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Bulger mum outraged over 'Hollyoaks' plot

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Bulger mum outraged over 'Hollyoaks' plot

Melissa Walton, Lime Pictures

The mother of murdered boy James Bulger has this afternoon expressed her outrage over Hollyoaks' upcoming child killer plot.

It was today confirmed that the Channel 4 soap is to embark on a Christmas storyline, in which it is revealed that Loretta Jones (Melissa Walton) and her best friend Chrissy (Amber Hodgkiss) killed a child when they were 12 years old.

Bulger's mother Denise Fergus, 42, proclaimed that she is "shocked" and "disgusted" over the programme's decision to air such a controversial plot without consulting her.

She went on to state that turning this kind of hard-hitting story into a soap scenario for entertainment "is just wrong".

In an interview with Click Liverpool, Fergus said: "I'm shocked and disgusted at what Hollyoaks is doing. They have clearly based this story on what happened to James and it's outrageous that they should do this without consulting with me in any way.

"This is the third time this year that someone has written a so-called drama that treats my son's murderers as some kind of victims and celebrities. It's wrong and I find it very hurtful that a TV company is making a horrific murder that happened only 16 years ago into the subject for a soap opera."

She continued: "How dare they treat James as though he is public property. It is an insult to his memory and I am particularly shocked that a programme, based in Liverpool, has gone ahead and done this knowing that it would be so controversial.

"Turning James's death into a topic for entertainment is just wrong."

Appalled by the decision to pen and produce the episodes, Fergus has publicly called for a meeting with Hollyoaks' Liverpool-based production house Lime Pictures so she can hear it justify its move.

She further stated: "I'm demanding an urgent meeting with the producers of Hollyoaks over this. It seems they have already recorded these episodes so they think they have got away with it. But I want to look them in the eye and hear them explain how they can justify it.

"I want to know how they could stoop so low as to broadcast such a horrible insult to the memory of my beautiful son. The only reason Hollyoaks is doing this is their own self-interest - to get viewers."

Fergus added: "I watch Hollyoaks, but if they go ahead and broadcast this it will be the last time I will watch it and I will ask other people to support me and boycott the show too."

This evening, however, a spokesperson for Channel 4 defended the plot. They said: "The forthcoming storyline is not based on any real-life case and it will in no way seek to recreate real events. The storyline focuses on the psychological repercussions for two characters in the show who were responsible for the death of a 12-year-old girl in the past."

They added: "We take very seriously our responsibility to tackle sensitive issues in an appropriate way." Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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