Hollyoaks' suicide pact storyline will go ahead despite 'similarities' to the deaths of two teenagers who jumped from a bridge this week, Channel 4 has said. On Thursday night, the station broadcast a helpline number following the show for anyone affected by the plot featuring Nico Mirallegro's character Newt, and said it had carefully considered whether it would be appropriate to continue the screening. Teenage girls Neve Lafferty, 15, from Helensburgh, and Georgia Rowe, 14, from Hull, died after jumping into the River Clyde from the Erskine Bridge near Glasgow on Sunday night. In the series viewers have seen Newt struggling with schizophrenia and being tormented by his alter ego Eli. On Thursday night the Channel 4 teen soap featured a discussion about a joint suicide between Newt and his friend Rae (Alice Barlow). As the show closed, an on-screen announcement read: "Channel 4 recognises there are similarities between this week's episodes of Hollyoaks and recent tragic events. Hollyoaks is recorded eight weeks prior to transmission, and any similarities are coincidental." The pair are due to go ahead with their suicide bid in Friday night's programme. A spokeswoman for the station said: "Any similarities are entirely coincidental and we have carefully considered how best to proceed. "We feel it is appropriate to continue with the transmission of these episodes as this is not a one-off programme but an established and long running series." On Friday morning, the channel said it had not received any complaints about the broadcast.
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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