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Friday 6th December 2019

Channel 4 hits back at claims flagship soap Hollyoaks is facing the axe

The soap won Best Soap at the recent British Soap Awards

Channel 4 has spoken out in defence of hit soap Hollyoaks after a report claimed they were "battling to save" the show.

According to The Sun, ratings have dipped so low that the channel are injecting more money and demanding new storylines to turn their fortunes around.

The rape of Sinead by her husband has been one of the year's biggest storylines (Credit: Lime Pictures)

Read more: Hollyoaks announces shock exit for show fave this summer

The news comes as something of a surprise after the soap was crowned Best Soap at this year's British Soap Awards less than a month ago.

The publication says ratings have dropped on the show from 710,000 viewers per episode in January to just 450,000 in June.

A source told them: "It's one of their most iconic programmes and has been on air for almost 25 years, so of course they don't want to see it go.

"But they need to justify its existence and the numbers won't have to go much lower before that becomes impossible. This is a last-ditch effort."

Ste's far right extremist plot has been praised (Credit: Lime Pictures)

However, Channel 4 has hit back at the claims saying: "Hollyoaks epitomises our remit for serving young audiences across Channel 4 and E4 and we're incredibly proud it was also recognised as the Best Soap at the British Soap Awards last month."

The show was the shock winner at the ceremony after many expected Emmerdale to take home the gong.

Hollyoaks epitomises our remit for serving young audiences across Channel 4 and E4.

In fact, Hollyoaks won several awards on the night, including coveted Best Actor for Gregory Finnegan (James Nightingale), Best Male Dramatic Performance for Adam Woodward (Brody Hudson), and Best Villain for Nathan Sussex (Buster Smith).

The football abuse story won the show awards (Credit: Lime Pictures)

Show stalwart Jessica Fox, who plays Nancy Osbourne, accepted the award and said: "We want to say a massive thank you to our viewers and all the people that have voted for us.

"We just want to say congratulations to all the soaps - you've told amazing stories this year. You make us raise the bar higher every year.

"Our viewers push us to tell really hard-hitting stories. They want diversity on their screens and we hope we represent that."

Earlier this week, some fans claimed they were fed up with the current plots - especially Maxine Minniver faking her illness.

Maxine is faking her illness (Credit: Lime Pictures)

Read more: Emmerdale fans disappointed as Maya gets her verdict in court

The character is suffering from psychological disorder Munchasusen's syndrome, and is pretending to have symptoms of a serious illness when actually she's fine.

She has convinced her fiancé Damon that she could be dying and has top specialists looking into her case.

Max was almost caught out when Doctor Mitchell Devareux discovered she'd switched her test results, but Maxine managed to throw them off the scent once again.

Hollyoaks is on Monday to Friday at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with a first look episode every night at 7pm on E4.

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