Father: Ricky Bowen
Mother: Myra McQueen
Half Brother: Niall Rafferty
Grandmother: Marjorie McQueen
“John Paul "J.P." McQueen was a fictional (although we like to think there is a bit of JP in all of us) character in long-running Channel 4 British television soap opera Hollyoaks. He is played by the actor James Sutton. He is the only male in the McQueen family". - Wiki
The McQueens arrived in Chester in September 2006, from the very first sighting it was evident that they were going to be something of a handful. Two McQueens were already living and causing strife in Chester even before the rest of the family turned up; Mercedes (June 2006) and Michaela (Unknown). These two essentially were a positive force to actually bringing in the whole family, there was some concern that the “McQueens” would have to many similarities to the “Slaters” from Eastenders. Eventually with the go ahead from the producers the family were assembled and Myra, Tina, Carmel, Jaquie, John-Paul, Mercedes and Michaela all moved into a house.
JP to start was in the same position as Tina, shown to be extremely placid compared to some of the more bolshy sisters, and in the McQueen household scenes had little screen time or pointed storylines. Nonetheless like Tina, as soon as the two characters moved away from the house and formed their own friendships they came into their own. The only member of the McQueen clan who is massively underused is Myra, although this is likely to do with Hollyoaks focusing more on the youthful characters.
17-year-old John Paul started Hollyoaks Comp Sixth form where he was thrust upon
Craig Dean. Compared to Craig the boys were seemingly polar opposites on introduction, JP all very metrosexual, sure of himself and French in dress sense, continuing with the French Connection even his name was very “Jeah - Oooh la la - Paul", which led to him becoming extremely popular with the rest of the main school characters (Although it wasn’t very long before it was put to rights JP had no French roots at all, and the closest he got to the French lifestyle was his FCUK black clubbing shirt). Then there was Craig, the stupid clown who was always coming up with half brained schemes to either make money or pull girls, both of which failed repeatedly, shown by the lack of hickeys and the constant cheap buying of pure tat from Primark.
Although JP was settling in nicely Craig was suffering at the hands of wannabe gangsters Sonny Valentine and Justin Burton who in their increasing idiotic way decided that Craig was responsible for Sonny’s mothers death, although Craig was completely innocent to the point of the murderer being caught at the wheel. (It was Craig’s brother, Jake!!!! - Steads) While Justin can be excused for his thickness, rather than learning from his teacher he spent all his time sleeping with her, and before that spent hours at a time kissing himself in the mirror to create his perfectly formed fishlips, Sonny on the other hand had no such excuse and to this day continues to resent Craig and his blood ties to Jake. Just goes to show kids if you say rubbish things like "Kerchang!" over and over it really does rot your brain and turn you stupid.
It wasn’t long before intelligent JP decided that Craig was a
sexy decent kind of guy, and they quickly became friends. To start with JP was able to juggle friendships between Sonny and Craig, but the rivalry and hatetred between the latter proved too difficult. After a DJ’ing competition in the Loft, which JP won, him and Sonny ceased to have a fully functional friendship, with JP regularly protecting Craig from Sonny, both verbally and physically.
Craig was soon dating
BLIND as a bat swim fan Sarah Barnes, he found it hard to spend time completely alone with her for lots of sex because of JP, and Sarah’s best friend Hannah, inconsiderately hanging around *tut tut*. So Craig tried his hand at matchmaking the pair, unbelievably it actually worked; JP and Hannah were shoved together like two cars in a crash at 70mph and an awkward “first love” type of relationship begins...
The relationship was klutzy and awash with miscommunication from the start, together, JP was nervous and Hannah was smitten with the idea of having a boyfriend. It was also difficult but by this point the regular viewer could perhaps see that something wasn’t quite right about this relationship and in fact something was a little amiss with JP himself, it was around this time the question “Is John Paul gay?” started to surface on message boards and became topic in the staff rooms across the country. The couple rather than being in harmony seemed to be one step behind each other constantly, JP wouldn’t want to spend all his time with her and instead worked hard to spend time with Craig, Hannah meanwhile was discussing her feelings and their relationship with her friends rather than JP.
Acting on some bad advice, Hannah became miss “If I don’t lose my virginity to JP soon, my head's going to fall off” desperate to be "closer" to JP and the urgency to do it became so insistent he eventually gave her some (non French) loving on his bed. This was the beginning of the end for JP and Hannah, the relationship spiralled out of control and become self destructive. A few days later he broke up with her. It was evident to Craig that JP hadn't really loved Hannah like he really should and a confused JP tried to explain his feelings, but the jumbled thoughts couldn’t become meaningful sentences of truth and “Had to repeat a year” Craig put together a load of numbers to make 864893638 and assuming he had feelings for his Sarah (who is a bit of a flirt anyway and didn’t exactly help matters) became violent and angry towards JP. Concluding with a green eyed Craig splitting up with Sarah. With Hannah later joining the anti Sarah club believeing she had led JP on in some way.
The foursome were depressed and lonely, everyone was mad at each other. * Sad Faces all round *
Craig and JP made up quickly when Craig added together some more numbers and decided it made; “JP still fancies Hannah” (By this point the majority of watchers were twigging that JP liked neither Hannah or Sarah and the strange fascination with Craig’s lips and physical contact was something of a BIG clue). With the help of mutual friend Nancy the group were glued to one another once more. * Happy faces all round* Except for JP who once in a while let his happy mask slide and allowed his eyes to travel over to Craig’s, where he would, eye rape him… More JP and Hannah sex, and JP trying to be the boyfriend he wished he could be towards Hannah. Which worked in a way, until Hannah in a totally OTT fall, fell into the pond she and JP were having a romantic boat ride on. Lots of guilt and a way to get JP into her bed for yummy sex. “Oh John-Paul I’m so cold, wont you please come warm me up” The girls got brains, we’ll give her that. Mostly it has to be said JP's plan was a complete failure and he showed us perfectly you can't pretend to love someone and get away with it, no matter how good your front is. It was also unfortunate that Hannah (who it has to be said, is mostly a sweet likeable character) was so driven by the desire to socially have a boyfriend, because in securing the image of them as a couple she missed the entire point of a relationship. Mirrored of course in JP’s faulty desire to have a visible girlfriend who in this instance happened to also be a convenient means to Craig.
The night before Hannah’s birthday the entire storyline started to come back on itself with absolute gusto, for months JP was constructed (by playing on stereotypical assumptions) to be the typical Hollyoaks guy, good looking, sporty and with a healthy interest in girls, but over the last few weeks serious questions were being asked about those assumptions. When Craig backed out of a Summer Football Camp so he could go on holiday with Sarah, it ticked JP off something chronic, he vented his frustration on Hannah in a horrendous way telling her she made his skin crawl and made him feel sick, this on the eve of her 18th birthday when she thought everything was going flawlessly. Poor girl.
The party night arrives, Hannah is locked in the toilet with her evil twin self which morphs into JP who appears in the mirror repeating his words from the night before. Presumably with the time she has been in there its not a number one she is doing nonetheless her entire family decide it would be a good idea to cluster outside the bathroom door and sing happy birthday, the best way to give anyone constipation in my opinion.
JP arrives. Begs for forgiveness. Is forgiven. Has a lusting for a stripper in a jock strap. Get’s into bitch mode. Has an outburst about Craig deserving more than Sarah. Runs outside where Craig follows… and then the storyline finally reveals its long term budding
kinda obvious by now secret to all in the form of a massive “I’m in love with you!” rose flower…
(This is the touching coming out conversation)
Craig: OI what’s got into you?
JP: You don’t want to be around me!
Craig: You cant just say things like that and run off!
JP: Craig just leave it!
Craig: Why did you say Sarah isn’t good enough for me?
JP: Please don’t make me say it…
Craig: Look at me… LOOK AT ME !
JP: * Sobs *
Craig: Look at me, what do you know? Is she cheating on me?
Craig: Its Rhys isn’t it… She is cheating on me with Rhys
JP: NO. I don’t know.
Craig: Then why are you like this? Tell me what’s going on
JP: … no…I can’t…
Craig: Tell me John – Paul!
JP: … You really wanna no?
JP: Why I think you should split up with Sarah?
Craig: Yes. Yes I do.
JP: Its because I’m jealous. Alright. Whenever I watch you with her… it kills me. Because I wanna be the one you're laughing with, going home with.
JP: When I’m not with you I think about you all the time, and when I am with you I feel like my heart's gonna burst. I’m in love with you. I’m in love with YOU!
(JP runs off)
(The written word in this case is pathetic against actually seeing the conversation between the two, so its well worth digging out the clips in the Timeline section)
After his confession JP runs away from the party, leaving a puzzled Craig to piece together everything that has just happened. The weekend passes and Craig becomes somewhat angry at JP's confession and by Monday is ignoring JP totally. Eventually JP comes over and says he is sorry for putting Craig into that position and he will be willing to leave Hollyoaks if Craig wants him too (Noooooo!). Craig is deeply concerned that people will find out there is potential gayness surrounding him, which is perhaps an accurate reflection of what young people (especially males) have to face today, being gay is somehow seen to be deeply abnormal or wrong and should be expelled in all its form.
Craig and JP eventually find a quiet classroom, and properly discuss the situation. Again JP is willing to leave, and goes to do so when Craig slams the door shut and in a cry of frustration says he doesn’t want him to go. Craig maintains JP is the best friend he has ever had and doesn’t want to lose that. JP backtracks and tells Craig he can switch his feelings off, get back with Hannah and things can be exactly like they were before. Craig is obviously sceptical, but perhaps selfishly, agrees to JP’s idea, and is pleased to get his best friend back without the “I want to get you naked and have my way with you” part of their friendship.
The following weeks JP’s idea is proved to be complete utter rubbish. Craig decides he doesn’t like this plan as it means JP is lying to himself as well as Hannah and Sarah, so starts to push JP towards coming clean to Hannah and admitting the truth. After Craig’s nephew is kidnapped by the ridiculous Sonny and Justin, JP goes around for a good old English “will fix anything” cup of tea to check up on his friend. A chat about JP’s kids "being like their pops on the decks" and Craig eventually snaps and wants to know if JP is gay or not. Perhaps unbelievable, but before this point the word “gay” has not once been uttered. JP says “I’m not gay”.
The boys' friendship once again seems to be on track, of course we as the viewer know that JP is still yearning for some Craig face sucking, but he puts on a jolly good show in hiding that and settles for the odd eye rape. The day before the school dance the boys pick up their tuxes (tuxedo) and Frankie Dean wants the boys to try them on. Upstairs in Craig’s room they undress and the sexual tension as JP tries to catch a peek is beyond belief. Suddenly it all starts to go permanently wrong for their friendship. It’s clear to both that JP has an attraction to Craig and neither boy is capable of suppressing that desire’s active effect in their friendship.
The dance off arrives and JP seeing Craig with Sarah makes him go into broody mode. He stalks off with some alcohol and gets steadily pissed. Craig like a kid/adult who cant leave his scabs alone and is forever picking at them, follows JP. They share the alcohol and have a heart to heart in the deserted school gym, JP again maintains he isn’t gay but now drunk Craig ignores it, and gets closer to JP. Before you know it Craig (some will argue in a jokey type way) is telling JP he loves him and he had better remember it. They kiss. Craig clearly instigates it. Finally Craig’s awful luck with women becomes a visable reason, as they break apart, JP looks violently ill
Craig’s breath it's pretty obvious that Craig is capable of making other boys go “shiver me timbers” and go weak at the knees. Something he hasn’t been able to do for any other girl.
Hannah and her bad self just happen to stumble along to where the boys are K.I.S.S.I.N.G. In shock she runs back to the others in the main dance hall, as she runs her evil self plays the kiss over and over in her head hearing Craig’s voice telling JP he loves him, over and over. The poor girl finally collapses into Sarah’s arms where she tells her (and half the dance hall) what she just witnessed…
Having a foxy gayer in the school is hot gossip and some artistic types have stuck posters of the lads with the title “The Big Kiss” everywhere. Craig is under the impression they can pretend it didn’t happen. JP on the other hand decides otherwise and goes home. Hannah’s evil self blames good Hannah who is looking pretty damn awful, “JP will never speak to me again!” she wails to everyone. She decides to go around and say sorry for telling everyone she saw him kissing Craig...
JP meanwhile has arrived home to face his sisters, Michaela and Mercedes are reluctant to believe he could possibly be gay. Mercedes urges Hannah to sort things out because it's clearly all a misunderstanding. Tina tells JP there is nothing to be ashamed of they will always love him whatever.
Craig meanwhile is a man desperate to prove his innocence and escape the anti gay jail that is school life. He tells Sarah he wants to tear off her clothes every time he sees her, unfortunately the way Craig dresses theses days you wouldn’t be laughed at for thinking he only wanted them for himself.
JP and Hannah have a touching natter, she tries to convert him to “the way things used to be before”. Hopeful Hannah cuddles JP when he unenthusiastically agrees. Evil Hannah smiles behind his back (we expect) as she tries to get her bunny boiling claws back into the lad. She kisses him. JP stands up telling her this isn’t right. Evil Hannah for the first time looks worried; backed into a corner she goes mental says she is ugly and repulsive. JP pleads with her that she isn’t. With the game up, Evil Hannah goes silent and stony faced and all scary like (No joke we hide every time we watch this scene) and grips onto a massive teddy with “I love you” written over it, either as a weapon from JP's coming words or as a last ditch effort to appear cute. JP talks and tries to explain about everything… he digs deep and talks from the heart, explains he wanted Craig more than he has wanted anything in his entire life. Emotional stuff. The response from Hannah; a heavy blink which lasts far to long and a single tear rolling down her face. JP finishes with finally saying “I’m gay”. Evil Hannah exits by dropping the teddy and walking out without saying a word, leaving JP to enter his “Recently Come Out Brooding Phase” or RCOBP for short. Think Robocop.
The next day Hannah's mum Susanne has found out from Hannah what's happened and lets it slip to Myra McQueen that her son is gay, despite some stonking good efforts from JP's sisters to stop Myra finding out. The family head home to confront JP. Mercy and Michaela along with Myra (all the M's here) are dubious that JP is gay and assume that Susanne and Hannah are just bitter about the break up. The entire family, bar JP and Myra, are sent upstairs where they attempt to listen in.
Myra is upset that JP seems to be unable to confide in her. She tells him her specialist subject on Mastermind would be her kids, because she knows them all so well (Errrrr do we really have to point out the irony here?), she tells him it hurts when he can't be honest with her. Slowly with Myra's kind words she is able to coax JP into revealing he likes guys pointed things rather than gals round plumpy things (as the producer and some of the writers for Hollyoaks are gay themselves, its a crying shame that this scene is arguably poorer compared to some of the others in JP's coming out story).
Jacquie arrives home and her "Coming out party", which was adeptly hijacked by JP, is only partly set up. She walks in and JP apologises about the party fiasco and comes out to her as well. Out of all the McQueens Jacquie's reaction is the most placid. She has known all along.
Everyone bar Myra and JP leave to go for a "welcome home" drink. JP comes downstairs getting ready for bed, and him and Myra have another chat. JP leaves, and when she is alone Myra cries. Up until now the central character has been JP, but in this scene it really brings home how something so straightforward like sexuality can have huge repercussions. Although its fair to say that parents in general should not have grandiose expectations for their children, and not be disappointed in what they are.
JP is avoiding both Craig and school. It isn’t long before his recently released from prison sister, Jacquie gives him a pep talk. It’s actually really rather thought out and you can’t help but instantly adore her for it. She explains to JP when you think about it there is nothing “gay” about being “gay”, its not all pink, fluffy and camp, at the root of being gay it’s about getting it on with another hot and sweaty man, which is the most masculine thing she (and I) can think of. With the energising pep talk, JP heads into school.
Craig is asking JP to lie, pretend he isn’t gay. JP refuses and the anti gay bullying begins to target him, naturally Craig, like Hannah and Sarah, are drawn into the crossfire. But JP is like a pumped up solider ready for war, he gives as good as he gets, he threatens back, he shouts,
he looks even sexier, but best of all, he doesn’t die and is able to think for himself.
Nonetheless Sonny persists in his torment of JP, him or someone else decides it would be cool to cross out the "Mc", on JP's football jersey so it reads "Queen"... hmm wonder how long the writers were eagerly waiting to use that one. During the game, Craig is easily led by Sonny to become more violent towards JP, it isn’t long before Craig takes a swing at him. JP returns the favour in a brilliant macho stylee punch. With blood and sweat pouring down his face he makes a last stand, demanding if anyone else wants a go they should do it now. The players all remain silent and stunned that a "gay boy" wouldn’t accept anything less than equality. Unfortunately it's all to much for our hero, as he tries to escape the hall with a brave face, he fails and bursts into tears. Once he's made it to the changing room and takes off his shirt he notices the "Queen" graffiti and breaks down totally. And because it’s such a sad prospect we aren’t going to make any witty or snide comments. It was and always will be a touching scene that begs the viewer to go "aww" and wish they could comfort him.
The following day, Hannah and Sarah see what's happened to JP (black eye = big lighthouse at night), and want to find out what's happened. JP is broody and moody and Craig is ditto, although Sonny and Craig are BFF
Hannah (The good one we think) finds out the truth, and goes to see JP, feeling guilty as always she tries to make amends. JP tells her this is him from now on and people will just have to get used to it. Later, cage fight fan Craig sporting a brand new Primark neck guzzling, unseasonably cheerful snowflake cardi tries to apologise to JP. Who tells him to frack off. And so begins a month or so of a JP and Craig-less (and thankfully Cardi-less) existence.
With the second JP arc complete the writers take a backseat and explore other aspects of JP’s new open sexuality. Time for some absolute Hollyoaks classics, Carmel trying to set JP up with random internet desparados on Gaydar, and making gay sandwiches,although nothing beats; “Goad Mercedes You’re such a homophobiam!” JP doesn’t like all this interference, and the RCOBPhase slips back far to often, with JP storming off in almost every scene. He might be new to the gay thing, but he has the diva strop down to a tee. Soon Russ points out his family are just trying to support him and perhaps it might not be such a bad idea to “explore” a little.
Unfortunately for Russ, he is soon persuaded to go with JP to a gay bar/club. Doubly unfortunate, Mercedes finds out and along with the rest of the McQueen clan gatecrash JP’s big night out in a gay club, which can only be described as “weirdness”. Triply unfortunate, Mercedes thinks Russ is enjoying himself far to much and him and JP are gonna be getting it on and before either lad can say "Gosh this new Kylie song is kind of down with it, Bowya", she lashes into both him and JP and creates a McQueen Scene.
A few days later, and Mercedes has come around to the idea that JP being gay isn’t exactly the worst thing, and with some twisted sisterly love buys him tickets for Dolly Parton. JP is not impressed, but is able to see the thought behind the tickets and they make up.
For the next few weeks, JP has a very quiet life. He is much too involved in helping Jacquie sort out her love life. It's a very long and complicated story, which involves Jacquie having to marry an immigrant in order for him to stay in the country, why is he in the country in the first place? That’s not really all that important to the Hollyoaks writers because they tell two completely different stories, one involves him coming here to work and sending money back home, the other because he was being persecuted and needed to escape. Anyway, who cares this is a JP site and if you expect perfect continuity in storylines you shouldn’t be watching Hollyoaks anyway!!
JP does not think she should marry him, Jacquie thinks she should. Repeat the "Don’t do it Jacquie!" "I have to John-Paul!" lines constantly with a slight change every time and there you go, JP's life for several weeks. Suppose it wasn’t that complicated after all.
For JP's fashion followers; we were also introduced to a Stripe-less JP… for all of 5 seconds before he pulled out a stripy beanie hat. *DOH*.
A little into the void of JP/Craig we see JP doing an all-confident strut in the school. He marches up to his locker, smirks at a picture of a semi naked man someone has placed there, and beats Sonny down with a very pointy verbal stick. Our hero is back! Its also around this point evil Hannah is reborn, she has learnt from her mistakes and is much better at hiding her evil intent, she sucks up to JP big time and before long is buying pricy presents and arranging shopping trips with her now ex gay boyfriend. It’s all very peculiar and thankfully our protagonist thinks so too. He escapes from her clutches several times, but evil Hannah isn’t one to give up easily, and we can only wonder what she has in store…
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