4 commissions Lime to produce new series of Hollyoaks IRL for social 

by | Jan 23, 2023 | News

Channel 4 has commissioned a new series of Hollyoaks IRL (In Real Life) from producer Lime’s digital division. A companion to the long-running C4 youth drama of the same name, the new series is available across Hollyoaks social channels.

Hollyoaks IRL explores real-life experiences that mirror or have shaped the social issues featured within the flagship show. Series two kicks off with the story of activist, Zan Moon, (pictured above) who was sexually harassed on the London Underground and has campaigned for increased CCTV cameras on transport to keep women safe.

Echoes of Moon’s experiences featured in Hollyoaks’ Long Walk Home episode, which follows the character, Maxine Minniver as she tries to make her way home safely from a night out after becoming separated from her friends. Maxine (played by Nikki Sanderson) is subjected to cat-calling, intimidation and later is sexually assaulted.

In the newly-dropped episode of Hollyoaks IRL, Moon meets Sanderson and describes how her assailant was never caught and the effect it has had on her life. One positive is that Moon now runs an Instagram account where women submit the harassment that they have been subject to, both online and in public. On meeting Moon for the episode, Sanderson said: “Hearing her story and how she has taken such a negative experience in her life and made so many positive steps forward in making changes which will keep people safe on our streets was truly inspiring.”

Matt Risley, managing director of 4Studio said: “Amplifying fan conversation online is a huge part of 4Studio’s strategy, and Hollyoaks IRL is the perfect example of how to do that in a way that’s engaging for existing and new fans alike. Season 2 helps give a voice to our audiences’ most personal stories in the emotive, affecting way.”

The first series of Hollyoaks IRL, which explored depression and suicide, county lines child exploitation, disability, eating disorders and conversion therapy, was nominated for a BAFTA TV award in the Short Form Programme category. Later episodes in the new series will examine alcoholism, Incel subculture, knife crime and teenage cancer.

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