12:22 09 October 2009
A Hollyoaks' suicide pact storyline will go ahead despite "similarities" to the deaths of two teenagers who jumped to their deaths from a bridge this week, Channel 4 has stated.
On Thursday night, the station broadcast a helpline number following the show for anyone affected by similar feelings to a plot which featured Newt (Nico Mirallegro) contemplating ending his life.
The channel said it had carefully considered whether it would be appropriate to continue the screening, deciding in the end that they would.
Teenage girls Neve Lafferty, 15, from Helensburgh, and Georgia Rowe, 14, from Hull, died after jumping into the River Clyde from the Erskine Bridge near Glasgow on Sunday night.
In the soap, Newt has been struggling to cope with schizophrenia and being tormented by his alter ego Eli, pushing him to take drastic action.
On Thursday night, the popular Channel 4 teenage soap featured a discussion about a joint suicide pact between Newt and his friend Rae (Alice Barlow).
As the show's end credits played an on-screen announcement read: "Channel 4 recognises there are similarities between this week's episodes of Hollyoaks and recent tragic events. Hollyoaks is recorded eight weeks prior to transmission, and any similarities are coincidental."
The pair are due to go ahead with their suicide bid in Friday night's programme.
A spokeswoman for the station said: "Any similarities are entirely coincidental and we have carefully considered how best to proceed. We feel it is appropriate to continue with the transmission of these episodes as this is not a one-off programme but an established and long running series."
As of Friday morning, the channel said it had not received any complaints about the plotline buildup.
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