Jeremy Sheffield says it’s a ‘a joy’ to play Hollyoaks‘ twisted headteacher Patrick Black.

Patrick is in the middle of deeply researched, long-running storyline in which he’s abusing his much younger partner, Maxine Minniver (Nikkia Sanderson), in the Channel 4 soap.

The response to their domestic abuse storyline has been overwhelming, says Jeremy, with both himself and Nikki being nominated for best actor and actress at the British Soap Awards, while the Home Office used the storyline to promote their This Is Abuse campaign.

But, remarkably, the self-effacing actor told What’s on TV: “It’s a joy to play Patrick, I know that sounds weird… But actors, I don’t know why, but they love to play a baddie. This is a complex, dark, deep, twisted man and for some reason it’s fascinating to play.”

Jeremy added: “I’ve never done a long-running soap, a character for so long, it didn’t even occur to me before doing this show that spending this long in one man’s skin allows you to get down to the depths of the detail of this person’s psychology, it’s fascinating. It’s hard work, but it’s fascinating.”

You can vote for Jeremy, Nikki and Hollyoaks at the British Soap Awards website here until tomorrow.

Watch our chat with Hollyoaks’ Jeremy Sheffield (Patrick Blake):