New producer of struggling Channel Four soap Hollyoaks, Paul Marquess, has told the Radio Times he felt the soap had become too dark and that fans could expect a little bit more fun in the soap until Christmas.
New producer of struggling Channel Four soap Hollyoaks, Paul Marquess, has told the Radio Times he felt the soap had become too dark and that fans could expect a little bit more fun in the soap until Christmas. Marquess took over from Lucy Allen as producer on the Lime Pictures soap in January after Allen’s first year in the role had seen ratings decline. It was a far cry from Bryan Kirkwood’s tenure as producers when ratings hit highs and the soap enjoyed critical acclaim for a series of well received storylines.
With the departure of Lucy Allen in January Marquess has set about making his mark on the soap and feels it needs a little bit more fun added to it; he told the Radio Times “I never do anything unless it needs doing. I was asked to look at Hollyoaks first as a viewer and I thought it had become a bit dark. Hollyoaks can do serious stories but it always has to remember it’s Hollyoaks – and that means being lively, bright and entertaining. From now until Christmas, expect a big injection of fun.”
The arrival of Marquess at Hollyoaks also sparked another big cast cull with a string of characters being written out of the series to make way for the introduction of newer ones that Marquess hopes will revive the flagging fortunes of Hollyoaks. “I’m bringing in glitz with the Sharpes and they’ll be followed by their nemesis, a wannabe glamour model with no boundaries. People are still obsessed with Katie Price and I want to explore that obsession.”
Marquess is certainly no stranger to turning around the fortunes of struggling programmes having worked on Brookside as producer during its last “golden” peroid before Channel Four cancelled it. Following his stint on Brookside ITV hired him to turn cop-drama The Bill into a soap with Marquess axing many long-term characters and introducing more sensationalist storylines. In 2003 Thames Television asked him to work his magic on the Channel Five soap Family Affairs where he introduced the Costello family to much success.
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