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Hollyoaks to Air Episode Starring, Written, And Directed By Black Talent

Richard Blackwood, Kelle Bryan, Patrick Robinson, Hollyoaks

UK soap Hollyoaks will air a special hour-long episode starring, and written and directed by, all-Black talent. According to Metro, this exciting edition will be a part of Channel 4's Black to Front diversity day.

Penned by the soap's core team writer Thabo Mhlatshwa, the episode will center on an important birthday for local patriarch Walter Deveraux (Trevor A. Toussaint). The Devaraux family will reunite to celebrate, along with Hollyoaks characters past and present who are Black or of Black heritage. Actor Patrick Robinson will step behind the lens for this the episode, his big directorial debut for a continuing drama.

Kéllé Bryan, Richard Blackwood, Hollyoaks

Kéllé Bryan and Richard Blackwood

Robinson shared:

I’m very excited to be directing this hour long special of Hollyoaks, featuring characters who share my background and heritage.

Overstanding other people’s cultures, I believe is one giant step towards an inclusive society and Drama is one of the best tools to do that.

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Hollyoaks obtained much of this special's costumes from local Black retailers, while cast members, including Toussaint, contributed knowledge to traditional outfits worn by actors. An original score will come from Bankey Ojo, while Mhlatshwa chose several important songs to feature, as well, by the likes of Black British artists Arlo Parks and YXUNG Bane.

Singer-actress Kéllé Bryan, who plays Walter's daughter Martine, stated:

This Black to Front episode is a celebration of family traditions, which have historically held Black families and Black communities together since migration. 

Richard Blackwood, who plays Martine's former love, bad boy Felix Westwood, shared on Instagram:

Black talent who joined Hollyoaks for this special will continue to work on the show. The Black to Front initiative has allowed more traineeships behind the scenes and more opportunities in key areas of production. Five actors joining for the special will stay on as cast members, with two more stars sticking around just for this episode.

The episode is set to air on Friday, Sept. 10.