Hollyoaks stars Kirsty-Leigh Porter and Kieron Richardson look dejected as they leave the studio in Liverpool following the announcement that the soap is leaving Channel 4
The cast of Hollyoaks looked dejected as they left the studio in Liverpool on Friday after Channel 4 announced it would stop broadcasting the show.
Bosses have pulled the plug on the soap from airing on its main channel after 28 years and moved it to E4 and YouTube.
Kirsty-Leigh Porter, 34, who plays Leela Lomax in the soap, was pictured driving away in her car with sunglasses covering her eyes.
Following closely behind was her fellow actor Kieron Richardson, 37, who plays Ste Hay.
Ashley Taylor Dawson, 41, who plays Darren Osborne, was also present as he left the studio in his own car.
Sad news: The Hollyoaks cast looked dejected as they left the studio in Liverpool on Friday after Channel 4 announced it would stop broadcasting the show (pictured: Kirsty-Leigh Porter).
Channel 4 has announced that it will stop broadcasting individual episodes of Hollyoaks on its main channel.
They hope that the new digital strategy will refresh the viewing experience on the state broadcaster.
The broadcaster today announced that the new programming pattern will launch on Monday September 25, promising viewers “a huge week of stunts with spectacular and outstanding storylines” with “scenes filmed in sensational new locations”.
The soap, which started in 1995, is being moved to sister channel E4 in order to shake up the program.
Fans of the show, set in a drama-filled Chester village, can continue to watch the weekly Omnibus, which continues to air on Channel 4.
Episodes will also be uploaded to YouTube to appeal to a younger audience and will be available to watch on YouTube a week after streaming and broadcast on E4.
Channel 4 has been the home of Hollyoaks for almost three decades and this latest change signals an attempt to keep up with the digital age and reflects the growing demand for on-demand entertainment.
64 percent of viewers watched the soap via episodic streaming or E4 this year, meaning 556 million minutes of the show were streamed in the first half of the year – a sign of a shift in viewing habits.
Heading home: Bosses have pulled the plug on the soap from airing on its main channel after 28 years, moving it to E4 and YouTube (Kieron Richardson pictured).
Changes: Ashley Taylor Dawson, 41, who plays Darren Osborne, was also present as he left the studio in his own car
The broadcaster has dubbed Hollyoaks “the UK’s first streaming soap” by making episodes available to stream the day before they air on E4.
Ian Katz, Channel 4’s chief content officer, said: “Hollyoaks has always been the youngest and most innovative soap, so it is fitting that it is the first to take into account the changing behavior of younger viewers and move to a truly digital-focused release pattern.”
“It was the first British soap to move to a stream-first model last year and this is the next phase of that development.”
“We hope that by making Hollyoaks available on YouTube and our own platforms we will introduce a whole new generation to the show.”
The soap’s young fanbase has led the broadcaster to put its demographic at the heart of its new streaming decisions after discovering that the number of people streaming episodes before they air on television increased by 53 percent compared to the same period last year has risen.