As many as 10 cast members from Hollyoaks could be facing the chop in a major shake-up of the soap, according to the papers.

The News of the World reports that some of the show’s most popular stars, such as Gemma Merna and Jennifer Metcalfe, could be under threat.

And even long-term cast member Nick Pickard – who has played Tony Hutchinson in the soap since 1995 – has been told there is a question mark over his character.

Two major cast members – Jamie Lomas, who plays Warren Fox, and Chris Fountain, aka Justin Burton, have announced their intention to quit next month.

“It’s a nightmare,” one cast member told the paper. “Everyone’s character is under scrutiny and there will be around ten changes so a lot of people are looking over their shoulders.”

“There are going to be a lot of changes,” a source close to the show added. “No one is safe but the last thing you want is to be out of work in the current climate.

Everyone’s keeping their head down and doing their best in the hope they’ll be saved from the chop.”

The shake-up is being planned by the show’s new producer Lucy Allan, who took over in January and is set to make some radical changes to keep viewers hooked.

A spokesman for the show denied that changes were being made to save money. “There are no planned cutbacks for Hollyoaks,” he said. “Tha nature of the show is that people come and go.”