Type 1 diabetes in Hollyoaks


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Do you watch Hollyoaks? A new family has arrived, and one of the boys, Jason, has Type 1 diabetes. Over the next few nights, Jason ends up in a pretty bad situation. We had the chance to catch up with Alfie Browne-Sykes who plays Jason to talk a little more about his character and what he goes through.

You can tune in tonight on E4 at 19:00 to see what happens, and again in episodes on Channel 4 and E4 over the coming days.

Your character has Type 1 diabetes but did you know anything about the condition before you joined the cast?

I was aware of diabetes but didn’t have a big understanding about it. I had some kind of idea of the symptoms and how serious it was but not a lot else. Since joining Hollyoaks the research team has done a brilliant job of providing me with loads of information. Also, one of our directors, Paul Reardon, has a son with Type 1 diabetes and he’s answered any further questions I’ve had. He directed the episodes with the diabetes storyline I’m doing this week and that reassured me that we were spot on. I know it’s important to a lot of people that we get it right.

Tell us a bit about your character?

Jason is a nice guy, very warm-hearted and intelligent. He wouldn’t hurt a fly and will do anything for anyone. He’s the complete opposite to his twin brother, Robbie, who is horrible! In a way I think his diabetes has shaped his character. He’s grown-up for his age and the condition has partly made him who he is.

So can you tell us what’s happening this week?

All I can say is that Jason is going to get into a really bad situation regarding his diabetes. Also there’s a car involved but no driving.

What’s Jason’s relationship like with his mum, Sandy, (played by Gillian Taylforth)

Sandy’s a nurse and a great mum. She’s always nagging Jason to take his insulin and eat healthily but she also recognises it’s important for him to have his independence and doesn’t treat him like a baby. I feel like I’ve learned so much about diabetes and if Gillian has any questions about it she’ll ask me or Paul.

How did you get into acting?

I always enjoyed it at school but when I left I ended up becoming a drainage assistant engineer for Dynarod. I was still serious about getting into acting though and I’d end up going to auditions in my uniform. I’d always apologise as I was worried I’d be a bit smelly from the drains but I suppose it was one way of not being forgotten! At one audition I actually ended up unblocking their toilet as well.

As this is Hollyoaks how long will it be before Jason is getting his shirt off?

I doubt it will be long! Jason is actually rather nervous around girls, unlike his brothers, but he loves boxing so I’m sure the top will be coming off soon. I’ve been going to the gym every day so if I’m honest I’d be disappointed if it doesn’t!

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