Shortland Street - weeknights on TV2

7:00pm weeknights on TV2

After a 15-year absence from our screens the return of a familiar face helps to kick-off celebrations for the 19th birthday of New Zealand’s favourite serial drama, Shortland Street, this week.

Long-time viewers of the show will have no trouble recognising Kieren Hutchison as he returns to reprise his role as Jonathan McKenna, the older brother of Rachel McKenna (Angela Bloomfield) and onscreen son of former characters Michael (Paul Gittens) and Alex McKenna (Libby Holloway).

After finishing up on Shortland Street in 1996, Hutchison headed to LA where he settled and over the last few years has had roles on several American-based shows including Ghost Whisper, One Tree Hill and CSI New York.

Hutchison is thoroughly enjoying the return down under with his family.

“When I have breaks in shooting I have been taking great pride in showing my family around Auckland,” says Hutchison. “It’s great being a tourist in your old home town!”

Arriving back on the show after 15 years away was not something that Hutchison had ever imagined, but it has quickly proven to be quite a thrill.

“Filming my character turning up out of the blue after 15 years away was something I never thought would happen,” says Hutchison. “It was very weird but also a very cool experience. Plus, there are still a lot of familiar faces on both sides of the camera so it’s been great to catch up with everyone.”

The return of Hutchison’s character, Jonathan, has renewed a connection with several old friends.

“It’s been great working again with Michael Galvin (Chris Warner) and Angela Bloomfield,” says Hutchison. “It’s such a unique experience to reconnect with the same actors with us all playing the same characters.”

As Shortland Street heads into its twentieth year on screen, show producer, Steven Zanoski, reveals the return of Jonathan may not be the only blast from the past.

“Look out for the return of further family connections from the past as we head towards twenty years of Shortland Street,” says Zanoski. “Jonathon McKenna’s the first of these; more surprises wait in the wings.”

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  • Is it just me, but wasn’t Jonathan McKenna gay? And how he isn’t?

  • Brian

    Is it just me, but wasn’t Jonathan McKenna gay? And how he isn’t?”


    Perhaps it was “just a phase”

  • reece_555

    Im pretty sure when he arrived back there was a throwaway comment from Rachel joking about him being back to get away from a guy or something??? It also looked like Brooke was trying to start something and im guessing she was going to be left disapointed.