Hollyoaks has overtaken EastEnders as the UK’s most violent soap, according to new research from Ofcom.
The media watchdog found that Channel 4’s serial drama had 11.5 violent scenes per hour in 2013, up from 2.1 in 2002.
So that’s not even including most of the domestic violence storyline between Maxine and Patrick.
By contrast, violence in EastEnders has dropped, from 6.1 scenes per hour in 2002 to 2.1 per hour today.
The violence logged by Ofcom’s researchers ranged from intimidation and menace to drownings and shootings.
Pushing, prodding and grabbing were the most common acts, accounting for 35 per cent of all violent scenes across the 11-year period of research.
Strong violence which might make the viewer uncomfortable was very infrequent, Ofcom noted, accounting for six per cent of the total.
“Violence appears to be quite prevalent,” the report said. “It occurred in the large majority of episodes and even the remainder may be considered to have had an evident potential for violent scenes to develop.
“However, most of the violence portrayed was quite mild. Indeed, in the majority of cases, the violent act portrayed was judged as too mild to result in any evident injuries.”
The study found soaps usually indicated when violence was likely to occur, so viewers were “rarely surprised” by it.
Carried out in four “waves”, over a 12-year period, the research reflected an upward trend in soap opera violence, but noted the incidence of aggressive acts fluctuated widely between programmes.