Hollyoaks is a British television soap opera which was first broadcast on 23 October 1995, on Channel 4. Originally devised by Phil Redmond, who has also devised shows including Brookside and Grange Hill, the programme is set in and around the fictional Chester suburb of Hollyoaks and is centred around a local higher education college called Hollyoaks Community College with the characters generally being in their late teens or early twenties. Since 1995, the cast has expanded from just seven major characters to approximately 50 cast members. Tony Hutchinson is the only remaining original character.
The programme is responsible for launching the careers of Will Mellor, Natalie Casey, Gemma Atkinson, Gary Lucy, Elize Du Toit, Dannielle Brent, Jeremy Edwards, Terri Dwyer, Ali Bastian, Sarah Jayne Dunn and James Redmond.
The soap is currently produced by Bryan Kirkwood.
Hollyoaks is also broadcast in other countries, including Canada (BBC Kids channel), Norway (TV2 Zebra),Sweden (TV400),Finland (Sub),Ireland (TV3),South Africa (MNET Series),the United States of America (BBC America, from June to November 2007 (episodes continued to be available on the BBC America website before being discontinued in June 2008), Turkey (e2) and parts of Eastern Europe. Episodes from September 2006 through August 2007 were also available on Joost. It had also aired in New Zealand (C4), but was discontinued due to lack of viewers.
On 26 February 2007, the programme launched a revamped title sequence. This new sequence can readily undergo minor changes - usually caused by characters leaving or joining the programme. March 2008 saw an updated "style" to the titles, with a purple background and new character segments. On 14 July 2008, the title sequence was updated again, with more new characters added and also changes to existing character segments.
A "Hollyoaks" soundtrack CD was released in 2001, containing music used in the programme. In 2007, The Alphites were the first band to perform on the show. In March 2008, the band Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly also featured in Hollyoaks, performing as part of a Battle of the Bands contest.
On the 23rd of March 2008 a spin-off music show was broadcast, featuring four bands playing on the sets of Hollyoaks: One Night Only played at the Dog, Rochelle in the Loft, The Guillemots in the SU bar and The Courteeners in the Hollyoaks cast and crew canteen.
A 2007 episode that showed a number of the characters falling ill at a party due to carbon monoxide poisoning helped make a viewer of the programme realise that the symptoms of illness she had been feeling were caused by a potentially fatal carbon-monoxide leak in her home. By being made aware of the effects from the episode, she was able to receive medical treatment that would save her life.
Storylines that the soap has dealt with include drug addiction, murder, arson, hit and run, abortion, suicide, homelessness, financial problems, interracial relationships, racism, religion, bisexuality, homosexuality, homophobia, sexual confusion, alcoholism, drug abuse, rape, male rape, cancer, molestation, child abuse, domestic violence, anorexia/bulimia, incest, sexual harassment, bullying at school, bullying in the workplace, carbon monoxide poisoning, living with epilepsy, HIV, pupil/teacher relationships, self harm, schizophrenia, OCD, gambling addiction, shoplifting, fostering, teenage pregnancy, Sudden infant death syndrome, miscarriage, and surrogacy.
Hollyoaks was named Broadcast of the Year at the 2007 Stonewall Awards, held at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. The award was based on John Paul McQueen (James Sutton) and Craig Dean's (Guy Burnet) gay affair storyline. Stonewall, an organisation that campaigns for equality for gay men and women, praised the show for its "sympathetic and convincing handling" of the "gritty and emotional" storyline.
Hollyoaks scooped five awards at the first Digital Spy awards in March 2008. James Sutton and Guy Burnet won best storyline for their gay affair storyline. Roxanne McKee scooped sexiest female, Gemma Bissix won best exit and Ellis Hollins won best child actor. James Sutton also won another award for most popular actor.
Hollyoaks swept the boards at The British Soap Awards 2008, where they won 6 awards, more than any other soap. The awards included Spectacular Scene of the Year for Clare Devine driving herself and Katy Fox off a cliff, Best Exit for Clare Devine, Best On Screen Partnership for Max Cunningham and Sam "OB" O'Brien, Sexiest Female for Roxanne McKee, Best Actor for Chris Fountain and Best Actress for Emma Rigby.
'It's a New Beginning, Not End for Hollyoaks' TV Troubleshooter Paul Marquess Reveals the Truth Behind the Ratings Slump and Mass Cull of Cast Members to Tina Miles
Jun 21, 2010; Byline: Tina Miles HE'S been branded the ruthless new boss of Hollyoaks after a whopping 14 cast members were axed from...
Later 'Hollyoaks Been Has Always and Octane High Storyline My New Disappoint' Won't ; It's Always Raunchy, but Coleraine Actress Bronagh Waugh Says That Next Week Viewers Can Expect Murder Too. by Jamie McDowell
Sep 14, 2012; As the glamorous Cheryl Brady, Northern Ireland girl Bronagh Waugh has forged a career as one of the longest serving characters...
It's Hollyoaks All the Way and I'm Loving It; Dawn Collinson Talks to Stephanie Davies about Missing out on a Stage Career but Found Television Stardom in Channel 4's Teen Soap
Jul 20, 2011; Byline: DawnCollinson * TEPHANIE Davis couldn't help but smile when she tuned in to watch the final of Over The Rainbow, Andrew...