Nathan Sussex burst into tears reading some of his 'Hollyoaks' scripts while filming the soap's child grooming storyline.

Nathan Sussex (c) Dan Collins of Third Avenue Photography

Nathan Sussex (c) Dan Collins of Third Avenue Photography

The actor got emotional at home while going through some of his scenes and even "felt bad" that his evil character, football coach Buster Smith, had made young footballer Ollie Morgan - played by Aedan Duckworth - start to question his sexuality, and he admits the plot is "hard-hitting" for a 6.30pm soap.

Nathan exclusively told BANG Showbiz: "I've been involved in some heavy stuff and emotional scenes with the other actors. But my character rarely gets emotional.

"But I have gone home and read some scripts and I got quite emotional reading them. Particularly the scenes where Ollie questions his sexuality. Because I felt so bad that another human being could make somebody question themselves through control and manipulation. That got to me.

"I never took anything home with me mentally, but some of the scenes were quite hard.

"For a half past six tea-time drama it's quite hard-hitting."

Nathan read extensive accounts of the victims of disgraced football coach Barry Bennell - who was jailed for 31 years in February after being convicted of abusing 12 boys aged eight to 15 between 1979 and 1991 - for inspiration for the storyline, and admits some of the information was "quite horrifying".

He added: "The biggest case I researched was Barry Bennell. My character is not based on him but I used all the information when all the victims came forward and talked about what they went through.

"I absorbed all that and took it with me to set, because what he did was quite horrifying to those young men.

"I really only used that as inspiration really."

Nathan made a conscious effort to ensure Buster turned into a villain "organically".

He said: "It's quite easy to turn a villain into a pantomime villain and the key was to make him as real and likeable as possible.

"'Hollyoaks' dictate when he does become a villain because it's in the script, but it's quite organic and real."