Hollyoaks brings in former Casualty star Patrick Robinson to direct all-Black episode

·2 min read

Hollyoaks has announced that former Casualty star Patrick Robinson will be directing the soap's all-Black episode later this year.

The groundbreaking hour-long episode, which will air in September, will mark a year since the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, and leads into Black History Month 2021.

This special will be completely written, directed, and performed by the show's Black talent, and will focus on a family party for the birthday of Reverend Walter Deveraux (Trevor A Toussaint).

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Robinson said opportunities to be part of something like this don't come up often, especially for Black directors.

"I'm very excited to be directing this hour-long special of Hollyoaks, featuring characters who share my background and heritage," Robinson told The Guardian.

"Opportunities like this don't come up that often and they haven't done… I've been an actor 30 years and I've seen many actors who've had a chance to slip into directing with no hassle, and usually they're not of colour.

"There's been many false dawns… so many times you think 'something will change now', and from my experience, it hasn't."

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

The episode forms part of Channel 4's Black to Front, a day that will also include a one-off return of The Big Breakfast presented by Mo Gilligan, as well as episodes of Channel 4's biggest flagship shows hosted by Black talent, including Celebrity Gogglebox, Countdown and Channel 4 News, which will be led by an all-Black team.

The Hollyoaks special came after Lisa Loveday actress Rachel Adedeji called out the soap for its response to the Black Lives Matter protests and raised concerns about her unfair treatment as a Black person on the set of Hollyoaks.

Several of her co-stars shared their support for Rachel, with some coming together for a special podcast that addressed "systemic racism" in the TV industry.

Hollyoaks later announced a new diversity action plan following an investigation into racism allegations.

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4.

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