played by James Sutton. The character debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 6 September 2006; his storylines have significantly revolved around his sexuality, evolving from the initial denial of hishomosexuality, to the pursuit and relations with best friend Craig Dean, the storyline gained a fanbase and garnered them "supercouple status". The storyline received acclaim from LGBT rights charity Stonewall. John Paul later has a relationship with a priest, Kieron Hobbs. In 2008, Sutton quit the serial and his character received a "sunset ending" with Craig, which was promised for fans by executive producer Bryan Kirkwood. In October 2012, it was announced Sutton had reprised his role and John Paul returned on 18 December 2012.
John Paul meets Craig Dean (Guy Burnet) after saving Craig from a beating by bully Sonny Valentine (Devon Anderson). John Paul and Craig become close friends. John Paul confesses to Craig that he is in love with him. John Paul is horrified at what he has confessed, and tells Craig that he is sorry and will leave him alone. Craig, however, refutes this idea. John Paul and Craig share a drunken kiss at a school dance-off competition which is seen by Hannah Ashworth (Emma Rigby), who tells everyone at the dance. John Paul comes out to his family, receiving support from all of his sisters, except Mercedes (Jennifer Metcalfe) and Michaela (Hollie-Jay Bowes), and reluctant support from his mother Myra (Nicole Barber-Lane). John Paul comes out to his classmates. However, follow
ing this event, during a 5-a-side football practice with Sonny and Craig, John Paul is teased and bullied by Craig, who eventually attacks John Paul physically. John Paul punches Craig and, after a violent threat to anyone else who wishes to bully him, runs off. Craig attempts to say sorry to him but John Paul makes it clear that he is no longer his friend and does not accept his apology.John Paul and Craig later make up and begin a secret relationship, Craig announces to his family that he is in love with John Paul. Craig's announcement leads to a show-down style confrontation between the McQueen family and the Dean family, from which John Paul and Craig run away and discuss their feelings for each other. Craig tells John Paul that he loves him, but denies being gay, saying that it is not about being gay, it is about who you fall in love with, before asking John Paul to come with him to Dublin, an offer which John Paul accepts. As they prepare to leave together, Craig admits to his brother, Jake (Kevin Sacre), that he is not gay, and he only cares for John Paul. John Paul overhears this and expresses more concern at Craig's reluctance to come out; this is further exacerbated by Craig not being able to bring himself to kiss or hold John Paul at the airport as they wait for the plane to Dublin. Although John Paul loves Craig, he realises that he needs more than to be with a man who cannot even display affection towards him in public. Heartbroken, John Paul returns home, leaving Craig to go to Dublin alone.
John Paul has a brush with death during his flat warming party. A carbon monoxide leak from the faulty boiler renders John Paul and the other revellers unconscious. Fortunately, he is saved by Danny Valentine (David Judge), Mercedes and Justin Burton (Chris Fountain). John Paul is later forced to move back into his family home. In early 2008, Myra
McQueen offers her home to the Hollyoaks new young Catholic Priest, Father Kieron Hobbs. John Paul and Kieron later begin a relationship in secret. They are nearly caught by Myra when petting in the McQueen residence. Despite this, Kieron later says that he is the happiest man he has ever been with John Paul. John Paul and Kieron become an official romantic couple after making their relationship public. John Paul proposes to Kieron who joyfully accepts. However, a few weeks later, John Paul realises he's too young to get married and calls off the engagement in September 2008, shortly before finding out that Craig has returned to the village. When Craig returns, Kieron witnesses him
and John Paul in an intimate embrace outside The Dog in The Pond. Although John Paul insists nothing is going on, Kieron gives John Paul an ultimatum, insisting they get married the following week. When John Paul cannot make that promise, Kieron sadly accepts their relationship is over. Craig returns and on reuniting, all John Paul's romantic feelings for him resurface. Kieron is left angry after confronting John Paul. After a confrontation, John Paul admits to Craig he still loves him, and Craig tells him he could never move on with girls in Dublin because John Paul was always on his mind and he always loved him. They make love after a year apart shortly after. They both leave together to live in Dublin.