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Hollyoaks taken off Channel 4 in permanent scheduling shake-up

Hollyoaks will no longer broadcast weekdays on Channel 4 in a schedule change taking effect later this month.

The broadcaster has announced that the soap, which premieres episodes on E4 and its streaming service a day ahead of the main channel, will become the UK's first completely digital-first soap.

Going forward, fans will be able to stream episodes a day before they air on E4.

Not only that, episodes will be available to stream in full on YouTube a week after their premiere on E4.

tom and yazz cunningham in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Related: Hollyoaks star Ashley Taylor Dawson reveals off-screen role in Charlie story

It's not a complete removal of Hollyoaks on Channel 4, as the weekly omnibus will still air on a Sunday.

The reason given for this change is that 64% of viewers watch via first-look streaming or on E4, and the plan is to simplify how the audience – which has a younger demographic than the other soaps – consumes it.

The broadcaster will also continue with amplifying Hollyoaks' online presence by creating digital content around episodes in order to reach its target demographic.

This includes content such as the BAFTA-nominated Hollyoaks IRL, which focuses on real-life stories from people affected by topics covered in the show such as violence against women, knife crime, mental health and conversion therapy.

mercedes mcqueen and warren fox in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Related: 11 ways to fix Hollyoaks in the show's next era

The new scheduling kicks off on Monday, September 25 with a huge stunt week that will involve the recently-begun affair between Warren Fox and Mercedes McQueen behind Felix Westwood's back. Meanwhile, Rayne Royce might finally meet her downfall as a huge secret is exposed.

There's also a "murder twist" being teased. Could it be related to these storylines, and if so, who won't make it out of this week alive?

From Monday, September 25, Hollyoaks will stream first online via Channel 4 each weekday. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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