Has Hollyoaks been axed? A look at the hardest hitting storylines on the show & viewing figures

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As Hollyoaks faces a huge shakeup, we visit the hardest hitting storylines in the show

For the first time in the show’s history, Hollyoaks will no longer be shown on Channel 4 as bosses at the broadcaster look to adapt and evolve with the digital age. The show will permanently air on E4 and Youtube.

The show first aired 28 years ago in 1995, and the shake up is aimed at targeting the show’s younger audience. Channel 4 revealed that each episode will be uploaded to YouTube after it has premiered on E4.

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The shake up will see Channel 4 teasing a first look at each new episode online before broadcasting the episode on E4 half an hour later. Currently, that episode would have aired on Channel 4 the next day but it will now be made available to view on YouTube instead.

It’s reported Hollyoaks usually reaches figures of around <300,000 to 500,000 on Channel 4 and 400,000 to 500,000 on E4 per episode. So, with this huge change coming soon - here are the most memorable storylines from the show.

Male rape

The show has explored the subject of male rape twice. In 2000, Luke Morgan, played by Gary Lucy, was attacked by a fellow football player. They revisited the storyline again in 2014. His rape was a soap first and generated national headlines and is arguably still Hollyoaks’ most famous storyline.

County lines drug dealing

County lines is the term used when drug dealers in cities recruit young and often vulnerable people to transport and sell illegal drugs in small towns and villages. Enticed by money, it usually gets violent with no way out.

The storyline was introduced at the end of 2019 and saw Sid and Juliet drawn into dealing by Sid’s cousin Jordan. The pair went on to sell drugs in the village and recruited younger kids to join them.

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This storyline was skillfully lead by Emma Rigby. The actor won a British Soap Award for best actress for her portrayal of Hannah Ashworth, who had anorexia and bulimia.

As well as awards, she also got praise from mental health charities for raising awareness. The storyline saw one of her friends, Melissa, die of a heart attack due to a lack of food, making it the first time a British soap had ever seen a character die because of an eating disorder.

AFP via Getty Images

Self Harm

In the early 2000s, Gemma Atkinson, most known for her roles on Strictly Come Dancing and Emmerdale, saw her character turn to self-harm after being bullied by Steph Dean.

It was the first soap to feature such a plot, with Lisa hiding what she was doing from her family and friends.

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Far right extremism

Covered by other soaps such as Coronation Street last year, it was back in 2019 when Hollyoaks explored the topic of far right extremism through Ste. As Ste was a gay character, the move shifted the focus onto a new trend of recruiting minorities and not the stereotypical white, straight male.

Ste believed his sister died due to the faults of a Muslim doctor, making him an easy target and and around this time, Ste also lost his job and house so was in a vunerable state.

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