It’s been a dramatic week so far on Hollyoaks, with Monday night’s (15th January) hour-long special leaving multiple characters dead following a fatal multi-car collision.


Tuesday night’s (16th January) episode then followed, airing a shock twist for Mercedes McQueen as she received huge news.

But fans trying to tune into the recent episodes will have noticed that Channel 4 has cut the popular soap from its weekly schedule.

So, if you’re wondering why Hollyoaks isn’t airing in its 6:30pm slot on Channel 4, where it has been since the show started in 1995, then read on for everything you need to know.

How to watch Hollyoaks online

Mercedes on Hollyoaks in a car looking worried
Jennifer Metcalfe as Mercedes in Hollyoaks. Lime Pictures

The long-running soap changed its release pattern back in September 2023.

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Previously, episodes of Hollyoaks had premiered on E4, with each episode subsequently being broadcast on Channel 4 the following day.

However, episodes of Hollyoaks are now available to watch on Channel 4’s website the day before airing on the E4 channel.

Meanwhile, screenings on Channel 4 are no longer airing the following day. Instead, in a UK soap first, episodes now go on on YouTube a week after their streaming and the E4 broadcast.

However, Hollyoaks hasn’t left Channel 4 completely, and the Sunday omnibus edition is still being broadcast on Channel 4, enabling fans to catch up on all the week’s action from the village.

Why has Hollyoaks been taken off Channel 4?

The long-running soap changed its release strategy to prioritise online streaming and target the show’s younger demographic.

Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz said back in September: “Hollyoaks has always been the youngest and most innovative soap so it’s fitting that it should be the first to embrace the changes in the behaviour of younger viewers and switch to a genuinely digital-led release pattern."

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She continued: “It was the first UK soap to move to a stream-first model last year and this is the next phase of that evolution.

"We hope making Hollyoaks available on YouTube, as well as our own platforms, will introduce a whole new generation to the show.”

Hollyoaks is available to stream on All4 and airs every weeknight at 6:30pm on Channel 4 and 7pm on E4. Check out more of our Soaps coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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