Hollyoaks boss Bryan Kirkwood quits show after twelve years at helm

Hollyoaks’ longest serving Executive Producer Bryan Kirkwood announces he is stepping down from role at the end of the soap’s 25th anniversary year

Award winning Executive Producer Bryan Kirkwood has announced he is leaving the C4 soap Hollyoaks, after a second stint as showrunner.

Bryan told Lime Pictures MDs in March of his intention to depart at the end of 2020. His episodes will remain on screen until June 2021.

In October Hollyoaks will celebrate its 25th birthday after first airing on October 23rd 1995.

Bryan Kirkwood Hollyoaks producer

Bryan Kirkwood is leaving Hollyoaks after 12 years

Bryan, who created many of the show’s most popular and enduring characters including the McQueen family, has been behind the show’s most groundbreaking storylines and award wins.

Mercedes McQueen and Sylver renew their vows in Hollyoaks

Bryan introduced the McQueen family to Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks Later Tony Hutchinson is found

Bryan said of his departure: “For many years I have had the privilege of running a soap opera with a fiercely loyal audience.

“I passionately believe that soaps can help viewers start serious conversations about their lives and in recent years we have covered important topics within mental health, sexual consent, Far-Right radicalisation, male rape, sexual abuse and many issues other shows might look away from…

Stuart Sumner

Bryan Kirkwood was behind the Far Right Radicalisation storyline featuring characters Stuart Sumner, Jonny Baxter and Ste Hay

He continued, “It has also been a joy to deliver the plot buster stories that ‘can only happen on Hollyoaks’, stories that give our viewers an entertaining escape into a heightened world.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved, and I want to thank the entire team. Their talent, warmth, loyalty and friendship are why I stayed so long.”

“The 25th anniversary feels like an elegant time to hand the reins over to someone else but I’m confident that the beating heart of Hollyoaks – the people who make it – will keep the show around for another 25 years.”

Darren Osborne and Kyle Kelly in Hollyoaks

Mental health and depression has been highlighted in the soap recently with storylines involving characters Kyle Kelly and Darren Osborne

Ian Katz, C4 Director of Programmes, said: “Bryan has been the untiring creative force behind the extraordinary resurgence of Hollyoaks. He’s taken the show into new territory with some extraordinarily brave storylines and soap firsts and collected numerous awards.

“I’m immensely grateful for his steering of the show safely back to screen next week and leaving it in top creative form and I wish him all the best for his next chapter.”

Hollyoaks is shown Mondays to Thursdays on C4 at 6.30pm with the next episode following on E4. On Fridays Hollyoaks Favourites is shown featuring a re-run of a classic episode from the past 

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