|Portrayed by||Jeremy Edwards|
|First appearance||23 October 1995|
|Last appearance||September 1999|
|Created by||Phil Redmond|
|Hollyoaks:Off on One (1998)
Hollyoaks Later (2013)
Kurt Benson is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Jeremy Edwards. He debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 23 October 1995. He was created by Phil Redmond as one of the serial's original characters. On 12 June 2013 it was announced that Kurt will return later in the year as part of Hollyoaks Later.
Kurt is described as having "two passions in his life - his motorbike and his music". Kurt is "intent on achieving just two things - becoming a rockstar and getting his hands on the desirable Natasha!" Kurt is described as being "despaired at [Tony's] submissive nature" while his brother Ollie is described as the "constant bane of his life". Kurt is described by British newspaper The Independent as being the Alpha male. They also go on to state: "A clean-cut guitarist with a quiff of dark hair and jeans that are unpleasantly loose, bagged together by a tight belt. He's chased by a panda car wherever he goes, though it's not clear what he's done wrong." MSN described him as the serial's "original bad boy". Virgin Media described him as "good looking, cheeky and often in trouble with the police, but everyone loved him". The Daily Record described him as a "rebel- without-a-cause". The Liverpool Echo described him as "heart throb" and said "He was a motorcycle-loving rock star-in-waiting." The Independent described him as "cool-guy Kurt".
Kurt was friends with Tony Hutchinson and Jambo Bolton and had his heart set on winning Natasha Anderson as his girlfriend. Tragedy struck before the two could really get together, and her death started a deadly feud with Rob Hawthorne.
He moved on to Ruth Osborne (Natasha's cousin), and after a rocky start to their relationship, they ended up getting married. As a result, Kurt and Ruth became icons for all teenagers in love, demonstrating that love can conquer all. Their decision to marry was provoked by the trouble Kurt had got himself into after injuring Spike. Kurt had caught Spike making a play for Ruth and, in his attempt to protect her, he pushed Spike, causing him to fall from the scaffolding. As a result, Kurt was accused of attempted murder and was certain that he would be found guilty. He took off to Hull, sensing that Ruth doubted his innocence.
Ruth went in pursuit of him, however, and they decided to make the ultimate commitment to each other and got married, incurring the wrath of their parents when they returned home. When Kurt was found not guilty, the couple began to enjoy life as newly weds, although they knew that things would never be easy.
Meanwhile Kurt handed Rob over to the mercy of his drug dealers, who threw him from the roof of a car park. Rob never forgave Kurt, and began a long and drawn out plan to exact revenge. Rob’s plan culminated in getting Lucy hooked on heroin and, when she fell into a drug-induced coma, Kurt took matters into his own hands and followed Rob to France. After a dramatic chase and confrontation, he left Rob floating in the middle of the Atlantic, announcing that fate would decide his destiny.
As Lucy slowly recovered from her ordeal, Kurt and Ruth’s marriage hit a rocky patch and they both began to wonder whether they had made a mistake marrying so young. Ruth was determined to make it work, but Kurt soon found himself tempted by the alluring Kate Patrick and started an affair. Ruth found out about Kurt’s infidelity and threw him out, but he managed to persuade her that he had made a terrible mistake and she eventually took him back. Kurt’s decision to leave was prompted by a violent outburst when he caught Kate trying to drown Ruth in the swimming pool. He tried to teach Kate a lesson by holding her head under water, and almost drowned her in the process. Ruth was shocked by his violent reaction, this was a Kurt she barely recognised.
After much soul- searching, Ruth and Kurt decided to call it a day. "I am going to let everyone get on with their lives. I am going to go away to grow up, so we can both work out what we really want…" Kurt said, and he left, promising Ruth that he would always be her friend. Tragically, just six months after saying goodbye, he was killed in a jet ski accident. Lucy later found out the accident had been caused by Rob but it turned out to have been a random hit and run and Rob had told people he killed him to look hard.
Kurt returned in Hollyoaks Later in 2013, fourteen years after his last appearance. He appeared as a vision in Tony Hutchinson's mind.
A writer from the Daily Record commented on the character's death saying "When there's a problem with a character in Hollyoaks, they just kill them off." A columnist for LGBT website AfterElton said that Kurt was the serial's original "bad boy" and "trouble had a way of following" him. They opined he had good looks and a "lovable cheeky charm and never short of female attention". Elizabeth Joyce of the Shropshire Star said that Kurt was a "decent" and "genuinely memorable character" who still has "a place in the heart of many a late-twentysomething"
- Evans, Matthew (2002). Phil Redmond's Hollyoaks: the official companion. Channel 4. p. 10. ISBN 0-7522-2000-4.
- Ellmann, Lucy (29 October 1995). "It's prim up North". The Independent. (Independent Print Ltd). Retrieved 2011-01-25.
- Cooper, Lorna. "Hollyoaks: where are they now? Jeremy Edwards". MSN. Microsoft. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Hollyoaks - Where are they now?". Virgin Media. Virgin Media. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
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- "We love to turn it on 5 times a week (but whatever happened to the original stars of Hollyoaks); today the Mersey teen soap Hollyoaks celebrates its 10th birthday. TV editor Peter Grant reports.". Liverpool Echo (Trinity Mirror). 21 October 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- Morton, Cole (22 October 1995). "Hard man of Brookside moves into soft soap". The Independent. (Independent Print Ltd). Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- "Television: Soap watch; Fight to death in Hollyoaks.". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). 10 March 2001. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- Angel, Fallen (12 September 2007). "Hollyoaks: The Dishy Dozen". AfterElton. (Logo). Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- Joyce, Elizabeth (27 April 2012). "Hollyoaks – TV review". Shropshire Star. (Midland News Association). Retrieved 28 April 2012.