Hollyoaks is a British soap opera which began airing on Channel 4 on 23 October 1995. It was created by Phil Redmond, who had previously conceived the soap opera Brookside. Since May 2005, episodes have been aired on sister channel E4 a day prior to their broadcast on Channel 4. At its inception, the soap was targeted towards an adolescent and young adult audience but has since broadened its appeal to all age groups. Hollyoaks has covered various taboo subjects rarely seen on British television, for which it has received numerous awards. It has won the award for Best British Soap twice, in 2014 and 2019; its first win broke the 15-year tie between rival soap operas EastEnders and Coronation Street. Beginning with a cast of 15 characters, it now has upwards of 50 regular cast members. The longest-serving actor is Nick Pickard, who has portrayed Tony Hutchinson since the first episode.