Hollyoaks is in total crisis – but does Channel 4 have the stomach to save it? | The Sun

Oh dear Hollyoaks is in crisis – and it’s going to take a LOT of work to save it.

The Channel 4 soap has spent 28 years on the channel in the early evenings and spawned spin-offs and specials galore – but it is all at an end.

Bosses at the channel have decided to axe it from its broadcast slot amid plunging ratings and a backstage crisis.

The soap recently ousted three top bosses and is in the midst of hunting for replacements to revamp the struggling soap.

Now the show is on the hunt for a new boss but who would want the challenge?

The show has had so many scandals at this point – racism and sexism – that it can ill-afford another.

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Just a few years ago Hollyoaks was riding high, amassing award wins after award wins with a series of powerful and affecting storylines.

It brought drama, top level acting and had enough bite to keep Corrie, EastEnders and Emmerdale on their toes.

And then producer Bryan Kirkwood quit – understandably after being in charge for more than half of the soap’s life – and it all went a bit wrong.

The first big bungle came when bosses sacked Mandy Richardson actress Sarah Jayne Dunn for the crime of posing in her underwear on OnlyFans.

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Let’s just ignore the fact that Hollyoaks previously had its cast strip off for its own calendar and photoshoots to cash in on their bodies. But heaven forbid one of the stars do that for themselves!

Sarah’s career on the 18+ app has gone from strength to strength and she earns far more than Hollyoaks paid her – and she gets to decide when she’s in a bikini.

Meanwhile Hollyoaks sources at the time insisted that it’s different because “reasons”.

And not months later stars of the show were stripped to bikinis for episodes – or in the case of Owen Warner, required to be completely naked.

The hypocrisy was and is astounding.

A much-publicised misogyny and incel storyline seemed a little bit close to the bone considering the above – and it landed flat with fans and critics alike.

Now there’s an evil influencer played by Jason Donovan’s daughter and a posh Earl hanging around and no-one has the faintest idea why.

The soap has lost some of its most talented backstage staff to rivals and the result is clear for its on-screen talent – the actors can’t excel without the right material.

It’s all just a bit of a mess.

Ratings have fallen to all-time lows with overnights hitting barely 200,000 – but the soap is keen to insist that those numbers double in the consolidated ratings.

That’s 395,000 viewers to be exact. A far cry from the two million who tuned in a few years ago.

Now Channel 4 have dumped the show and axed it from its traditional 6.30pm weeknight home.

It’s the end of an era – no matter how much spin the soap puts on it – this is not good news.

Wrap it up in as much media non-language as you want about “streaming first” but the reality is that Hollyoaks can no longer compete with the big three.

It can’t even compete with repeats of The Simpsons – which remains on Channel 4.

The omnibus will still air on Channel 4 which will no doubt come as a relief for the hungover people watching and wondering why each weekend.

The change will come in later this month with an allegedly explosive week of episodes – but will anyone care?

It’s getting to be the proverbial tree in the forest.

Give it another year and the soap may as well broadcast live from a theatre – because by that time the audience will have plunged low enough to fit into one place.

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It’s going to take drastic action to rescue Hollyoaks from what has been a dismal few years – but is Channel 4 up for the fight?

Soap fans everywhere should hope so otherwise the end could truly be near for Hollyoaks and streaming won’t save it.

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