Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson has revealed that Brendan Brady could have been killed off when he left the show in 2013.
Show bosses were forced to write out the iconic character when Emmett J Scanlan quit the role seven years ago, but they decided not to close the door on Brendan completely and sent him off to prison.
This week, the soap is celebrating Brendan's legacy by airing three more of his most memorable episodes in E4's Hollyoaks Favourites.
Kieron, who plays Brendan's ex-lover Ste Hay, has now spoken to Digital Spy to promote the reruns. He confirmed that there was once an alternative plan for Brendan's final week, which would have seen the bad boy meet his maker.
Asked whether Brendan should have had a more tragic exit, Kieron revealed: "There were two ways it was going to go. I think it was going to get changed to that originally.
"I think the audience are glad that there hasn't been an end to the character of Brendan, though. It wasn't too tragic in the end, because you never know what the future holds.
"Even though it's sad that Ste and Brendan are apart, there's always the possibility that it could happen one day.
"But at one point, it could have gone a different way..."
On whether Brendan and his sister Cheryl (Bronagh Waugh) could ever make a shock comeback, Kieron laughed: "I wish! You just never know what the future holds.
"I always thought it might be this year that we'd get both of them back, since it's the show's 25th birthday. But it's always about schedule clashes.
"I know for a fact that Bronagh had work just before the lockdown and I assume that's going to continue once things get back up and running again. I always see Emmett working constantly.
"It's just about working out when they don't have a job and whether the right story is there. Everything has to come together to create the perfect storm. I'm sure it will happen one day. Even if it's a fleeting visit, it'd be a shame if it didn't happen."
The first two episodes of Favourites this week focus on Ste and Brendan's reunion in Dublin. On Friday (May 29), we'll see the dramatic moment that Brendan took the blame for the murder of his evil father Seamus.
Kieron told us: "I was really excited about these episodes being shown again. I'd been thinking about the Stendan storyline and trying to pinpoint the massive episodes.
"Obviously it was the Dublin ones – the hardcore Stendan fans even used to do tours and go to all of the different locations where we filmed. These are my standout episodes from that storyline, so I'm really pleased that they're being shown again.
"I remember it being really, really cold when we filmed them! At the time, we knew we were coming close to the end of Brendan and Cheryl, but I was thinking: 'It'll only be for a little bit. They'll miss it so much and come back!'
"Obviously they've gone on to have massive careers, but I'm just grateful that they're still supportive of the show. When another Brendan and Cheryl episode was shown on Favourites a few weeks ago, they posted about it. It's nice that they're still so supportive.
"I still message Emmett now and again. I sent him a congratulations recently because him and Claire [Cooper, who played Jacqui McQueen] are having a baby, which is really exciting.
"Whenever somebody gets a new job or has something major going on in their life, that's when you keep in contact with people. I think it's like that with any colleague that you're close to."
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4. Classic episodes, titled Hollyoaks Favourites, air on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm on E4.
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