Hollyoaks axed from Channel 4 schedule after 28 years in huge shake-up for soap

Hollyoaks has been axed from Channel 4's long-running weekday evening schedule on the channel, as bosses have decided to make a huge shake-up for the iconic soap.

The Chester-set serial drama, which recently lost out to EastEnders at the NTAs this week, will now be aired exclusively on E4 instead, in a bid to reach the younger demographic.

It will also be shown on YouTube, as the channel aims to use streaming services to maximise viewership.

For the first time since 1995, 28 years since the popular soap first launched, Hollyoaks is leaving its regular tea-time 6.30pm slot on Channel 4.

While first-look episodes have been shown directly after the main channel showing on E4 since 2005, now bosses are keen to streamline things for the soap and switch-up their content.

The new schedule is due to kick off from September 25, also marking the beginning of Hollyoaks' major annual stunt week.

The storylines will involve The Traitors star Maddy Smedley, who plays Faye Fuller on the soap.

While Channel 4's latest strategy focuses on their long-running soap, it comes amid news that other shows have been taken off-air.

Earlier this year, producers confirmed that comedian Mo Gilligan's series The Big Narstie Show, which first aired in 2018, is also set to get taken off Channel 4.

While it was reported that the shake-ups were due to loss in advertising revenue, which sent ratings plummeting.

As a result, it was said that the channel were making dramatic decisions to axe or move programmes, but bosses hit back at the claims.

“The decision not to recommission a sixth series of The Big Narstie Show is not part of our response to challenges in the advertising market,” a spokesperson told Deadline at the time.

“We are immensely proud of the five series we have made of this innovative BAFTA-winning show but we have to look carefully at what we commission each year to make sure we continue to innovate and offer viewers a varied range of programming.

The spokesperson added: “We look forward to working with Dice, Expectation and Big Narstie on other projects in the future."

Channel 4's Director of Strategy, Khalid Hayat, told a committee this month that the channel are determined to "minimise" disruption and "preserve their content.

“Our priority throughout this period is to preserve shows as much as we can," he said. "To minimise any disruption or cancellations to commissioning and any decisions that we make are about ensuring the sustainability and delivering the sustainability of Channel 4’s remit delivery."

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