The 50 Greatest Gay TV Characters
Actor: Emmet J. Scanlan
Previous Rank: N/A
In August of 2010, a new character appeared on Hollyoaks named Brendan Brady, Cheryl Brady’s sleazy brother. From the start there was something “off” about the bad boy Irishman. Viewers couldn’t have imagined he’d change Hollyoaks forever and become of the most compelling gay characters to ever hit the canon. Brendan was unlike any other gay character seen before on a soap. Where most TV gays are pretty blonde twinks, Brendan was sexually voracious, dangerously violent and wickedly manipulative. Plus, he had that hot Irish accent. Fans couldn’t get enough.
For two and half years, Brendan ruled the Hollyoaks airwaves, whether he was locking horns with a serial killer, fighting over his nightclub with evil Warren Fox or being dangerously obsessive about the man he loved. Brendan’s story was equal parts compelling, infuriating, outrageous, and it was always watchable. But none of it would have worked without the amazingly talented Scanlan in the role. He owned Brendan body and soul and took risks in his dynamic portrayal of a decidedly different gay man.
In a genre where gays tend to be cliché and cookie cutter, there was nothing cliché about Brendan. Scanlan left the show earlier this year for new acting challenges, but he’s still sorely missed. Hollyoaks is definitely a different place without Brendan… and perhaps a poorer place as well. –ADL