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New online spinoff for 'Hollyoaks'

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Hollyoaks is to launch an online spinoff series featuring three new characters, it has been announced.

Students Jamil (Sakinder Malik), Doug (PJ Brennan) and Leanne (Jessica Forrest) will be introduced to fans of the soap in Hollyoaks: Freshers, a six-part run of 10-minute episodes which is to start airing on the internet next month.

The programme will follow the trio's summer activities - including a trip to a music festival - before they later make the transition to the main Channel 4 show as new members of the regular cast.

Accompanying the internet series will be online blogs, social networking pages and Flickr accounts for each of the new arrivals, which will see them posting messages and photos in character.

Hollyoaks: Freshers will also see Alex Carter's comeback scenes in the role of Lee Hunter and feature regular characters Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson), Charlotte Lau (Amy Yamazaki) and Dave Colburn (Elliot James Langridge).

Broadcast reports that the series will begin on August 26, with episodes being uploaded every Thursday and Friday for three weeks. The drama will also be aired as a one-hour special on E4 in the autumn.

Hollyoaks: Freshers - which follows the success of last year's online spinoff The Morning After The Night Before - will be executive produced by Lee Hardman, the head of Lime Pictures' digital production company Conker Media.

Speaking of the new show, Hardman commented: "Hollyoaks: The Morning After The Night Before was a huge success for us and we hope to build on that success with Hollyoaks: Freshers, which will explore the concept of multi-layered storytelling - engaging the audience across multiple, digital platforms."

Jody Smith, Channel 4's cross platform commissioner for drama, entertainment and comedy, added: "Freshers is an exciting new direction for Hollyoaks. We're introducing a batch of new characters with over 60 minutes of original online drama and social media, telling their back-stories and journey to Hollyoaks before they arrive on TV. It will be a fun, fast-moving adventure, featuring some cast favourites and many surprises along the way." Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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