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Hollyoaks has superseded EastEnders to become the UK’s most violent soap opera, according to lengthy research undertaken by Ofcom.

The media watchdog found the teen saga now has 11.5 violent scenes per hour, a significant increase on 2.1 per hour in 2002. By comparison the violence in EastEnders has decreased from 6.1 scenes per hour in 2002 to 2.1 per hour today.

Ofcom’s research team deduced that pushing, prodding and grabbing were the most common acts, accounting for 35% of all violent scenes across the 11 year period of research.

Strong violence, which could have an adverse effect on viewers, was found to be infrequent – making up just 6% of the overall total. Across all four main soaps including ITV’s regular offerings, it was noted that 70% of episodes depicted at least one instance of violence.

“Violence appears to be quite prevalent. It occurred in the large majority of episodes and even the remainder may be considered to have had an evident potential for violent scenes to develop.


“However most of the violence portrayed was quite mild. Indeed, in the majority of cases, the violent act portrayed was judged as too mild to result in any evident injuries.” – Ofcom

The research comes a year after Hollyoaks was ticked off by Ofcom over a violent fight scene adjacent to a railway, which resulted in a character being pushed under a train and killed.

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