Hollyoaks star Gregory Finnegan addresses job cuts news

Hollyoaks star Gregory Finnegan has addressed the job cuts coming up on the Channel 4 soap with a touching message.

It was announced on Thursday (February 29) that the soap would undergo major changes from September onwards, with the show being cut from five episodes per week to three, with each episode also cut down to 20 minutes.

It has been suggested that the change in production could affect up to 135 jobs, which makes up a third of the programme's staff, with the news understandably causing some uncertainty.

hollyoaks james nightingale
Lime Pictures

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Finnegan, who plays James Nightingale on the soap, has addressed the developments with a statement on Instagram, as he wrote alongside a photo of some of the cast: "I love so many of the people that make this show. Behind the camera and in front.

"Whatever the future holds the relationships we have forged with each other and with our incredible, loyal audience, will endure. Super proud of everyone today and know brighter days lay ahead. Gx."

Finnegan isn't the only Hollyoaks cast member to speak on the matter, with Annie Wallace pleading with fans and pundits not to speculate on which cast members could depart as she released a statement via X/Twitter.

"Following the news about #hollyoaks today, it would be quite nice if social media and web forums didn't rush to start 'axe list' threads," wrote Wallace, who plays Sally St Claire on the soap. "These are people's lives... and we see you."

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Channel 4 cited changing viewing habits as the reason for the change, with Lime Pictures managing directors Kate Little and Claire Poyser saying: "Given the success of the new streaming-first model, we are delighted that Hollyoaks remains at the forefront of Channel 4's digital first strategy.

"There are implications that will mean we have to reshape Hollyoaks' production model and amidst the buoying news for the future of the show and its audience, we must also acknowledge that a reduction in cast and crew will be very difficult and we will support everyone in that process."

The change was accompanied by the news that the soap has been renewed by Channel 4 on a multi-year deal.

Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4 each weekday at 7.30pm. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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