Content warning: This article mentions possibly triggering subjects including self-harm and eating disorders, reader discretion is advised.

Joe Locke has shared details of a major storyline on the forthcoming third season of Heartstopper.

The British actor, who plays Charlie Spring in Netflix’s acclaimed teen drama, recently appeared on Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Dinner’s On Me podcast, where he revealed that his character’s eating disorder is “probably the main focus” of season three.

“Our writer, Alice, is… I’ve never met anyone who can write such quite serious topics with such heart and such love,” Locke said of Oseman, who also created the webcomic the series is based on.

“It’s almost like she writes it whilst the audience is always aware there’s a light at the end of the tunnel the whole time. I don’t know how she does it, because it almost allows the audience to not stress themselves out too much while also learning about a certain topic.”

The second season of Heartstopper saw Charlie unexpectedly faint in The Louvre, which resulted in the character confiding in his boyfriend Nick (Kit Connor) about his eating disorder.

“I know I don’t eat like normal people,” said Charlie. “Some days I’m fine, but other days I feel like I need to… control it.”

The trailblazing storyline received general acclaim from viewers and critics, while Locke’s performance was lauded and earned the actor various awards nominations.

Locke explained that, with a sensitive topic such as this, he mentally prepared himself for criticism. However, he said all he can do is “put my truth into it”.

According to a recent teaser from Netflix, the third season of Heartstopper will premiere in October.

When speaking with Metro, Oseman said mental health will be a “big element” in season three: “We’re going to continue to look at that in a big way and explore how that affects Nick and Charlie’s relationship, and all of the other friendships in the show.

“So people who’ve read volume four will have a little bit of an idea of what is coming. I’m really excited to take the show into that new place.”

The season three cast will also see the return of Yasmin Finney as Elle, William Gao as Tao, Corinna Brown as Tara, Kizzy Edgell as Darcy and Tobie Donovan as Isaac.

More star power incoming: Jenny Walser as Tori, Cormac Hyde-Corrin as Harry, Rhea Norwood as Imogen, Fisayo Akinade as Nathan, Chetna Pandya as Coach Singh and Bradley Riches as James.

Sadly, Sebastian Croft (Ben Hope) and Olivia Colman (Sarah Nelson) will not be joining them, with the latter recently confirming that she couldn’t “fit it in” to her busy schedule. 

However, there will be some new faces with the addition of Darragh Hand as Michael Holden.

Visit here for everything we know about Heartstopper season three so far.

If you have been affected by the subjects in this article, get in touch with BEAT, Switchboard or Samaritans for any support you may need.