Hollyoaks to be axed?

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Jamie Lomas returns to Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas

New Channel 4 chief Jay Hunt is reportedly planning to axe 'Hollyoaks' when she takes the helm next week.

'Hollyoaks' is reportedly set to be axed.

The Chester-based Channel 4 soap - which first aired in 1995 - has seen ratings drop to under one million per show, and new station chief Jay Hunt is believed to be considering terminating the programme when she takes up her post next week.

A source said: "Jay wants to make her mark on the channel when she arrives and 'Hollyoaks' is a definite target for her.

"There has been unease within Channel 4 for a while about the soap's direction."

It was announced on Thursday (06.01.11) that series producer Paul Marquess is to step down after just a year at the 'Hollyoaks' helm, with insiders claiming his departure was a move to show Channel 4 that production company Lime Pictures are keen to get the soap back to its best.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Lime bosses are panicking that Jay Hunt will axe 'Hollyoaks' as it is the biggest show they make.

"They hope that by changing producers and shaking things up it will give the show a new lease of life and prove to Jay that she should keep it."

Despite the reports, a 'Hollyoaks' spokesperson insisted Paul - who has been replaced by Gareth Phillips - only had a 12-month contract with the show and said the soap still has a future.

They added: "'Hollyoaks' remains an important part of the Channel 4 schedule."

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