Hollyoaks star Jeremy Sheffield admits atmosphere is 'difficult' after 'tough' changes

Jeremy Sheffield admits Hollyoaks is in a 'difficult' position credit:Bang Showbiz
Jeremy Sheffield admits Hollyoaks is in a 'difficult' position credit:Bang Showbiz

'Hollyoaks' star Jeremy Sheffield admitted there is a "difficult atmosphere" on set after the reductions in cast, crew, and episodes.

The long-running soap is undergoing major changes behind the scenes - and in front of the camera - with a shift from Channel 4 to E4 and YouTube, 20 castmates being given the boot and the number of episodes being cut from five to three a week.

James told the Daily Star newspaper's Hot TV column: "Everyone understands why things have to happen.

"But obviously people are losing their jobs, so it's tough. People are having to rethink their livelihoods.

"There's a difficult atmosphere. It's tough for everyone. It's a big change."

Those changes mean the cast are feeling the "pressure" when it comes to their performances, because they "want to do as best [they] can" for the sake of the soap.

He explained: "There is pressure. We are making a big change so there is a lot riding on this. You have to be really good.

"You always want to do as best you can for the show and that feels highlighted now."

The 58-year-old actor has returned to the fold eight years after his previous character Patrick Blake was killed off.

Rather than his alter ego returning from the dead, Jeremy will be returning as Patrick's brother Jez.

And despite the struggles surrounding the changes, he admitted there is still some excitement around how the show could improve.

He added: "The hope is it'll be tighter and we'll be able to delve into storylines in a more complex way. So people are excited about that."

The show - which moved to a digital first approach last September after moving from Channel 4 to E4 and streaming only - will lose two episodes from September this year, but new executive producer Hannah Cheers is optimistic for the future.

She recently said: "’Hollyoaks' offers a unique proposition: bold, escapist, relatable, youth-skewing and multi-generational stories, told in its innovative and technicolour signature style.

"The show continues to bring people together by making them feel something, and everything. Approaching its 30th anniversary in 2025, 'Hollyoaks' matters just as much now as it did at its trailblazing launch.

“There may be speculation about the future of Continuing Drama, but as someone who was brought up on the nation’s soaps - and remains a true fan - I believe their value must not be underestimated."