Evil Clare has left Hollyoaks’ Max Cunningham a broken man – but actor Matt Littler hopes that Steph Dean could be the one to help him love again…

So how long has Max fancied Steph?
“He’s thinks she’s fit – especially when she turns up at the Arabian Nights promotion held at MOBs dressed as a belly dancer. But he’s never considered getting close to her because she seems such a ditzy, air-headed blonde who only likes bad boys.”

What changes his opinion?
“Tom. It turns out he has a real crush on Steph which is a bit embarrassing for Steph but she deals with him in such a kind, sensitive way that Matt begins to realise there’s more to her than her looks. He begins to think she’s actually really nice and they become friends.”

Only friends?
“To begin with. The whole Clare thing has left him in a bad way. He blames himself for bringing Clare to Hollyoaks in the first place. Steph offers Max a shoulder to cry on and he goes to kiss her but the way he is at the moment might simply be too much for Steph to take on.”

Clare really did emotional damage to Matt, didn’t she?
“I’ll say. He’s desperately trying not to let his past affect his future but that’s easier said than done. It seems that when things are going well he can look forward but when he gets down, he really gets down.”

What does OB think about Max having feelings for Steph?
“OB’s all for Max getting together with Steph – the complete opposite of how he was with Max and Clare.”

But wouldn’t OB hate it if Max became really close to a woman?
“I don’t think so. They’re very good friends but ideally I think both Max and OB would like a partner.”

Would Tom mind if Max became involved with Steph?
Tom likes Steph very much so I can’t see that he’d object. But if Tom didn’t like Steph it would be a different matter. Tom and Max come as a package.”

So what’s the bottom line – do Max and Steph become an item?
“There’s definitely something between them. Max isn’t the kind of bloke Steph usually goes for in that he’s a decent kind of guy. In a way with his and her terrible relationship history they could turn out to be a very good match.”

Would you like to see Max married and settled?
“I’d like to see him happy – that would be a start! For myself, I thoroughly enjoy working with Carly who plays Steph and there’s definitely chemistry between Steph and Max. I think they have the potential to make a good couple…”