Hollyoaks newcomer Glen Wallace has praised show bosses for tackling the issue of HIV.

The actor, who plays Malachy Fisher in the Channel 4 soap, says he’s pleased to be involved in a storyline in which his character is diagnosed with the virus.

After Malachy is diagnosed with HIV, it emerges that he may have inadvertently infected his brother Kris after he also sleeps with Mercedes McQueen.

He said: “I think it’s about time the issue was readdressed. It was one of the conversations I had with the producers when we talked about me coming back to show.

“Hollyoaks has a track record of tackling big issues. The HIV storyline is relevant to today’s youth culture, and as they’re the ones watching the show. We can tackle the issue in a sensitive way.

“As an actor, it’s everything that you’d want because it’s really something you can sink your teeth into.

“It’s not been done in the UK for about 20 years with the Mark Fowler storyline in EastEnders, so to be involved in something of this magnitude is a big pat on the back for me.”

Glen also revealed he got on well with Jennifer Metcalfe, who plays Mercedes.

“Jennifer has been absolutely fantastic and because it’s such a heavy subject, we like to be light about it and have a bit of fun on set which helps us do the storyline justice.”