out and they have a nice, light-hearted time. They have loads of history and you see them talking about the past. They go back to Amy’s flat and they have such a nice afternoon that Ste believes she’s going to drop her bid for full custody.”

How confident is he going into the hearing?
“So confident that he doesn’t bring James along. He’s elated on the day as he’s certain things are going to go his way. But his boyfriend, Harry [Parry Glasspool], isn’t so sure.”

It does sound like he’s dangerously confident…
“It does. For all Ste knows, Ryan could have got into Amy’s head again. He’s a police officer and a hero in her eyes. It all hinges on whether or not she’ll go in with her head or her heart.”

But he has a plan to set up Ryan, doesn’t he?
“Yes. Ste and Warren Fox [Jamie Lomas] think Ryan’s sleeping with prostitutes and they plan to show Amy he isn’t the man she thinks he is. Ste was terrified of Warren not so long ago, but now they have this unlikely friendship that’s a lifeline for Ste. Their plan is a comedy of errors, though, really.”

Is there any light at the end of the tunnel for Ste?
“I think he’s destined to lead a tragic life. I thought he might be the most downtrodden character in soap, but then I realised Sienna [Anna Passey] hasn’t had the best time of it!”

Hollyoaks, Channel 4