Hollyoaks spoilers follow from Thursday's E4 first look episode (December 17).
Hollyoaks has treated fans to another blast from the past, with Miles Higson making a surprise return to his role as Seth Costello.
Last seen on the Channel 4 soap in 2011, Seth is now helping his evil grandfather Silas Blissett (Jeff Rawle) to pursue a vicious vendetta against the McQueen family.
Seth is now in a relationship with Theresa (Jorgie Porter), putting him in the perfect position to feed back information to Silas about the McQueens. No wonder that blackmail doll had so much insider gossip.
Theresa is aware that she and Seth are extorting money from her family, but doesn't know that Silas is closely involved. Keeping up?
Digital Spy recently caught up with Miles for an exclusive chat about his dramatic return.
When did you hear that Hollyoaks were interested in bringing you back?
"It was mid-summer just as we were coming out of lockdown. It came as quite a shock. I was actually in the running for a series regular on another soap at the time, but Hollyoaks has a special place in my heart, being one of my first professional jobs, so I was more than happy to return."
Had you ever wondered whether a return was on the cards, or was the show out of your mind after you left?
"I'd always been open to coming back. I had an amazing time on the show last time, so coming back felt like coming home. I knew I had a familial link to Maxine and my nephew Bobby was in the show, so there was always a chance it might happen."
Some of the classic Silas and Costello episodes aired as Hollyoaks Favourites over the summer. Did that inspire the producers to bring you back?
"I had no idea I was back on TV until a friend sent me a screenshot! I initially thought they were what inspired our return, but it turns out they had the storyline planned pre-Covid. I'm always trying to look for the silver lining, so this storyline is at least one good thing to come out of this year."
What can you tell us about Seth's involvement in Silas's evil plan?
"Seth is the key link between Silas and the McQueens. Without him, Silas's plan wouldn't really work. As to whether he is a mastermind behind the plan or just a pawn, I guess you'll have to wait and see."
Is Seth a villain now, or is it more complicated than that?
"I don't think there's any way that you could go through what Seth has experienced in life and not have a little bit of darkness in you. He's a bit of a damaged soul – the majority of his family have been murdered and the other half don't speak to him.
"Silas is all he has left, and they say you become the average of the five people you spend most time with..."
How did you feel about being part of this big twist, especially after so much fan speculation over Silas and the blackmail doll?
"I thought it was a great storyline. I didn't think coming back to the soap was right unless it was for a meaty storyline and I was keen as soon as I knew Jeff was on board.
"Seth brings a really interesting twist to the blackmail storyline as he's stuck in the middle between his biological family (his past) and his new family with Theresa (his future?)."
Has Seth forgiven Silas for killing his mum Heidi?
"They have a really interesting relationship. I like to imagine Seth has been on a mindfulness retreat during his time off screen, where he has found peace and forgiven Silas.
"But deep down, I don't think that is possible. At some point I think Seth would break, and if anything, he'd be the one to seek vengeance on Silas. That is unless, someone beats him to it."
Who were you most excited to work with again?
"Well I need some new footage for my showreel so some scenes with Jeff were ideal, ha. But I knew the majority of my scenes were going to be with Jorgie Porter. She's absolute pure joy to be around."
Can you tease where the story is going from here?
"Seth is around after Christmas. He is willing to fight for a future with Theresa, but that might not be possible if the McQueens have got anything to do with it. They are a formidable bunch."
You were involved in some amazing storylines during your first stint, including two series of Hollyoaks Later and Silas's dramatic downfall. How do you look back at your original time on the show?
"I had two of the best years of my life. The other members of the Costellos were some of the best actors not only on the show, but in the business. I learnt so much during my time here with them.
"I can say for certain I'm a better actor now than I was then, so hopefully the viewers enjoy what we've got in store."
We can see from social media that you've stayed close to certain cast. Can you tell us about the lasting friendships you made from the show?
"Some of my cast mates have become lifelong friends and family. I had a bit of a rough time in my personal life last year, and it's some of my acting mates – Rachel Shenton especially – that helped me through.
"Actors are a rare breed. We think differently and I believe have an emotional openness that not everyone has – it is our job at the end of the day. Making friends with some of those people when I was 17 has drastically changed my life for the better."
Would you be interested in more soap work in the future? Is there one you have your eye on?
"I did a stint on Corrie in 2019. Filming on the cobbles was one to tick off the bucket list. I try not to look to the future too much, so wouldn't say I've got my eye on a particular job. We will just have to wait and see what 2021 has in store acting wise."
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes from Mondays to Thursdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4. Classic episodes, titled Hollyoaks Favourites, air on Fridays at 7pm on E4.
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