Hollyoaks star Malique Thompson-Dwyer is returning to the soap this week as Prince McQueen, but admitted he's "a bit rusty".
Malique is coming back to the show as part of Channel 4's Black to Front initiative on Friday, September 10.
Malique discussed his feelings about returning to the show having left over two years ago, saying: "You know what, I was bricking it coming back, just because I've been away for so long. I'm a bit rusty but I'm really enjoying myself.
"There are some new people, new faces. I'm just glad to be back, back with the family, it just feels like home. I feel like I’ve never left."
Malique first starred in Hollyoaks in 2016 alongside his brother on-screen Hunter (Theo Graham). He then left in the summer of 2019, after Prince attempted to kill Romeo Nightingale because he blamed him for his wife Lily McQueen's (Lauren McQueen) death.
Channel 4's Black to Front initiative was confirmed last year in the wake of George Floyd's murder, and will recognise Black History Month 2021.
For 24 hours, Channel 4 is committing to a full day of programming led by Black talent including a one-off return of The Big Breakfast presented by Mo Gilligan, as well as episodes of Channel 4's biggest flagship shows, including Celebrity Gogglebox, Countdown and Channel 4 News, which will be led by an all-Black presenting and reporting team.
In the Hollyoaks special, Tomi Ade will debut as Felix Westwood's estranged son DeMarcus. Music superstar Jamelia will also guest star as Walter's family friend Sharon Bailey.
Malique explained why he thinks the project is important: "The Black To Front Project is amazing because it's bringing more awareness to the cause and I feel it's what TV needs.
"I'm excited to hear everyone's feedback, the audience and the fans. It's going to be great; it's going to be amazing."
Before Hollyoaks announced this new special, actress Rachel Adedeji, who played Lisa Loveday, called out the soap for its response to the Black Lives Matter protests and expressed concerns over her unfair treatment as a Black person on set.
Hollyoaks responded by introducing a new diversity action plan following an investigation into the allegations of racism. It also shared plans to implement a number of measures to "improve and learn from our mistakes".
Hollyoaks airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4. Selected omnibus episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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