Our favourite soaps are often rivals in the ratings and in award ceremonies, so the last thing they want to do is
Despite the fierce competition that often exists, there are some examples of soaps going out of their way to reference a rival show on air. Don’t believe us? Here are seven of the most memorable.
1. EastEnders‘ Dot Branning watches Coronation Street
When Coronation Street turned 50 in 2010 and marked the occasion with an epic tram crash disaster, even the team at EastEnders thought it warranted a mention. You could never accuse them of being bad sports.
Giving a nod to the competition, EastEnders‘ episode that night saw Dot Branning tell Stacey and Kat that she wouldn’t be attending choir rehearsals later in the evening for a very good reason: “Tonight I’m going to open a bag of marshmallows, share them with Jim and watch Corrie! I love it, it’s my favourite. Never miss it.”
Kat was a little bit less enthusiastic: “I’d rather watch me dirty washing spinning round.” Maybe she’s more of an Emmerdale fan?
2. Brookside hypes up Hollyoaks
When Hollyoaks launched in 1995, it had the same production company as Brookside – Mersey TV, now known as Lime Pictures. Both soaps also aired on Channel 4, so it’s no wonder that Brookside couldn’t resist giving the new show a cheeky mention on screen before the first episode as an extra bit of promotion. Every little helps.
Speaking to David Crosbie about the exciting new addition to the Channel 4 schedules, Rachel Jordache gushed: “No Mr Crosbie, it’s called Hollyoaks. And anyway, it’s not just for kids – you’ll really like it.”
The plug clearly paid off, with 2.9 million tuning in for the very first Hollyoaks episode.
3. Hollyoaks and Brookside shared the same universe
Hollyoaks may have been an unmissable TV show in the fictional world of Brookside, but it turned out that it was also a real place. Confused? Us too.
In 1998, one episode of Brookside saw Jacqui Dixon and Katie Rogers head out of Liverpool for the day and pay a visit to Chester. Hollyoaks characters Kurt Benson and Ruth Osborne could be seen in the background, providing a rare soap crossover moment.
In 1999, Brookside‘s Jessie Shadwick and Alec O’Brien visited Hollyoaks pub The Dog In The Pond, while a Brookside episode in 2002 saw Emily Shadwick make plans to visit Hollyoaks nightclub The Loft that evening. Cross-promotion at its finest.
4. Hollyoaks stole a character from Brookside
One final Hollyoaks/Brookside link definitely worth mentioning is the character of Matt Musgrove. Matt was created by and introduced on Brookside in 1998, sticking around on the Close until 2000.
In the only time that a UK soap character has switched shows, Matt later moved over to Hollyoaks as a janitor at the local university. He also ended up featuring longer on Hollyoaks than he did on his original show, staying in the village until 2004.
Tragically, Kristian Ealey – who played the role of Matt – passed away in May 2016 aged just 38.
5. Hollyoaks’ Scott Drinkwell name-checks Neighbours‘ Paul Robinson
In 2015, Hollyoaks joker Scott Drinkwell was highly unimpressed to hear that interfering Frankie Osborne had renamed Esther Bloom’s baby son as ‘Stefan’ while Esther was in a coma.
Clearly clued-up on his soap trivia, Scott asked: “Stefan? As in Stefan Dennis? Paul Robinson from Neighbours?”
News of the Hollyoaks shout-out quickly reached Neighbours HQ in Melbourne, prompting Stefan to record a special video message as a thank-you.
6. Emmerdale hits the headlines in Brookside
Emmerdale‘s 1993 plane crash storyline was a turning point in the soap’s history, proving so significant that Brookside even considered it deserving of a shout-out. (The fact that Brookside creator Phil Redmond had masterminded Emmerdale‘s storyline certainly helped.)
Just as the Emmerdale survivors were trying to rebuild their lives, Brookside‘s Mick Johnson was seen on screen reading a newspaper which had the village’s plane crash as a front page story.
This seemed to suggest that Emmerdale and Brookside existed in the same universe, although things got a little confusing in 2001 when Emmerdale also got a name-check as an actual TV show.
The episode in question saw fan favourite Bev McLoughlin open up over how she’d married Fred Gonzalez to help him stay in the country. In a cheeky admission that Emmerdale had run the same storyline just a few months earlier, Rachel replied: “Did you get the idea off Emmerdale Farm?”
7. Adam Barlow accused of watching too much Home and Away in Coronation Street
We’d never have thought that Coronation Street‘s super-cool Adam Barlow would spend his days watching Aussie soap Home and Away, but that’s certainly what his uncle Daniel Osbourne accused him of in an episode last year.
When Daniel thought that Adam was slacking with his revision for an important law exam, he ranted: “You’ve either got the TV on, music blaring or both. It’s impossible to
“If that’s how you prepare for a big exam – last-minute cramming with one eye on Home and Away – then I’m afraid your career’s over before it’s even started.” In Adam’s defence, Digital Spy Soaps had exactly the same revision approach back in the day…
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest EastEnders spoilers, as Phil and Sharon’s marriage faces another setback, and Hunter tries to keep Jack and Mel apart.