Hollyoaks villain Patrick Blake is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. Will viewers warm to the violent control freak as his crippling illness is played out on screen?
By now Hollyoaks fans will know that the reason for headmaster Patrick Blake’s doubling up in pain and falling without reason is because he is secretly battling Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Jeremy Sheffield who plays Potty Patrick says he hopes his portrayal of the illness will “captivate people’s hearts and minds”.
Now I’m all in favour when soaps steer the characterisation of a villain to redeem themselves so that viewers feel empathy towards them. But Patrick Blake? No way. From the off Patrick has been a psychotic beast. Placing his first wife (Anna) in a mental hospital, deviously concealing splitting up his twin children (Dodger and Sienna), locking a pregnant teenaged Sienna in the basement, then lying to her the baby died at birth is an insight to his backstory. On screen we have seen him batter and bully second wife Maxine, leaving her for dead after she gave birth, attempting to stop Sienna find her daughter (Nico) and wormingly manipulate every person or situation to get his own way. Had it been revealed that Patrick was suffering a mental illness or if he fittingly tried to right his wrongs, I might have warmed to him. However, in the expression of my eleven year old “…he’s [Patrick] been beating Maxine up, so now he’s getting beaten by this disease”.
MND is a crippling and incurable disease so well done to Hollyoaks for being the first soap to highlight it and raise awareness. I have total faith that Jeremy will play it out thoroughly, just as he has brilliantly acted the controlling bully but I won’t feel no pity for Patrick at all.