MEDIA: HOLLYOAKS SPECIAL: An Expert’s View - Hollyoaks’ adult specials will prove to be a turn-off, Francesca Newland writes

I like being called an expert about most things, but that doesn’t include such twaddle as teenage soap Hollyoaks’ first foray into ’adult-themed’ storylines.

I like being called an expert about most things, but that doesn’t

include such twaddle as teenage soap Hollyoaks’ first foray into

’adult-themed’ storylines.

Talk about gratuitous. Luke, the football-playing boyfriend of the

raped-by-her-father Mandy, is the victim of a male rape. We are also

exposed to scenes of him strutting around in his tight underpants.

The saintly Ruth is filmed doing some raunchy and very un-Ruth-like


This leads to some raunchier outdoor sex and later some indoor sex with

her saintly boyfriend Lewis. The latter was to music by Boyzone, so they

were unable to shake the goodie-goodie image entirely.

The third racy storyline has a responsible message for any stray

children that have been allowed to stay up past the watershed. Boy

inadvertently on date with a ’fat bird’.

He’s annoyed until he realises that actually there’s a person


They both retreat to his sofa to lose their virginity. The fact that

they are 17 (over the legal age of consent) is stressed, as is the fact

that they use a condom.

Well, will it work? Can Hollyoaks, the jewel in Channel 4’s early

evening crown, be extended to cater for an audience that has already had

its braces out? I don’t think so.

It’s not that I don’t like Hollyoaks, I watch it occasionally. It has

the kind of unchallenging content that enables me to wind down. Teens

like it because it’s about relationships and young people. But it is

simply not rich or deep enough to capture adult audiences on a regular

basis - even if it does show bums.

Looking at the advertisers, the first break had some quite cool

youth-oriented brands: Bacardi, Red Bull and Levi’s. Perhaps they were

counting on the leftovers from the ER double-bill extravaganza which

immediately preceded it. By the second break the advertisers were more

mainstream: Glade Natural Breezes, Ford Focus and Sensodyne.

A lot of people tuned in to watch the programme. It’s amazing what a few

raunchy trailers can do. But my prediction is that it couldn’t keep it

up for long.

Channel: Channel 4

Broadcast time: 10.55pm, 15 March

Audience viewing figures: Average television rating over two breaks was

15.3 women, aged 16-24 (TVRs)

Advertisers include: KFC, Red Bull, Levi’s, Bacardi.


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