Hollyoaks axes 'child killers' plot

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The Independent Online

Producers of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks have cut scenes from a controversial storyline echoing the killing of James Bulger this week after objections from the murdered child's mother.

Denise Fergus was given a private screening of the teen soap to allow her to air her views with programme bosses from Lime Pictures which makes the show.

The channel had been due to screen a storyline in which two characters were living under assumed identities after killing a child when they were 12-year-olds.

James Bulger's death shocked the nation in 1993 when he was abducted and tortured by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, who were at the time aged 10.

Lime bosses said they had not based the proposed story - which was due to be aired from tomorrow - on actual events. But after hearing from Fergus about the impact the broadcast would have, they agreed to pull the scenes.

A statement on behalf of Channel 4 and Lime Pictures said: "Hollyoaks has a very good track record of tackling difficult subject matter for a younger audience and the producers take seriously their duty to deal with sensitive issues in an appropriate way.

"This particular storyline was not based on any real-life case and was not intended to recreate actual events. However after conversations with Denise Fergus we have agreed to amend certain aspects of the storyline."