Hollyoaks named most violent soap on TV

Channel 4 soap was found to be contain more scenes depicting violence than EastEnders, Emmerdale or Coronation Street

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The Independent Culture

Hollyoaks has been named the most violent British soap in a new report from broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

Over half of all violent scenes from soaps broadcast in 2013 were found to have occurred in the Channel 4 series.

Violent scenes were found to have occurred in 70 per cent of all soap episodes monitored from 2001, however the amount of violence had not increased overall.

EastEnders was found to have less violence than it did in 2011, while Emmerdale had a slight increase and Coronation Street remained at a fairly steady level.

The report, which looked at the level of violence in pre-watershed soaps since 2001, found that viewers were five times more likely to see violent scenes in Hollyoaks now than they were 12 years ago.

The Channel 4 show also accounted for all of what were classed as “strong violence”, much of them coming from two storylines.

Almost three-quarters of the scenes classed as violent were made up of threats and intimidation or incidents such as pushing, prodding and tripping.

In its report, Ofcom said: “The conclusion must be that the amount of violence logged in a soap appears to be largely determined by the storylines running at a particular time.

"In Hollyoaks all the violent scenes with a high severity rating were either central or pivotal to the storyline in which they appeared. Violence occurred for a reason, and was used to drive the narrative along.

“In the overwhelming number of cases it was considered to add dramatic value to the plot or the characterisations.”

The report pointed out that violence in the soaps - which in most cases was “quite mild” - did not trivialise, glamorise or condone it.

It added that for the most part viewers would have been aware they could expect the violent scenes and would not have been surprised by it.

Last year Ofcom ruled that Hollyoaks breached its programme code by screening a scene before the watershed in which policeman Simon Walker was pushed under a train.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring that all Hollyoaks storylines are appropriate for a pre-watershed audience.

"The portrayal of violence is appropriately limited and is shown within the context of long-running storylines - and programmes that include scenes which some people may find upsetting are clearly flagged to viewers at the beginning of the broadcast.

“Hollyoaks has a track record in tackling issues affecting its audience and has worked alongside government and leading charities on subjects such as domestic abuse and bullying.”

With additional reporting from the Press Association