Hollyoaks: In Real Life to tell the real stories of viewers helped by the soap

Individuals whose lives have been forever changed by issues portrayed in Hollyoaks tell their stories.

“Hollyoaks is well known for its sensitive handling of hard hitting issues, so it’s incredible to be able to shine a light on some of the people whose lives have been impacted by the issues reflected on screen. Behind every storyline there are thousands of these true stories and we hope these inspiring portraits will touch hearts, spark conversation and open minds.” -Joe Churchill, Digital Commissioning Exec at Channel 4

Channel 4 has commissioned Lime Digital to produce Hollyoaks: IRL: a series of short films exploring real-life stories behind Channel 4’s flagship continuing drama’s biggest issues. The series will feature both Hollyoaks viewers whose lives have been forever changed by watching the show, as well as individuals whose lived experiences have helped shape some of the show’s most important and talked about storylines.

Across five multi-platform shorts, Hollyoaks: IRL will explore individual’s experiences of depression and suicide, county lines child exploitation, disability, eating disorders and conversion therapy, all of which have featured in recent high-profile Hollyoaks storylines – but the real-life stories are being told together on-screen for the first time.

Each episode will premiere with a sneak preview on Snapchat Discover on Tuesdays, followed by full episodes available across Channel 4 socials each Wednesday.

“Hollyoaks storylines are borne out of a range of diverse places, we scrutinise research from charities about the new issues that our youthful audience may be experiencing, or could be in the near future and the personal stories that our writers bring to the table. Issues that are affecting their lives, or those of loved ones, friends and neighbours.

“Some of these films follow how people’s lives have been changed by what they have watched on Hollyoaks and other contributors’ stories have played out on screen, following the moving testimonials they have shared with us. Either way, there is a real-life connection to our fictional world of Hollyoaks. We hope that by hearing these stories people can connect – and if needed find help and support in these often-isolating times.” – Lucy Allan, Hollyoaks Executive Producer

 The shorts launch this week.

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