UK Soaps ‘Coronation Street’, ‘EastEnders’, ‘Emmerdale’ & ‘Hollyoaks’ Offer Ideal Stay At Home Escape
Binge watch some British drama – you won’t be disappointed.
Nothing helps pass the time and provide hours of escapism like binge-watching a good show. Soaps.com readers love the American soap operas, including Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hosptial and Young and the Restless, which stands to reason that if you love soaps, and need some additional drama to indulge in, UK soaps have you covered. We’re giving you a preview of four popular UK soaps – Coronation Street, EastEnders, Hollyoaks, and Emmerdale – so you can lose yourself in a new soapy world.
Although the filming of these British soaps was brought to a standstill on March 23, fans can still episodes until the early summer, thanks to British networks spacing out the number of episodes per week. Get ready to choose your British soap binge!
Coronation Street – referred affectionately as Corrie – has been providing drama since 1960. It focuses on Coronation Street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on inner-city Salford.
Coronation Street features realistic storytelling for its working-class characters who face challenges with light-hearted humor. Over its 10,000th episodes, the show has tackled various controversial issues including rape, child grooming, late in life pregnancy, suicide and compulsive hoarding. Coronation Street has featured many popular characters such as vets Ena Sharples (Violet Carson), Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix) and Annie Walker (Doris Speed). These days, Corrie fans are entertained by characters like Shona Platt (Julia Goulding), a recovering amnesic, Alina Pop (Ruxandra Porojnicu) who was caught up in human trafficking, and new character Arthur Medwin (Paul Copley), an old flame of Weatherfield regular Evelyn Plummer (Maureen Lipman).
Coronation Street airs on ITV, Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s at 7:30 PM and can also be streamed on BritBox.
EastEnders has been around since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional Walford, the soap follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about daily life in the inner city. The show has a reputation for tackling dilemmas considered to be highly controversial in British culture and has consistently delved into realistic stories about homosexuality, rape, and unemployment. Whodunits are also featured regularly on the soap, including the Who Shot Phil? a story that attracted an astonishing 19 million viewers.
Since 2006, EastEnders has largely been dominated by the Mitchell, Ahmed, and Branning families, and the later 2000s saw a renewed focus on the Moon and Carter families. Several interesting characters now occupy Walford including Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) who recently fled to Portugal after his son’s death during a disastrous boat party, Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) who suffers from bulimia, and newcomer Peter Beale (Dayle Hudson) playing an older version of long-time character Ian Beale’s (Adam Woodyatt) son, whose twin sister was murdered by their little brother.
EastEnders airs on BBC One, Monday’s at 8:00 PM and Tuesday’s at 7:30 PM and can also be streamed on BritBox.
Emmerdale has been airing since 1972 and is centered on a fictional village bearing its name in the Yorkshire Dales. A farmhouse, Emmerdale Farm, was the original focal point of the show, having been purchased by unseen character Jacob Sugden, who sadly ruined the farm by drinking away its profits. Local public house, The Woolpack, is now central to the community, as well as Hope Farm, a sprawling mansion in Emmerdale.
Emmerdale’s storylines have highlighted child sexual abuse, prostitution, epilepsy, homosexuality and asexuality. The 70’s focused mainly on the Sugden Family, while the 80’s explored characters like Rachel Hughes (Glenda McKay) and ethically bankrupt Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell). Lately, Emmerdale has focused on the Dingle family such as Zak Dingle (Steve Halliwell), a recent widow returned to straighten his family out, Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller) a new Dad to triplets, and Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) a mechanic who was recently running a garage in Scotland. New characters include DI Malone (Mark Womack) a shifty, corrupt detective.
Emmerdale airs on ITV, Monday – Friday, 7:00 PM and can also be streamed on BritBox and seasons 1 through 7 can be streamed on Prime Video.
Hollyoaks has been riveting fans since 1995 – particularly adolescents and young adults, although the show has grown to attract many different age groups over the years. Set in the fictional village of Hollyoaks, a suburb of Chester, the soap has often acted as a social platform to confront issues impacting young people. The show captured hearts as it followed the complicated lives and loves of Kurt (Jeremy Edwards), Jambo (Will Mellor), Louise (Brett O’Brien), Maddie (Yasmin Bannerman), Natasha (Shebah Ronay), Dawn (Lisa Williamson) and Tony (Nick Pickard).
Stories the show has conveyed include important social messages about abortion, suicide, and euthanasia – to name a few. Most notably, Hollyoaks was the first British show to tackle the issue of far-right extremism and radicalization. Today, characters include Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) who recently fled the village to protect her two twins from their bad boy father and Cleo McQueen (Nadine Mulkerrin) who discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her with his best male pal. New character George Kiss (Callum Kerr) spices up the village as a police officer tackling drug trafficking.
Hollyoaks airs on Chanel 4 Monday to Friday at 6:30 PM and is also available on Hulu.