Hollyoaks may be off air until the autumn, but fans will still get their fix with a new series celebrating the upcoming 25th anniversary showcasing the soap’s most explosive weeks throughout each era.
Airing weeknights on E4 at 7.00pm from Monday 27th July, Hollyoaks@25 revisits the most unmissable, talked-about weeks for every five years it’s been on air, focusing on five-year periods that kick off with the period 1995-2000.
Longest-serving cast member Nick Pickard (Tony Hutchinson) co-hosts with Jennifer Metcalfe (Mercedes McQueen) as they look back together – from a suitable social distance, of course – at the first big stunt in 1999 in which bad boy Rob Hawthorne takes revenge on the locals (including a young Tony and old-school Hollyoaks icons Ruth Osborne, Lucy Benson and Lewis Richardson) by holding them captive in a huge water tank.
Speaking about the retro show, that replaces Hollyoaks Favourites which aired classic episodes from the archives three times a week when the main show reduced from five to two nights, Pickard says: “I can’t believe it’s been 25 years. After my first callback for Tony Hutchinson I would never have guessed that I would still be here all this time later.
“It’s so lovely being back on set now we’re filming again. What better way to return than to host a new special anniversary series with the lovely Jennifer Metcalfe? Although it’s been so difficult to remember my scripts after all this time, I’m a bit rusty!”
The stars’ newly-filmed intros will be shot on set, following the production’s return to filming on 13th July, under strict safety measures to ensure the set is Covid-safe.
“Things are a lot different on set,” admits Pickard. “The change is definitely noticeable, but there’s no better feeling than being back – it’s home. There are lots of exciting throwbacks in store for Hollyoaks@25 so keep your eyes peeled.”
Metcalfe echoes her colleague’s excitement as the big October quarter century milestone looms ever closer. “To get to do the first set of intros with the legendary Nick was just brilliant. It was lovely to see him again even if we were two metres apart!
“I was made up that Hollyoaks Favourites was so successful, and loved it kicked off with Dr Browning and Mercedes – one of my favourite couplings ever. I’m glad to be announcing Hollyoaks@25 as I’m really looking forward to seeing week-long sets of episodes, era by era. And it’s going right back to the start too.”
For the next five weeks Hollyoaks@25 moves through the decades, so from week commencing 3rd August we’re back in 2001-2005, and will eventually end up covering 2016-2020 ahead of the show’s return in September. Will your favourite week be picked to represent each era?