Speculation is mounting that the future of Hollyoaks could be in jeopardy when the new head of Channel 4 begins her job, according to the papers.

The Sun reports that Jay Hunt will have the soap in her sights when she takes up her post at the channel next week.

“Jay wants to make her mark on the channel when she arrives and Hollyoaks is a definite target for her,” a source told the paper.

“There has been unease within Channel 4 for a while about the soap’s direction.”

Production company Lime Pictures – who also makes ITV2’s The Only Way Is Essex – have reportedly made moves to try and breathe new life into the Chester-based show.

On Friday it was revealed that series producer Paul Marquess would be stepping down after 12 months in the job.

“When I agreed to give up my life for a year to run a soap again, I never thought it would fly by so quickly,” he said. “It’s now the right time to hand over Hollyoaks and I’m looking forward to new projects.”

Former script editor Gareth Phillips is to take over where Marquess left off.

During his time in the job Marquess axed 11 characters and brought in some new ones including Eva Strong (Sheree Murphy) and Brendan Brady (Emmett Scanlan).

He also brought villainous Warren Fox, played by Jamie Lomas, back from the dead, and oversaw some major storylines including Jasmine’s transgender struggle, India’s murder and Ste’s stormy relationship with Brendan.

“Lime bosses are panicking that Jay Hunt will axe Hollyoaks as it is the biggest show they make,” the insider revealed.

“They hope that by changing producers and shaking things up it will give the show a new lease of life and prove to Jay that she should keep it.”