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Originally broadcast as one episode per week, in 2011 it is being shown five times weekly.
Audience numbers have varied over its lifespan, with viewing figures well below one million being contrasted with highs of four million.
Marquess stepped down from the role after one year and Gareth Philips took his position.
Hollyoaks began airing on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 23 October 1995.
The target audience was that of teenagers and it initially dramatised the lives of seven of that age group who lived in Hollyoaks, a fictional suburb in the city of Chester in Cheshire, England.
During this period Hollyoaks began to receive higher viewing figures, won a higher number of awards and received praise from those who had previously criticised the show for its acting and storylines.
Kirkwood's deputy, Lucy Allan, replaced him and continued many of the themes as well as using devices such as a non-linear week of episodes which saw the episodes shown out of chronological order so as to keep viewers guessing how the events came to happen, a flash forward episode which saw the events of six months into the future were shown, a baby-snatch story and a child murder plot.
Beth Cordingly, the viewer, said that "The only respite I had in the middle of all my pain was Hollyoaks.