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connection New Fair City heart-throb Paul McQuaid reveals storyline mirrors his own search for dad

'I didn't meet my own father until I was 12 or 13, a very similar situation,' explains Paul

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Alex meeting dad Jon, played by Paul McQuaid, for the first time

Alex meeting dad Jon, played by Paul McQuaid, for the first time

Alex meeting dad Jon, played by Paul McQuaid, for the first time

Fair City's new heartthrob actor has revealed how the storyline about a teen tracking down his real father after several years mirrors what happened in his own life.

Actor Paul McQuaid plays dishy musician Jon McCarthy in the hit soap and is at the centre of a storyline where coffee shop worker Alex Petrosian tries to seek out his dad who he's never met before.

"I didn't meet my own father until I was 12 or 13, a very similar situation," explains Paul.

"I was able to have a really good chat about the thoughts and feelings that he was going through. It was a great opportunity to have an explicit chat with my dad about those times.

"Very quickly I was able to put myself into Alex's position as the younger person meeting his father for the first time and I was able to understand that side.

"I was able to obviously make my own connections. It afforded me the chance to be able to talk to my dad about those things and get some emotion and feeling to hang a lot of that on."

Paul, who grew up in Tallaght before moving with his mum to London at the age of 11, always knew about his dad but had never met him until he sought him out.

"Very luckily we have been able to grow a lovely relationship and we talk regularly," he beams. "He is extremely supportive of my current situation. I think in some ways he's quite happy something very positive can come out of a very bad decision that was made many years ago, so it's great to have that relationship after all these years."

He reveals his mum did not live to see his breakthrough on Fair City.

"Very sadly my mam passed away only just before the lockdown," he sighs. "It's very sad that she hasn't been able to experience this because she was a fan of Fair City when I was younger and she was actually an extra in Fair City, so it's unfortunate she has not got to see me on the show."

Paul has also starred in several British TV shows, and in 2016 he was in the blockbuster Wonder Woman as a TV reporter in the flick which starred Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.

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"That was the first big job I ever got. When I got that phone call I leapt for joy as I thought the chance of getting it were zero," he reflects.

"I got a chance to meet Gal and Chris and I got a chance to see the huge sets that were there and the energy of the cast that were there."

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