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Hollyoaks unveils new 25th anniversary series

Hollyoaks unveils new 25th anniversary series
© Channel 4
Channel 4 announces new series Hollyoaks@25 to fill the gap while the soap is off the air.

Channel 4 has announced a new series of Hollyoaks shows to air while the soap is taking a break.

After filming was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, the long-running soap has now gone off the air until September while new episodes are recorded.

In recent months Channel 4 has been rebroadcasting classic episodes from the archive under the banner Hollyoaks Favourites but from next week a new show called Hollyoaks@25 will take over.

Airing every weeknight at 7pm on E4, the new series will present five episodes a week relating to a key storyline from the past 25 years of the soap.

The first week of episodes will take viewers back to 1999, with OG villain Rob Hawthorne holding Tony, Lewis, Ruth and Lucy captive in a large water tank. Nick Pickard (Tony Hutchinson) and Jennifer Metcalfe (Mercedes McQueen) will record special introductions for the episodes.

"It is so lovely being back on set, and seeing all of my fellow co-stars, and what better way to return than to host a new special birthday series with the lovely Jennifer Metcalfe?" said Pickard, who has been with Hollyoaks since the start. " Although it's been so difficult to remember my scripts after all this time, I'm a bit rusty.

"I can't believe it's been as long as 25 years. After my first call back for Tony Hutchinson, I would never have guessed that I would still be here all these years later.

"Things are a lot different on set – 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 added: "I for one am proper excited for Hollyoaks@25, and to get to do the first set of intros with the legendary Nick, who plays Tony, was just brilliant. It was lovely to see Nick again, even if we were two metres apart.

"I was made up that Hollyoaks Favourites was so successful and loved that 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."

Hollyoaks will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the end of October.

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Jennifer Metcalfe as Mercedes McQueen in Hollyoaks
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