Gay soap opera star Keiron Richardson opens up about becoming a dad with his husband Carl – and says that every day with their children is ‘priceless’ after the pair’s surrogate had twins
Image: Kieron Richardson)
Today will be like any other day for soap hunk Kieron Richardson because it always feels like Father’s Day with his cherished twins.
The Hollyoaks star, who is dad to five-year-olds Chase and Phoebe Ray with husband Carl Hyland, says every day with his little ones is priceless.
Company director Carl and the actor, who plays Ste Hay in the Channel 4 soap, cannot wait to open their handmade cards and sit down for a family lunch.
The little ones are especially treasured as the couple’s surrogate had two failed attempts before getting pregnant on the third.
Kieron, 36, told the Sunday People : “This is our fifth Father’s Day now and every year it just gets more magical.
“The kids now are at an age where they’ve got their personalities. I just treat every day like Father’s Day because I am so grateful and blessed.
“It’s about appreciating your parent and being thankful for everything that they do. Every day is a Father’s Day for us as it’s something we thought was unachievable.
“I’m so grateful we have these two amazing kids in our lives and we can just give them the best upbringing that we could ever think.”
Manchester Evening News)
At around this time Ste had a gay storyline. Ste has been at the centre of several plots since joining the soap in 2006, including joyriding, domestic abuse, a baby kidnapping, drug dealing, HIV and far-right radicalisation.
He has also got to grips with a couple of Hollyoaks killers. In 2017 he fought Cameron Campbell, played by Cameron Moore, to rescue two hostages.
The next year he kissed double murderer Ryan Knight, played by Blue singer Duncan James, who ended up drowning in a river.
Away from the set, Kieron is thrilled at the progress being made by the LGBTQ+ community and the reaction to his revelation to Phil and Holly.
He said: “I did have people say to me if you go and say this, then you’ll never work again. It couldn’t be further from what actually happened.
“If anything, my storylines have got bigger and better, I feel like I’m now a prominent, openly gay man in an industry where, not so long ago, there wasn’t many people for me to look up to.
“And we’ve got so many inspirational guys out there that have followed after me, Tom Daley being one of them.
“Growing up, it’s just what you imagine a life to be – that you’ll be a parent one day.
“But then, obviously, when I got a bit older I realised, oh, that might not be a possibility because I am gay.
“Yeah. It was like 10 years ago that it was unheard of to have same-sex parents.”
Kieron and Carl became dads in 2017 after 18 months of trying but have no plans for a third. Kieron said: “I remember thinking the first week we can do this. Let’s have more.
“But then after years of sleepless nights, then you’re like, okay, maybe two is enough.
“If it was as easy just to have another one, then we would, but it isn’t and finding surrogates and people willing to do the journey with you is not easy.”
The star, who finished third in 2010’s Dancing on Ice with Brianne Delcourt, will never forget being handed his babies.
“It was magical. Then I remember the nurse tapping me, ‘Kieron, your children, you need to wake up, that’s for you’.
“Then getting tuned into that like crying, knowing we’ve got to feed them now. It was like a crash course and you’ve got to make these tiny little humans survive.”
Growing up in Manchester, Kieron was brought up by mum Donna Jackson. He remains estranged from his father.
Kieron said he never felt he missed out on having a dad as his mum “was like everything to me. It makes me appreciate all the work that my mum did”.
Kieron loves the relationship he has with his father-in-law Paul. He said: “He is a bit like a father figure for me, he’s around all the time, and I see the bond he has with Carl. I see how much the kids absolutely idolise and love him.
“Maybe I missed out a little bit but I’m definitely making up for lost time now in terms of being a father to Phoebe and Chase.
“Every family is completely different. It’s not just about the sexual orientation of a couple or a parent.
“Some parents unfortunately have got divorced or are no longer with us. Some kids are in a single-parent family but it’s not an issue. I feel if you’re in a same-sex couple it should be the same.
“We explain how incredible it is to have two daddies. That’s two people to just love and nurture them.
“They understand that they’re lucky to have two parents.”
Kieron said Phoebe has inherited his showbiz genes and Chase is excelling at football. He said becoming a father is the best thing he’s done.
“I don’t think you could ever top it,” he beams.