HTML clipboard Hollyoaks is a British soap opera, first broadcast on Channel 4 on 23 October 1995. It was originally devised by Phil Redmond, who had previously conceived the Channel 4 soap Brookside. The programme is set in a fictional suburb of Chester called Hollyoaks, and features a large cast of characters, primarily 16-35 year-olds. The soap is targeted towards the younger audience, and is mostly filmed and produced in Childwall, Liverpool, although nearby locations are sometimes used. Beginning with a cast of seven major characters in 1995, the serial has approximately 65 main cast members today. Hollyoaks has a high cast turnover in comparison with other British soaps; as of December 2017 nineteen characters have spent five years or longer on the show. The programme has won 35 British Soap Awards, 18 Inside Soap Awards, one TRIC Award and one National Television Award; at the 2014 British Soap Awards, Hollyoaks won Best British Soap for the first time, breaking the 15-year draw between rival soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street. It is also popular around the world. The longest-serving cast member is Nick Pickard, who has played Tony Hutchinson since the first episode in 1995; all the other original cast members left by 2008. Other long-running characters include Cindy Cunningham, Mandy Richardson, Jack Osborne and Darren Osborne.